Thursday, 30 August 2012

Felted pod - part one

Last night as I was finishing my blog post,  I had the notion of making a small felted pod, to get back into felt making again and explore 3D forms more. I just wanted to keep it a simple form so the colour and fleece qualities would stand out more.

I have lots of fleece in my stash but my favourites are the hand dyed ones I got from DT Craft & Design when I joined their Fibre adventure club a few years ago. Each month you got a dyed colourway with several types of fleece: roving, tops, silk tops, etc. Each bag was like a little treasure trove arriving each month :) I never got round to using it all so it's been sitting there waiting for the right project to come along - and for me to have enough energy to do some lovely felting again.

'Lovely lichen' -  Fibre adventure club december 2009

I must say I have sorely missed felting. I've really enjoyed my afternoon up to the elbows in fleece, soap suds and bubble wrap! I didn't realise how much satisfaction I get from playing with fibres and all that tactile yumminess!

I chose to work with 'Lovely lichen' as it had some gorgeously soft roving with contrasting delicate silk tops, and I was thinking these pod shapes would look interesting mimicking stones, or weathered dry stone walls - with lichen on them:)

The simple pod form uses a resist technique. In this case, I used a plastic circle inside and wrapped fleece around the form, alternating each flat side as I went, building up colour and tonal values. The detail and decoration went on as the last layer.

I've wrapped the layers and started fixing the top detailing in place here. The silk tops was a bit slippy and didn't want to bond with the roving much. I gave it extra rolls and more pressure with the bamboo mat and it mostly fused. I'll have to remember that next time I use it so I can open up the silk fibres more to get a better grip.

This was as far as I got today before my energy ran out. But I'm pleased with how far I managed. I haven't been able to do any felting since I got chronic fatigue so this is a huge step forward for me. I love felting but it is one of the most demanding techniques energy-wise. So today was also a test to see if I could manage - and I have a nearly finished pod -YES! :))) It has definitely taken me much longer than before but that doesn't matter - as long as I can felt again!

So what needs to be done to finish? I've got to the stage where I can now cut an opening for the pod and take out the plastic. The felted circle has now shrunk enough to be smaller than the plastic disk so it needs to come out, and the fleece - and the silk - is all well anchored in place. So next I have to felt the cut edge, smooth out the side seams, then start shaping the pod. So not much left to do, and then some photos. Felt can reflect the light and bleach out the colours, so capturing the true colours could take a while. It would look lovely on a stony beach, wouldn't it? :)

Well, I'm off  to bed now, to recharge my energy batteries for tomorrow. There is a pod waiting to be finished:)

See you all soon!
elaine x

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Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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