Mini Workshop – CRACKed EARTH
At today’s tutorial, Liz Odd instructed members on the principles of felting items to achieve a ‘cracked earth’ appearance. The technique utilises some form of strips of resist, for example masking tape, bicycle inner tubes, synthetic cords or cut-out designs in light-weight foam sheeting. The method can be used for 2D and 3D pieces. Liz’s inspiration comes from nature or from photos in magazines etc.
To make a 3-layer piece, start with 3 dry-rolled pre-felt batts of the same thickness and dimensions, each made with 2 (or an even number of) layers of wool tops. Apply a criss-cross pattern of tape to the bottom layer, making sure to leave the ends of the tape extending beyond the edge of the batt to facilitate locating the tape after felting. Then place the middle and top layers over the tape design. Liz used a dark brown base layer, a bright multi-coloured middle layer and a paler beige top layer.
Dry-roll the 3 layers together and then wet down and felt until moderately well felted. At this point use sharp scissors to cut through the middle and top layers, following the middle of each piece of tape as a guide. The degree of felting will determine whether the cut edges will be well-defined or furry.
Proceed to felt the cut edges, the cracks and the flat surfaces with your hands and soapy water until a firm texture is achieved. Having the hands inside plastic bags or food-grade disposable plastic gloves can make for smoother manipulating. Gently toss the piece to shrink and harden as desired.
Thank you, Liz for an informative demonstration and for inspiring us with your beautiful finished pieces.
News and Update
President Marion welcomed everyone, including new members, those attending the Introductory Workshop and visitor, Dianne, from South Australia.
The recent workshop conducted by May Hvistendahl from Norway on making Nuno-Felt Tops was amazing, as was her evening presentation.
Sara Quail’s Circular Scarf workshop was hugely successful, and participants were thrilled with the light, soft results of using minimal materials.
Coming workshops include Katrina Virgona’s Lariats, Brooches and Rings, being held at the Muresk Retreat on 31 May. Late registrations are still possible until 21 May by contacting Sue Harrington directly.
Eva Camacho-Sanchez will be teaching Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces from 17-19 July and there are still some places available. She will be giving an artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House. Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey and Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels are being offered in August.
Problems are being experience with the FeltWest website and members are asked to bear with the committee until an upgrade is undertaken. Please contact committee members if you need assistance.
FeltWest events coming up are our stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall but volunteers will be needed to assist. Contact Marion Finneran if you can help.
Thanks to Peta’s efforts, again this year,we are thrilled to have been offered a 6 x 6m stand at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October). Commercial rates for such a stall would normally be $5,000 and we are also provided with a large number of free entry tickets for those on the roster so it is a generous offer. This is a great opportunity to sell felted items (last year items displayed were hugely variable and priced from $10 to $400) and to promote felting to a wide audience from all walks of life. Martien and Peta have agreed to be on the sub-committee and need a few additional members. All members submitting work for sale will be required to be on the roster. More details including guidelines and forms will be available at the June TnT meeting.
And finally, Stacey and Liz Owens are putting together ideas for a fundraising project to benefit cystic fibrosis sufferers. Watch out for more details.
Toss and Tell
Marion, Karen, Jean and Virginia showed off their colourful, fine and soft circular scarves made at Sara’s recent workshop. They all commented on how the scarves are warm and comfortable to wear.
Karen also wore an interesting blue brooch made from an old piece of felt thrown in the washing machine – voila!
Peta and Stacey displayed their sleeveless dresses made at May Hvistendahl’s workshop. They are soft, reversible dresses with silk flouncy bottoms. They commented that they had learnt how to lay wool to get a shape that fits like a glove. Judy Barkla was admired for her similarly well-fitting strip-felt garment made years ago at a Polly Stirling workshop.
Alison Higgins exhibited a blue-green necklace with ceramic and felt beads and a terminal flower, finally completed several months after starting it at Katrina’s workshop. Sue Espie talked about her 4–piece necklace made using Katrina’s method, which can be worn in various combinations.
She had also made two stunning flowers and a sculptural form of angled fins made with merino pre-felts at Kristy Kun’s workshop in Ballarat – she commented on the punishing process of achieving the impressive results!
Margaret Bryan showed a pink necklace made with felt balls and surface beading. She found some beads were rock hard and difficult to thread. Other members recommended using a drill to make holes for threading.
Marion talked about her two green vessels made from a gift of someone else’s felt. She had reshaped and embroidered one into a sculptural vessel.
For the second piece she had taken Fiona Duthie’s website challenge to make a triple-layered vessel with a feature ‘window’.
Pictures by Alison Higgins
Report Sue Harrington
p.s. I have a new editor to learn, hopefully the layout will get better as we go along. kind regards Liz.