While writing an article for FELT magazine about how silk carrier rods can be incorporated into felt making, I was inspired to try a few more things. In my previous post I showed how layers, wispy bits and the full carrier rod could be used in a variety of ways.
Thin layers of carrier rod become even more versatile when combined with wool to make pre-felt. They are laid adjacent to one another on a base of wool fibre and felted to form a firm pre-felt. Once the layers of carrier rod are well and truly integrated, it is best to let it dry. The surface is slightly rigid which allows cutting of complex shapes and more control over design elements as a result. Click on photos to see more detail.
Layers of carrier rod
Made into prefelt
Cut to shape
Put on a template
The cut pre-felt shapes or pieces can then be felted into a project in the normal way. Why dry, these additions provide more texture and rigidity than using standard pre-felt. With gauze – cotton or silk – placed under the pre-felt shapes on top of a wool base, the added elements become more defined, creating a halo at the edges.
Precise cutting of prefelt
Prefelt shapes on gauze
Layout with silk and cotton gauze
While I was at it, I put tea lights in my little vessels. There are some distinct possibilities here for lampshades or tea light holders. Light / natural wool works best. Adding the carrier rod pre-felt has great potential for adding texture and creating defined areas.
Silk carrier rods defy the adage that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Turning something that is not particularly attractive in its raw state, to an appealing and interesting embellishment is rather satisfying.
The article appears in FELT issue #18 – Dec 2017 published by Artwear Publications, with 3 pages of photos and details about how to use Silk Carrier Rods. See more on Facebook Follow Felt magazine on facebook for more info about the great articles and projects for feltmakers.
FIBRES WEST 2017 is a residential program over five days and 6 nights at Muresk in Northam. Reputedly the coldest place in winter in Western Australia. Not that we noticed too much as we quickly became engrossed in learning felt folding origami type techniques with Andrea Noeske-Porada. A truly unique felting workshop experience with a dozen equally enthusiastic participants. Andrea’s technique of taking felt to another dimensional level requires some intense attention to detail. My cutting board is yet to recover as there was a lot of very precise cutting. As a result, my pieces below may not seem much for 5 days effort, but it is a technique that requires some thought and patience.
In order to understand the basic technique, we had some paper folding practice before embarking on complex projects. Making a Kaleidocycle is a fascinating exercise. Being a three-dimensional ring, it can continually turn inside out to reveal the different coloured facets. Making it is felt is therefore more challenging. One has to first convert wool fibre into a fabric, so it can be cut, reassembled and shrunk.
Most of all, it was a wonderful week of creativity with presentations by all the Fibres West tutors, as well as a trade hall, evening activities, installation artist and displays. Despite the wonderful distractions (including all meals), the results from my fellow participants speak for themselves. Click on images below to see larger images and the amazing variety of items.
Armatures with Katrina Virgona (Or what the heck do I do with an armature?!)
Using armatures in textiles is one of those techniques that is a little out of the norm for many textile artists. But this kind of workshop is right up my alley considering my love of 3D work and using alternative materials. Continue reading “Armatures for 3D textiles”
I have studiously avoided proper beading for a very long time. I have occasionally attached beads to various pieces, with some trepidation. My beading is elementary at best, so I welcomed the opportunity to attend a ‘Basic Beading’ workshop presented
by Feltwest. Continue reading “Beading Basics with Christine Wheeler”