My First Blog Post

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.
69th Birthday in St Jean d’Angely

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Contact me by email:feltingindevon@gmail.com

Hi, I’m Judi and I’ve decided to finally do the things in my life that I never got around to earlier, like felting and printmaking and ceramics. Generally, all the creative activities and I am having so much fun.
I’m so old, I no longer care if I make mistakes and miss perfection. I have  come across some really brilliant activities and I’m writing this Blog because I want to share these with you – as you might like them, too. I’m not the brightest or the best at any of them, but that’s not going to stop me!

Inside, where I live, I still feel youthful. I look in the mirror and I can see I’m somewhat deluded. I find that when I’m doing stuff like felting and painting I feel happy and absorbed. I guess some of you feel like that, too.


My very first felt made with Jean Fenton

So far, I’ve come across wet felting, needle felting and nuno felting. There’s probably other types too but I’ve not yet met them. It’s all good.

Why? The colours of the wool rovings and cute little curly tops and the slinky silky fibres are a delight to just collect and put in a box. Better still, is getting them out, laying them down, lathering them up with soapy water and rubbing the hell out of them to work the magic. If it goes wrong, blame the soap or the temperature – when it turns out well, take a bow baby.

Nuno felted scarf
Slinky silky fibres

Because felting is such a good thing, I’m impelled to share the joy with you. I’m going to run a few felting workshops in Kennerleigh.

Another time, I’ll be posting about ceramics and my ceramic garden totems.

Box of blue rovings

Words for today…from ee cummings i carry your heart

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Contact me by email:feltingindevon@gmail.com

Nuno Felting a Silk Scarf

Jan and Lyn brightened this Sunday with their “go to” attitude to crafting and their cheerful demeanour in learning a new skill of nuno felting.

Laying out the base layer of the design on to silk scarf. Beforehand, samples had been made to demonstrate the process of migrating wool fibres through the silk and to show the elements of design and colour.
Jan’s sample of single fine base of turquoise merino wool with curly tops as fringes, embellishments of cut and torn silk remnants and strewn silk and wool fibres. Sample involved laying out fibres and dampening down without palming or felting.
Lyn’s sample
Lyn lays down very fine layers of grey Merino wool/silk rovings on one side of project.
Jan’s chosen palette for her lightweight summery scarf contains soft turquoises, yellows and blues.
“My Lady” models Jan’s summer scarf for us as it is still sopping wet and bears the indentation of bubble wrap! Jan will finish this at home by continuing to roll out to achieve a smooth felted finish, before rubbing the edges with soap to strengthen the structure: lots of rinsing in cold water to get rid of soap and gentle fulling by gently scrunching damp project and letting it fall to a hard surface a few times. It will be dried flat naturally and future washings should be in cold water only.
Reverse side of scarf in accent colours. Still unfinished and soaking wet.
Lyn’s scarf shows her principal design elements of strong, linear flow of blues, turquoise and French grey. It’s a statement scarf that is unique and elegant. Please note the scarf in this photograph is still unfinished, sopping wet and dimpled by bubble wrap. We await the completed pictures. Nuno is a long process and because we’re creating fashion accessories, attention to detail and finish is essential. Both ladies took scarves home to finish off with full instructions. No point rushing it!

Nuno Felt scarf part 1

The YouTube link above takes you to part 1 of 4 Nuno Felting Tutorials produced by Living Felt.
I would recommend this simply written illustrated guide by Nancy Shwab.

Jan’s Review of the one day workshop.

Booked a whole day workshop with Judi, first time doing any felting!
A lovely welcome when my friend and I arrived with a good explanation of how the day would go.
Then introduced to a ‘sweet shop’ of beautiful wools silks and other possible embellishments almost too many to choose from.
Then off to the studio to start our practice piece , learning how to felt into the fine silk.
Then the fun if choosing colours for our finished scarves.
Judi is very knowledgeable, and encouraging. More work to do to finish our scarves at home, my goodness the day went quickly! A delicious lunch too!
A great day would definitely recommend this workshop, thank you so much Judi.

Jan Davies –

Card wool fibres for unique colour blend at Felting in Devon workshop.

Details of embellishments of silks, nepps and curly locks are added as design layers are built up. Felting in Devon workshop. Margaret’s project is still damp and soapy from felting. Delightful. 😊
This is Margaret’s base layer for her landscape design. The effect of carding to blend the fibres has created a fluffy pillow of uniquely blended colours. The fibres for the sky were mainly laid down horizontally, whilst the purples and greens of the moors in the middle layer are painted in the direction of the contours. The bottom grass meadow foreground layer consists of blended greens, yellow, purple and black – blended and laid down vertically.
Margaret carefully lays down the base design layer on to pre-felt. Workingdown from the sky, through to moors and into the foreground.
Notice how the carded fibres are  fluffed up in texture. 3 different blues and a mauve were blended to create a vibrant sky.

Laughing ladies felt happy at felting in Devon workshop.

Emily and Philippa spread the joy as they felted away this morning.
Emily is taking this home to rinse and dry naturally. Felting a landscape with sheep. Some finer details to mountains and sheep can be added back by needle-felting.
Finer details of wet felted landscape will be needle-felted in on sheep’s faces.
Engrossed in the finer details of the laying out stages of the wet felted landscape. Lovely happy people! Felting in Devon workshop.

Three lovely ladies busy wet felting landscapes at Felting in Devon workshop.

Carding the Merino rovings to blend the colours for the sky, mountains and grass. Wet felting a landscape at Felting in Devon workshop.
Laying down the base of the design for wet felting landscape with fluffed up carded fibres using at least three colours each of greens, blues and dark greys. Felting in Devon workshop.
Creating the second layer of the wet felted landscape with sheep, working from the top down with much thinner drafts of fibre. Details in pink, orange and yellow added to sky, hills defined with darker tones and highlights. Felting in Devon workshop.

Felting in a looser style by carding wool fibres first demonstrated at wet felting workshop.

Carding produces fluffier separated strands of wool fibre. Colours can be blended by using carders. One particular method for starting a wet felted landscape.
Lay down carded fibres of sky, distant hill line and green field. One of the techniques shown at Felting in Devon workshop.
Use curly locks to fashion sheep shapes. Wet felting a landscape with sheep at Felting in Devon workshop.
Add more colours to sky and create nepps by snipping tiny bits of red and yellow wool to suggest flowers in foreground. Wet felt a landscape at Felting in Devon workshop.
Cover with bubble wrap, add warm soapy water, gently massage, use felting tool, roll up inside bamboo mat and towel and roll 50 times in each direction. Beginning the actual wet felting process after the design stage is completed. Felting in Devon workshop.
Check project and add more fibres to cover white pre-felt. Wet felting a landscape with sheep at Felting Workshop.
Remember to flip felt over and press back stray fibres to create a clean edge. Before above.

Nuno Felting in Devon at Felting Workshop.

Lyn nuno felted this stunning scarf in fine Merino wools and silks in a one to one workshop.
Lyn began by gently laying out fine drafts of silk and wool fibres in a flowing design of cool greens, blues and yellow with pops of pink in peacock swirls. Looks easy – but she thought about her design, made a quick colour sketch first and chose her palette of colours.
After the design was laid down and merino fibres added, the chiffon silk scarf was placed carefully on the design and wetted before being flipped over and a ghost designmade on the other side. Cool water and olive oil soap and gentle massaging by hand and with a palm Felter to help the wool fibres migrate through the silk chiffon to the other side, creating a whole new fabric in the process.
The rolling process begins. 200 rolls in all 4 directions then turn project over and repeat the process.
Here you can see how the design on the reverse side reflects colours, flow and motif of main design below.
The main design before fulling process.
Both sides now. A perfect result reflecting the original concept, palette planning and careful drafting of fibres.

Lyn worked all day on her awesome scarf and took it home to finish off. She is a true artist and a gifted crafter.

If you want to find out more about nuno felting, I run two workshops.

A short half day session to nuno Felt an art scarf or neckwarmer.

A full day session designing and nuno felting a scarf length of pure silk chiffon in merino wools embellished with silks.

Lyn said…

“What a wonderful day. I knew nothing about felting before but Judi explained everything so well that very quickly she had me engrossed in making a sample ‘wet felt’ panel of three different designs and colourways, to familiarise me with the technique. With that under my belt, Judi moved me on to working on a delicate Nuno felted panel, which I’m going to make into a small scarf, and I’m thrilled with the way everything turned out. The day was long enough to create the design, apply all the beautiful silky Merino threads and make a good start on turning it into the finished item, but we did run out of time (it’s a long process!) so I’ve brought it home to apply more elbow-grease and finish it off. Judi is a great teacher, very relaxed and friendly, and she supplied me with tea, cookies and a delicious lunch (cooked by her lovely husband) and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this workshop to anyone who enjoys crafting. Ten out of ten.”

Duration: 10am to 4pm

Price: £80

Book with: Judi Binks
at Felting in DevonSheraton House
EX17 4RS

Next Course Starts Sunday 9th February 2020.

About the Course

Learn how to Nuno Felt a silk chiffon scarf in fine Merino wools and silk embellishments. Create your own unique fashion item that is also a work of art. 10.00am to 4.00pm. £80.

What is Nuno Felting?
Nuno Felting is an exciting and innovative process which involves incorporating wool fibres into and through fine silk mesh to create a new fabric. These wool fibres are felted through the tiny mesh or gauge of silks like chiffon and habotai. I’m also developing exciting new applications of nuno felting using hand dyed silk scarves as well as silk and cotton gauze fabrics. This technique would attract crafters from other skills like silk painting and weaving.

My Art Felting studio is warm and bright and brimful of inspirational resources.
My teaching style is dynamic and enthusiastic. I taught for over 30 years and received a Farmington Fellowship at Oxford University in recognition of my teaching skills.
It’s important to me that you enjoy making your scarf, and that you learn all the skills needed to create beautiful scarves at home.
Materials used include pure silk chiffon scarf length, habotai and tussah silks, sari ribbons, mawata silk hankies, Teesdale curls and fine Merino wools. Angelina.
The price includes all materials and expert tuition.
An ideal gift for an arty crafter.
Maximum number of felters on each course is limited to three, and the session will still run with just one person.

What’s included in the price?

All materials.
Merino Wool rovings and yarns
Teesdale curly locks.
Silk threads, Angelina, mawati silk cocoons and bamboo silks etc.
Textured surface ( plastic bubble wrap)
Tulle or gauze netting
Olive Oil soap
Refreshments. Lunch on the full day.
Free Wi-Fi
Printed notes.
Photos of your workshop progress & project.
Felting in Devon Blog
Extra. Select your own packs of selected silks and wool roving to use at home available to buy.Read more … 

Contact me at: feltingindevon@gmail.com or text me on 07837436395 Judi Binks

Nuno felting tips

With thanks to treetopscolours.com.au

What a great site!

treetops colour harmoniestreetops felting tips

General Felting Tips

  • When laying your project down, leave at least a hands width of plastic/bubble wrap either sides of your project and at least three hands width at either end.
  • When wetting out your project, do not use too much soap, if there are bubbles everywhere it is too soapy. Wipe them away, sponge off the excess and apply clean water to re wet your wool. Too much soap will slow down the process, the fibres will not be able to grip and the scales will not close.
  • When your work is wetted out and rolled up, an extra towel rolled around the outside will make it easier to grip for rolling.
  • It’s easier if your project will fit on the table all at once, however if not, treat your work like a ‘scroll’ – rolling up the part you have finished and then working on the other unfinished part.
  • Think about saving time and energy by felting more than one scarf at a time. Lay out two scarves and roll in one bundle. Two scarves for the time of rolling one!
  • Always stretch your work in the fulling stage. Inbetween tossing pull the piece in all directions trying to stretch it back to size. This will give the felt better drape and encourages the fulling process.
  • Rinse all soap from your work when finished with clean tepid water. You may also like to then soak your piece in water with a few drops of Lavender, Cedar, Sandalwood or Eucalyptus oil. Do not rinse after soaking just spin out or squeeze the excess out and leave flat to dry. Your work will carry fragrant notes and repel moths.
  • You cannot unfelt a piece of work, but you can always felt it more. Re-wet your work and roll some more or simply return to the tossing stage. Old favourites may have relaxed since you made them and giving them a quick toss and stretch will refresh them.
  • To make a firm and strong felt or to shape and shrink particular areas you can full your felt on a washboard or a convenient and less expensive second choice a plastic painter’s tray.
  • You can also try the hard swimming pool bubble wrap, or the ridges on top of storage boxes. Or failing that the ridges on the drainboard of your sink. After tossing your piece to a sufficient stage, simply glide the work over the ridged surface with the aid of lots of soapy water. By gently gliding the felt over these textured surfaces it compacts and fulls the fibres considerably more than tossing. You can shrink a particular area of a felt piece by only fulling the one section on the washboard. Perhaps the sleeves are too long, the brim too big or one corner is just larger than the rest.
  • To lay a fine and even felt you should work with a smaller amount in your hand when laying out. Make the tops into several skinny lengths and lay smaller and thinner sections, with only the tips of the wool fibres overlapping. A few very fine layers will give you a lovely lightweight felt. A fine felt will shrink considerably. It is also a good idea to full your work on a washboard. A fine felt needs to be strong.
  • Always sample your work before attempting a big project. Measure before and after felting your sample to calculate shrinkage. To work out the percentage of shrinkage take the first measurement and divide it into the second measurement. For example if I layed out wool 30cm across and after felting it measured 18cm across, my shrinkage rate would be 30÷18=1.66.  This means my piece shrank 33% in that direction.
  • If you know you want your final piece to be 125cm long you can multiply 125cm by the shrinkage rate. For example: 125×1.66=207.5.  You would then lay out your wool to the length of 207.5cm, or near to it.

Nuno Felting Tips

  • When incorporating fabric into your felt, (Nuno felting) start with cool water. This allows extra time for the fibres to integrate into the weave of the fabric before matting together.
  • After the wool has started to grab hold of your fabric, you can begin using warmer water to speed up the process.
  • Hot water is used in the final fulling stage. This encourages the shrinkage.
  • Use fabrics you know will felt in, or sample them first. You can sample many pieces at once, or you can put a small sample at the end of a project you are felting. You can count on natural fabrics like silk or cotton to be the easiest.
  • Fabric should have an open weave and you should be able to breathe through it easily. Slippery and shiny fabrics are difficult and often do not work. If you are determined to use a slippery shiny fabric you can try making small cuts or holes in it first. You could also use a felting needle or better still an embellisher machine to push the wool fibre through the fabric to get you started. A small amount of fibre needle felted to the surface will allow other wool fibre the chance to grab on and felt.
  • Sampling is a great way to see what works and what happens before you attempt your big pieces. Always sample fabrics you are unsure about. Sampling also gives an opportunity to try new ideas and techniques quickly. They are a good reference tool, and may inspire new ideas.
  • Small samples can also be used to create pin cushions, glasses cases, pencil cases, features on bags or diaries.  Maybe hot plate grabbers, needle cases, purses, phone covers, or cut up and used to create pictures, badges and other jewellery.

Prefelt Tips

  • Pre felts are sheets of matted wool fibre, they have not been fulled and only minimal shrinking has occurred.
  • Prefelts can be made ahead of time and used in all your projects to make defined patterns. Interesting halos will appear around the edges of the cut out shapes.
  • Prefelts can be made wet or dry. To make wet prefelt simply start the felting process and stop when the fibres have matted together just enough to be easily picked up. As long as fibres can still be pulled out, it is a prefelt and can be felted further into fabric or wool base. You can also make Nuno pre felts.
  • I love using pre felts to create polka dots or florals. Nuno prefelts are really useful as well.
  • Dry prefelts can be made with plastic or using non slip matting. If you are using a non slip matt the process is very fast and you need to constantly check and correct your work. I use a yoga mat but most rubber matting will work. Avoid ones with open areas, they must have no holes as the wool will felt through it.
  • Using flat painters’ plastic is an adequate alternative but I find it difficult to roll.
  • To make a dry prefelt just lay your fibres down (Nuno or adding silk fibres is not recommended for this process) onto the matting or plastic sheet, pat down flat and roll up. Roll this 25 times and then unroll, check and correct your work and then re roll from the other end. Continue the rolling and checking stage every 25 rolls until you are happy with the firmness of the prefelt. The fibres may try to stick to the mat at first but persevere as it will soon matt together and be easily peeled off.
  • I love this technique, I can make prefelts and not worry about mess, as it is contained and uses no water.

Nuno felted Silk Mesh and Silk Hankies.