I just received great news. I am a semi-finalist in the Designer Style Challenge, a competiton running in conjunction with the Creativefest. I entered one of my Scarflettes, “Azalea,” in the fiber arts category. Now my work will be displayed and promoted during the event and I have a chance of winning my category! Yeah me!
I’m experimenting with a new technique today. Back in my polymer clay days, I remember trying my hand at making milliflorie canes. Well, why not apply the technique to wool and create a felt cane?
After wetting it down, I used a bamboo mat to roll, and roll, and roll, and roll, and roll… I needed a really well felted cane so that it would slice nicely. The bamboo mat really helped with this project. I think that plain bubble wrap would take forever!
I’m pleased with the slices, although, if truth be told, they could be felted even a little bit more. Next time I think I’ll make my bands of roving a bit thicker so there is a little more definition between colours. I also ended up with a really long cane so I can definitely be a little more conservative with the length when I lay the next one out.
Now I just have to decide how the slices will be used. Stung into a necklace? A bracelet? I might glueing two onto earring backs. I’ll post some pictures of where they end up when they get there.
I taught a great Felted Necklace class at BeadFX last Friday night. Shameen, Nancy, Jean and Stephanie joined me for some felting fun and created some lovely choker-style necklaces. It was the first time I taught this class and found that 3-hours was a bit tight. I was able to demonstrate a little beading for embellishment, but the ladies left with their pieces unfinished to embellish later. I took a few pictures of the necklaces in progress – they’re a little fuzzy as I only had my camera phone with me.
I look forward to teaching more at BeadFX. I’ll have to try out a few more felted jewellery projects and put another proposal together.
The kids have been in full day camp all week and I’ve been feeling creative and inspired. I’ve been meaning for ages to try my hand at some felted garments. It scares me a little as it is such a big time and supplies commitment. I decided to try out something relatively easy for my first go – a flat vest – that way I could use pre-felt laid in one piece and concentrate on design and shape more than laying out fibres.
I used some printed silk chiffon from a thrift shop scarf to create the main motif and then fleshed it out with some pink and purple merino and glossy purple bamboo fibre.
The rolling and up and down off the floor nearly killed me so I’ll have to work out an elevated work surface if I’m going to do more of this – and I suspect I will as I was quite pleased with the finished product. It isn’t quite as drapey as I would like, but I think that’s because of the pre-felt I used. I also cut the arm holes a little close together, but I took note of the measurements I used and will rectify that next time. It’s still very wearable I think. I love the way the silk melded together with the wool appearing as though the design is in the wool itself.
All in all I was quite pleased with this vest and will definately move forward into the world of felted garments. I am looking forward to doing a couple of workshops with Thomas Horst in a couple of weeks time. He is an amazing felt designer who specializes in bags and garments. I can’t wait to learn his technique. I’m especially keen to learn his technique of felting with a hand sander – eliminating the need to roll. My poor back can’t wait!
I took a trip to BeadFX last week and brought along some of my felted jewellery to show off while I was there. One thing led to another and they decided they would like to have my offer a workshop – Create a Felted Necklace. I’m super-excited to expand my teaching venues to include BeadFX andcan’t wait to meet some new felt-inspired students on the 27th of July!
Almost summer and so, so busy!
I spent the last month putting the final touches on all the items I had on offer for my first Art In the Park sale at Neilson Park Creative Centre. Despite the blistering heat, the sale was a great success and many of my items found loving new homes! I especially enjoyed speaking with people about felt… its history, its versatility, its potential. There is so much interest and fascination with this not-so-new, but novel medium. I’m anticipating full houses in my up-coming workshops. I haven’t listed dates yet, as the promotional materials haven’t been distributed, but as soon as the dates are confirmed in print, I will post them here as well.
And please don’t be shy to enquire about private or small-group tuition. There are a few small group sessions forming and depending on your personal skill level and interest, there may be one for you. I’ve done a couple of private sessions since last I blogged. One of particular note was a wonderful session with Eva Katz, a very talented visual artist looking to expand her material base. We spent a delightful day takng about art and our creative visions. Eva’s first felted tapestry is exquisite! I can’t wait to see where she takes her new-found love of felt and fibre art!
And the big news is… I will be teaching at Creativefest this fall at the Metro Convention Centre! I am very excited to announce that my felted vessel workshop will be on offer during the event. I’m really looking forward to working with creative individuals from all over Canada and helping them create some felted magic.
I will also have Fall and Winter offerings at Neilson Park and the dates will be announced soon.
My felted vessel kits are also now officially available. I have several made up and ready to go but I can also put together kits with custom colour requests. All kits are $25.00. They will be posted on Etsy any day now – I’m just figuring out the best way to photograph the colour options.
I’ve added two new vessels to my Etsy shop. I need to start stockpiling a few more for my Art in The Park sale coming up at the beginning of June. I’m also in the process of making up do-it-yourself kits for these small vessels. I have the instructions written up and my packaging ready to go. I just need to get my close-up photos done and inserted into the instructions. the kits will come in a variety of colour combos and will be around the $20-25.00 mark depending on the materials included. The key will be clear instructions so I’ll need to pick on a couple of guinea pigs to try them out and give me some feedback – any volunteers?
Here we are… my sample tapestry. I dip-dyed some pre-felt to create a red-rock effect and went from there. The picture is the before-felting layout. Some of the silk fibres migrated slightly so I learned that I need to do a little more gentle-hand felting before I roll. I’ll have to post the finished piece, just haven’t had a chance to photograph it yet!
I just returned from a brief trip to Arizona. Stan had a conference in Phoenix and the grandparents and aunts offered to tag team care for the kids, so I decided to tag along. After the conference, we took a couple of days and drove north to Sedona. I was there about 12 years back and it is still a magically beautiful place! The red rocks and fresh air are awesome. I took lots of photographs and can’t wait to use them for inspiration in my felting. I’m teaching a class on “painting with wool” at the end of the month and have to create some sample tapestries. At least one of them will be red rock inspired.
In the meantime, Happy Easter and Happy Passover!
A few weeks have passed and I’ve busily felting. I’ve been working on my nuno-felting and I think I have my skills and technique where I want them to be. I’ve made several scarves and they will be on sale at Art In the Park at the Neilson Park Creative Centre on June 10th. I also plan on putting a couple on my Etsy shop, if I ever find myself a model that is! I’ve discovered the joy of nuno-felting with lightweight pongee silk – I just love the texture it creates once felted and the sheen is amazing. The scarf above is purple and pink merino with some multi-coloured silk top on one side. The other is some hand-dyed purple pongee as shown below.
I also played with some turquoise pongee with white merino and blue silk tops. The finished textiles are so light and airy and soft – perfect for something to put over your shoulders on a chilly summer evening.
I also have a new set of workshops to announce. I’ve partnered with a wonderful Artist’s Co-operative, Karma Creative and will be teaching a series of three felting workshops in late April, early May. They have a new studio located in Downsview which is buzzing with creative energy! The three workshops can be taken as a course or individually, but we designed the order so that each course builds on skills and concepts from the one prior. I’m really looking forward to these classes and the inspiration that teaching always brings me.
It’s also the first time I used bamboo top and the lustre is amazing.