Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook… woolgatherers

Loosely punched in Shetland wool fibres on to pre-felt and then wet felted and fulled.

Henry Moore made numerous sketches of his favourite subjects including sheep. He captures the character in simple lines which I wanted to translate into wool.

Henry Moore

Felting or wet felting is just painting with wool. You can also draw with wool when you pull and twist thin drafts of wool fibre.

I run workshops on drawing, painting and felting aspects of the mid Devon countryside.

Henry Moore

Fabulous Felting group

Sue, Joanne and Tasch have explored lots of techniques of wet felting landscapes. Sue has created a beautiful landscape which she’ll embellish at home.

Beginning the landscape by Sue.

This week she wanted to express herself in colours through abstract design and the result was awesome! See below.

Sue is laying out the Merino wool fibres in abstract design.
Ready to roll.
Adding embellishments such as threads, silks and curly tops.

Adding the final dynamic diagonal in black. Well done Sue!

Sue’s comments…

Judi’s enthusiasm is infectious and under her guidance and encouragement during our three sessions I now feel capable of working independently at home. A good introduction to the art and craft of wet felting.

Meanwhile, Tasch wanted to practise adding detail through needle felting and by laying down fibres with free movement.

Tasch used her time to sample various ways of using vivid and dynamic colours.

Judi’s classes are relaxed while at the same time she teaches you everything you need to know from start to finish to be able to do your own wet felting from home. I had no idea how to felt before taking the class, it’s very easy to learn and Judi gently guides you through the process which makes it thoroughly enjoyable.

Tasch

Joann works carefully adding detail to her piece inspired by her amazing photograph of tree shadows on snow. This is work in progress. At home Joanne will use needle felting to add more details as she builds up her felt painting.
We found that by looking at the project through the camera viewfinder, tonal details could be identified more clearly.

Joanne’s comments on the course…

Judi is talented and enthusiastic. She uses guidance and encouragement whilst allowing you to be creative in your own right. She has also been very generous with materials. I have thoroughly enjoyed this course.

Basic wet felting

Preparation:

Never rush felting. Give yourself lots of time. Do not have anything at all planned. Be as free as a bird for several hours.

Clear off your whole working area. Get rid of clutter, cleanup, remove non-waterproof items from table surface.

Collect all of the equipment together at the beginning so you don’t have to run around for things between each step

Make your environment pleasant. Suggestions: Adjust the temperature, put on music or a show, add scents to the air, add more lighting if necessary, get a beverage or snack,

Get your own body ready. Put up hair, take off jewelry that snags, put on supportive shoes, wear comfy clothes that are okay to get wet, or put on an apron

Equipment

Gather the following supplies:

Wool – Local stores, sheep farmers, wool festivals, order online. Merino is the softest and works very well.

Netting – Tulle from the fabric store, mosquito netting, leftover from an old dress or canapy.

Bubble wrap – Office supply store, discount store, leftovers from mail packages. Small bubbles, not the jumbo

Liquid hand soap – nothing with bits or particles in it (like oatmeal etc)

Empty squirt bottles, or spray nozzle bottles

A few old towels

Pool noodle, foam tube, or wooden rod (optional, but helpful)

Bamboo mats – part of a bamboo curtain, sushi mat, or placemat

Scissors

Duct tape

Elastic ties – Lycra, nylon or spandex strips, about 18” in length

Laying out the wool

Lay down the bubble wrap, bumpy side up. If the piece

Make the shape about 20% bigger then you want your finished piece to allow for shrinkage. (This is only an estimate)

Lay down another layer at a 90 degree angle on the top of the first.

Keep layering back and forth until the desired thickness is achieved.

Look for thin spots, with the flashlight, and pressing down with your hands. Add more fiber to the thin spots.

On the final layer, create your design. Beginners should start with just different colors of wool, for the first time.

If you wish to have straight edges, tuck them under and/or manipulate them now.

Double check your design, and be sure you are satisfied. It is still not too late, and nothing is final yet. Remove or replace anything you don’t like now.

Reiteration: Make sure you are happy with it.

Lay the tulle down directly on top of the project.

This is a stopping point. If you want to break the project up into stages, stop now but leave the tulle so the design stays undisturbed, and keep it protected from curious family members and pets.

Wetting down the wool

Add soap to very hot water. Feel it with dry hands. It should feel slippery, if not, add more soap.

Apply water to the project with a squirt bottle, spray bottle, or ladle on droplets.

Press down to disperse water.

Add more water to the dry spots. Push down, and eliminate any air pockets.

If you add too much water (it will pool around your fingers when you press) take a dry towel and sop it up a bit

If your hands stick to the tulle, rub some of the liquid soap directly on them.

Felting

Slowly start to rub all over the surface, using a light touch.

Go in all directions, and cover the whole area. Don’t forget the edges.

Every couple of minutes, pick up the tulle and disentangle any fibers of wool that are trying to latch onto it.  (Very important in the beginning… after a while it will not be so crucial)

Put it back down onto the surface and continue.

Increase pressure as time goes on.

Flip occasionally.

When it starts to feel cool, sop up the surface with a towel and reapply hot water.

Pinch the surface of the wool itself to see if fibers easily come up. If so, keep working.

When fibers stay in place at a light pinch, you can stop this step.

Fulling

Lay down a skid free pad, or wet towel

Keeping the tulle on the fabric, lay down the bamboo.

Put a rolling bar at one end, and roll up the entire thing.

Tie with stretchy ties.

Roll the whole package with long strokes, and even pressure from just the weight of your arms.

Do this until either you’ve gone a couple of full minutes, the package loosens, or you roll about 50 times.

Unroll.

Remove bamboo and tulle. Straighten out the felt. Pull slightly.

Lay down the tulle and bamboo again, but roll from the opposite end.

Repeat above steps until it is fulled.

If possible, roll from all four directions. Flip over and roll from all four directions again.

If only two directions are plausible, that’s okay. Remember—The direction you roll is the direction it shrinks!

To test for doneness, stretch your fabric and look for very little distortion in the design.

Rinsing & Finishing

Run the piece under hot tap water in the sink.

Lightly rub all over as you rinse.

Switch to cold water.

Soak in a bowl of water and a small amount of white vinegar for 15 minutes or longer.

Re-rinse in cold water.

Squeeze out water. (DO NOT WRING)

Lay in a dry towel and roll up to absorb more water

Dry flat.

For a smoother look, use a steam iron over the piece.

Continue reading “Fabulous Felting group”

Nuno Felting in merino wools and silks

Workshop was run on one to one basis to explore Nuno felting techniques.

Patience and determination to thoroughly felt are necessary to achieve good results. Expectations managed initially by creating a few samples using different material and techniques.

Embellishing the base of 2 layers of merino wool laid upon silk pongee square.
Silk strips and curly tops arranged on either side of sample.
One side is ready fo dampening and palming down.
A sander was used to push the wool fibres down through the silk base before wool fibres felted to each other.
Working on one side of this Nuno felted piece, sharp scissors used to cut onto fabric which was quite thick as silk base was felted on both sides: one with ribbon embellisments placed on top of wool and on the other side the silk ribbon was laid out first with wool on top. The silk pongee sample was sandwiched inbetween the wool fibres.
Cut reveals into 2 layers of white merino wool uncover silk ribbons beneath.
Blue Leicester wiry locks laid sparsely on wispy layer of white Merino wool. Fibres migrated through silk fibre but embellishments moved across the piece too.
Natural tones of curly wool tops arranged on top of fine layer of white merino wool laid on one side of silk Pongee.
Samples of base layers of cheap chiffon and voile laid out ready for testing.

Sunday Workshop. Nuno Felting samples of silk squares, Merino wools and silk fibres.

Laying out the eco-dyed fabric embellishments on the layers of merino wool and silk square. Neutral colours are preferred by this Felter. White plongée silk square encased in double layer of fine white merino fibres embellished with srips of fabric, Wensleydale curly wool tops, mawatas and bamboo silk slivers.
Pam has a strong background in fashion fabric design, art and textiles.
Care was taken to not dis-arrange the surface design by overlaying a tulle sheet to keep it in place whilst still open to being wetted.
In nuno felting, it’s vital to work the wool fibres through the microscopic holes in the silk mesh.
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NUNO Felting Workshop in Kennerleigh. Felting a Scarf using fine Merino wools and silks.

Sunday 24th November 11am-3pm. Kennerleigh Village Hall EX17 4RS. 6 places available.

Course Description
Paint the colours in your mind in wools and silks through the touch of your hand with Nuno Felting.One Day Workshop £55 including tuition in a small group setting, all materials, hall and heating & refreshments.
At the end of the day you not only get to take home a unique scarf but you can now make more beautiful scarves at home for gifts. Materials available to buy.

What is Nuno Felting?

The technique was developed in 1994 in Australia by Polly Stirling and Sachiko Kotaka. It differs from traditional felting because the wool rovings are gently interwoven into another fine fabric such as silk or chiffon resulting in a final felted piece which is lightweight, thin and drapeable.
It’s ideal for scarf making. Tussah, bamboo and sari silks are often used to embellish the design.
In a nutshell, Nuno is the creation of an entirely new fabric from two different fabrics. In other respects, it is similar to wet felting.

Laying out the design of wool fibres and silk embellishments onto a length of silk before the felting process begins in ernest.

Sari silks and curly tops can be added to your Merino wool base.

More inspiration to whet your appetites…

Booking a course

Email me at: feltingindevon@gmail.com
Tel 01363 866668
Mobile 07837436395

Cost includes materials & refreshments.

Please pay when booking.

To book a place Email me at feltingindevon@gmail.com

Cancellation Policy

No charge if we can reschedule your course date to a more convenient date, given reasonable notice of at least 2 days.

Full refund if you cancel up to 2 days before course commences.

To book a place Email me at feltingindevon@gmail.com