Friday, 28 April 2017

Fauvism Challenge

Over on The Felting and Fiber Studio we have Quarterly Challenges. The First Quarter Challenge was from Ruth, it was a Fauvism Challenge. I was late getting mine done, and if you want to see some of the other brilliant entries, you can do here. I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do, I thought I had finally made my mind up, but then looked at other entries and remembered a felt picture I made from a photo my sister took. You might remember it:

I took the original photo (without permission!) and altered the colours in Photoshop:

I'd had in my head that Fauvism was really bright, but the more I looked, the more I saw muted colours, unsaturated shades. There's one particular jade green that I started to see everywhere! I simplified the picture to get the colour bands:

And added some 'accented edges':

Then I blended the last one and first one together:

A lot of the Fauvist paintings had roughly blended brush strokes and patchy areas so I blended some colours for each band to try to get that effect:

I don't know which photo shows it better:

Then I added embellishment fibres for more effect, this is some Kapok on the pink, there's a bit of silk on the blue, trilobal nylon on the orange, and nylon staple on the blue:

 I don't know why I did that second band blue, I can see it's green on the photo, I clearly wrote 'green' on my template, and somehow chose blue! Maybe I tilted my laptop screen back too far (good excuse!) I did realise before felting and changed it:

The other embellishments and fibres I added are: some dark blue wool and light blue nylon for trees at the top; some green wool and red nylon for trees between the top orange row and blue one underneath it; green and yellow viscose staple on the green layer and some dark blue nylon for a hedge. The track lines are wool; I used viscose and nylon on the lower orangey band, and the blue/purple band at the bottom has dyed cotton nepps and nylon staple fibre added. This angle might show them a bit better:

I was quite disapointed when I looked at it, still wet, pegged on the washing line to dry, it looked so dull and flat:

It looked a lot better when it was dry, but I put lots of detail in the original one, so it still looks dull in comparison. If I ever get brave enough, I'll try some free motion stitching on it!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Soft Wispy Felt Tutorial

It has taken about 5 times as long as I thought it would, but I have finally finished my 'Learn to Make: Soft Wispy Felt Tutorial'.

I'm sure most of you have seen my pieces of soft, scruffy, felt piled with embellishment fibres:

And also the weird sculptural things I like to make out of them:

They're so enjoyable to make and so bright and 'happy' to look at. They were designed for a well-being class, with the intention that it’s virtually impossible to get a bad result. They're multi-layered, built up of fine layers of Merino and novelty yarns, to produce soft, fine, wispy, cobwebby felt that is pleasantly ‘scruffy’, ‘tassley’ and heavily decorated, so that even if they're wonky, threadbare, thick or holey in places, every one will still be a beautiful decorative piece.

There is lots of info in the tutorial with advice about supplies and equipment, though bubblewrap and margarine tubs is pushing it a bit to be called 'equipment'! :) I think the most expensive thing I use is the Olive Oil soap! Each piece only uses about 15g of wool, about 3 or 4 metres/yards of novelty yarns and a small handful of fibres, so it's great for a beginner's piece, especially for someone who has a generous friend to donate supplies to get them addicted to interested in wet felting! And there is also info on how to turn your flat piece into something even weirder for your friends to ponder 'but what is it for?' All the info is on the Information page, it's available as an 'instant download' (once you've received an email... can't make it too instant or Europeans will get stuck with an extra chunk of VAT!)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Bright Nuno Felt

Some slightly more 'conventional' nuno felt this week. Well, conventional to me anyway :) I made a piece similar to this first one a while ago and it was really popular and I thought I could improve on it a bit, so I thought I'd make another one:

I'm thinking that next time I make something which is 'double sided', I'm going to flip the layout over when I've finished the first layer, because the top always looks better than the underneath. It looks alright, but was definitely better on the side I worked on:

I love the shiny ripples of silk nuno:

I used a strip torn from a viscose scarf on another piece I made:

I think you can see the ripples a bit better on an angle:

The ripples were so uniform and neat, I couldn't decide which close up to use, so I'm posting 3 :)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

More Textured Felt

One thing I didn't like about the burgundy textured nuno felt piece I showed last time, was the effect of the wool migration. Completely unavoidable obviously, but I thought I'd try white fabrics with white wool to mimimise the visual impact of the migration. I started with a small sample, I used various cotton fabrics, like gauze, scrim and muslin; some silk crepe, and some synthetic chiffon:

Looking at it on an angle, you can see even more texture:

This is some folded cotton gauze:

This is one of the pieces of silk crepe:

I liked all the textures, but the synthetic chiffon really ruffled up:

The ruffles it created could be used to recreate effects for lots of different projects, here's a close up:

I used most of the same fabrics on a larger piece:

Here's a close up off the left side:

And a close up of the right side:

I thought this was the kind of technique which would work really well with synthetic organza, it comes in different weights and finishes, so even though it has similarities, there are differences too. I used dyed Merino for this:

Looking at an angle shows the many different textures:

 This was a soft yellow organza, it 'folded' in columns:

You can see these organzas had a more crumpled texture. You can see the migration too, and though it affected the look of the finished piece and 'changed' the colours of the organza pieces, it was more subtle than with the large piece I made last time:

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Textured Nuno Felt

This first piece uses a variety of fabric strips, roughly the same size. I laid out the fabric strips first, then added 4 very fine layers of Merino, which probably added up to being finer than 1 'standard' layer of Merino (the average amount that gets pulled off from standard commercial wool tops, laid out you can't see through it), and not as even. This is the whole piece after felting:

This is the back, you can see that in some places there is hardly any wool at all:

I really liked the texture that was created on the crepey silk fabric strip at the top:

I liked the results of that piece, so I made a much larger one. The finished fulled piece was probably a quarter of the size it was when it was felted, I fulled it on bubblewrap first then on my bead board:

I tried fabric pieces I'd used before, both which I knew felted well, and some which I knew didn't attach well or stayed loose on the edges (a lot of synthetics tend to roll at the edges when torn). I also used pieces I hadn't tried before. I'm not completely sure what some of them are after felting! This is a closer look at the left side, on an angle:

And the right side:

I think this was a piece from a charity shop dress, it was really softly rippled and pillowy:

This is a scarf from a charity shop scarf I love using. You've seen it lots of times, it was goldeny pink open weave, some parts were doubled and some had starnds of golden fibre loose between the layers:

This is one of the synthetics which rolls on the edges (I probaly should have put it in the middle). The outside edge is very loose, but the inside edge was firmly attached:

Looking along the surface, you can see better how high some of the ruffles are:

That photo also shows how much migration there was. It's more apparent depending on the angle you look at it. This shows really clearly just how much there was:

Looking slightly higher you can see more texture on the fabric:

Overall, I liked the piece, especially the texture, though I did think using just one colour of wool  along with the migration dulled it quite a lot, and looking at it on an angle, it does look like it's been under a dusty bed for a few years!

Friday, 20 January 2017


After a few attempts, I managed to get a photograph of an orange piece I'd planned to blog about last week:

I made the piece to sew into a purse/wallet for my friend, but I was concerned some of the fabric wasn't attached as well as I'd like for something which would get lots of handling, so I made another piece:

I even managed to get a closer pic of this one too:

And this is some of the synthetic embellishments I used:

Inbetween the two large pieces, I made a medium sized piece with the same colour theme, I used less fabric on this piece and more embellishent fibres, especially silk throwster's waste and silk hankies:

Of course, today is the first bright, sunny day for ages, and I could probably get much better photos now!