Review of Leather workshop with Hammered Leatherworks

12 Feltwest members attended this workshop, where we got to use leather tools and materials that most felters were not familiar with.

The purpose of the workshop was to cut and attach leather fittings and hardware to make the piece of very strong felt into a useable bag. Participants were required to bring a piece of felt with them, suitable to be made into a messenger bag/backpack. This involved specialised tools, supplied by Bec, who taught the participants how to use them. Below is a summary of some of the tools and skills learned in the workshop.

A strap cutter was the first tool used. The width on this can be set to enable cutting of different width pieces as required. Alternatively, a rotary cutter can be used along a straight edge.

A quilting square is used to measure straight lines and angles.

A diamond pointed stitching chisel is used to make holes in the strap preparatory to stitching, as the leather is too thick to pierce while stitching.

Fittings (ie rivets, eyelets, buckles etc) provided were of solid brass.

Buckles require an inch length of strap to go through the buckle and allow for a bit of movement. The tongue on the buckle needs a slot to allow it to move and work effectively. A special ‘oblong’ punch is used to make the hole. If the strap for the buckle is to be adjustable, 10 holes would be good, approximately an inch apart, starting 2 inches from the end.

 

Saddle stitching is a very secure type of hand stitching that works well on leather. Waxed linen thread is the best choice, as it is waterproof, and won’t be eaten away by the tannins in the leather. Saddle stitch starts like running stitch, but when you reach the end of the stitching line, you work back the other way to fill in the blanks.

Bec is very competent with using tools and understanding how leather works. She is a clear communicator and a patient instructor, thankyou Bec for leading us through the use of unfamiliar tools and equipment to make a wonderful felt and leather bag. The workshop went overtime, and some of the bags are not yet completed. Feltwest has purchased a set of leather tools and the bags can be completed at a Feltwest Tuesday or Saturday meeting. 

Report from Woolarama

Feltwest participated the Wagin Woolarama this year for the first time in many years. Woolarama is one of the biggest agricultural shows in WA, attracting people from throughout the south west and Perth and took place over two days on 9th and 10th March.

Feltwest had a 3x3m display where we were able to:

  • Demonstrate feltmaking and carding
  • Display a broad range of felted items Sell member’s work

We also had felt clothing and accessories modelled on the catwalk.

 

 

It was surprising that there were no other wool craft displays at Woolarama, and Feltwest’s presence was warmly welcomed by the organisers and attendees.

What worked? – Thankyou to Kerry for the following comments:

 Demonstrations were fantastic

Sue demonstrated wet felting all weekend & Lenore’s demonstration started with raw fleece to carding with the drum, hand carders and heckle, all weekend. Chris Pietraszek came all the way from Toodyay, midday Saturday with her double heckle to mix and Diz home grown & coloured Alpaca. Crowds were formed each time demonstrations started or passersby were ‘lured’ then enthralled by the transformation from fibre to fabric!

Who was interested?

Farmers, adults of all ages and school age children

 The Cat-Walk

Chris, Nancy, Lenore and Sue did a fantastic job selecting, from our members items, a collection which synchronised with Christiane’s clothes and just looked AMAZING on the Cat Walk. They were worn by professional models to loud music, dazzling lights and promotional narration at the beginning and ALL this supplied by Woolarama at no cost to us!

Two women approached us on Saturday afternoon and said that for them, seeing the Feltwest items on the catwalk had been the highlight of the whole Woolarama show! We are hoping to get some professional images from the catwalk for our website

.

 

What sold?

We had a range of items for sale, but what sold most, were light-weight scarves.  We had some beautiful felt objects but they weren’t what people were looking at.  We took over $1200 across the two days.

Resources and cost?

The Feltwest stall and catwalk was organised by a team of 4: Kerry Bertucci, Sue Eslick, Chris Gray and Nancy Ballesteros.  Chris and Nancy had their own separate stall but were on hand to help Feltwest, especially with the setup and packup.  Kerry and Sue were joined by Lenore Fairfield who helped all weekend on the Feltwest stall and with demonstrations.  Everyone paid for all of their own costs with the exception that Feltwest paid for the 3 nights accommodation of the main organiser.

We took our own tables, chairs, screens and display materials so that we didn’t have to pay extra to hire them. Thanks to Kerry for bringing them all down in her ute!

Approximately 15 Feltwest members contributed some wonderful feltwork for the display and catwalk.

Costs paid by Feltwest:

Accommodation – $250,  Feltwest stall – $435.

SUGGESTIONS for next time?

Having participated in this year’s event, those attending have come up with many suggestions for the future, should the next Committee decide to go to Woolarama. These include:

  • Book a double stall, one for sales and one for demonstrations. Allay s
  • ome of the costs by seeking sponsorship for the demonstration stall and a contribution from those wishing to sell felt, for the other stall.
  • Start organizing earlier in the year, – maybe have our own parade-fun night dress rehearsal before it goes to Woolorama.
  • Organise for a media person to promote Feltwest and liaise with other groups.
  • Having a card reader in order to take payment by credit card proved to be invaluable.

Thankyou to everyone who contributed, and especially to Kerry who did the lion’s share of the work –  and so competently and cheerfully.  It was a great team effort, we were all exhausted by the time we got home, but had an enjoyable, productive, and we believe, worthwhile time.

Feltwest March 2018 Meeting

Mini workshop

“Fantasy flowers by Sara Quail was the theme for our mini – workshop at the March meeting. With around 40 members in attendance, she demonstrated how to create a variety of flower shapes using a small round resist and directional fulling techniques.  Sara showed us ways to layout the wool and how to add colour to the inside, the surface of the flower and the calyx. Once felted to a firm prefelt, the resist is removed and basic shaping is achieved by fulling in the direction that shrinkage is required. Limited only by one’s imagination, the petals can then be further manipulated to change their shape, direction and position.

After creating enthusiastically for barely an hour, members had produced an enormous variety of flowers. Sara then showed us how to attach these to a twig as well as other creative variations using the same basic technique. After a lunch-break and meeting notices, the hall continued to bloom well into the afternoon! “

Toss and Tell

Sara showed a number of pieces that she had made at Katia ‘s workshop. One of these had the fibres laid in such a way that the felt sample could stretch.

 

 

 

 

Another was the trademark scallop shells that Katia showed at the Artist talk.

 

 

 

 

 

A third piece also shows ‘corded’ work, that demonstrated remarkable texture. (Cucumber method)

 

 

 

 

Judith showed a wrap that she had made at Katia’s workshop .Unlike Sara’s pieces, it had fabric visible on the ends, which gave a very different effect, in spite of using some very similar techniques.

 

Liz showed a number of glasses cases that she had started at the “Beginners’ Extension” workshop run by Kerry Bertucci with Jean McKenzie assisting at Tuesday afternoon felting. It was interesting to see the different results in these items depending on how much wool was laid down, and the direction in which it was laid. This made it a really good idea for the workshop.  Liz did another one where she added cotton lawn to the wool for a really different look.

 

Carol showed us a pair of ‘croc socks’ or slippers that she had made after being inspired by attending workshops at Feltwest. She had also made some cacti and some monsters, and has been making monsters with her class of primary school students. Perhaps these children are our future members at Feltwest?

 

 

Susan modeled a scarf she made at home, after being inspired by a Feltwest workshop. These workshops seem to be inspiring lots of our members.

 

 

 

 

Stacey has been really busy doing some online workshops, and has produced two very light and fluid waistcoats that used silk and bamboo fibre as well as wool.

 

 

She also made two large poncho style wraps in monochromatic colour schemes that look really effective.

Stacey has also produced a collar style scarf that will have a button or similar as a closure when it is completed.

 

 

 

Katrina informed us about her upcoming exhibition and workshop at Ellenbrook. Please see Billboard for more information soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Sue showed us her felted cord necklace and explained that she used chain inside to help weight it down. Sometimes these necklaces are too light, and don’t sit well against the body. Sue cautioned that you can’t put the chain inside at the beginning of the felting process, it needs to be done towards the end to work successfully.

 

 

 

Notes

We all had a thoroughly enjoyable day, make sure you join us next time, 21 April 2018 Saturday.  We will be learning about the how’s and why’s of laying wool differently, in this mini workshop by Nancy Ballesteros.

Feltwest have also asked Nancy to also provide a popup shop with wool and silk to purchase.

Happy Felting

kind regards

Liz

Workshop Review Katia Mokeyeva, March 2,3,4th 2018

Feltwest members have been admiring Katia Mokeyeva’s work for some time, and some have participated in her on-line courses, so Katia’s visit to Perth was keenly anticipated, and we were not disappointed!

Katia gave a talk about her work at Craft House on the Thursday evening, and brought along some of her stunning garments from the 2017 exhibition, Sea State at the DHG Gallery in Prato, Italy where she worked in collaboration with Fiona Duthie.  Images from Katia and Fiona’s earlier 2015 Sea State exhibition in Newcastle, Australia were also shown.

Katia talked about the inspiration from nature and the ocean that influence her work and creative process.  This presentation was very much enjoyed by the 25+ people in attendance, and served as a wonderful introduction to the workshop that was to follow over the next 3 days.

Twelve lucky Feltwest members participated in the three day workshop.  Katia explained how natural plant fibres can be incorporated into felt to give stretch to felt garments, and to create rich textural surface designs.  Three sample pieces were made in the workshop to demonstrate these qualities, and Katia generously shared her ‘cucumber’ design and method for creating her amazing felt shell pattern.    

The use of plant fibres such as Bamboo and Ramie in Katia’s felting techniques was enlightening and created new possibilities for textural surfaces. 

 

 

The workshop was given an enthusiastic top rating by the participants, who were expertly led through new ways of working and the creative use of different materials. Everyone commented on Katia’s warmth, patience and generosity.  Thank you Katia for a wonderful and inspiring workshop.

Dyeing workshop Sara Quail

Dyeing 101 workshop with Sara Quail, Feb 2018.
Techniques and tips for dyeing silk, cotton and other cellulose fibres.

Fibre Reactive Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail -Sara’s aim was to teach participants how to pattern silk and cotton with fibre reactive dyes using a low immersion technique-ie by applying dye directly and manipulating the fabric. This was done using basic equipment in a small work area.

Dyeing 101 with Sara Quail

Sara outlined the safety requirements for using the materials utilised in the workshop, as well as some mess avoidance techniques for persons and the work area. She taught participants how to mix the soda ash in which the fabric is initially soaked, and how to mix the dye in the correct proportions to achieve a range of colours. She stressed the importance of rinsing equipment to avoid contaminating the colours being mixed, and the necessity of labelling the dyes that are produced. She taught participants how to batch, cure and rinse dyed pieces to achieve the best possible dyeing results.

Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail    Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail    Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailDyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailDyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail

As well as these basic & necessary processes, Sara taught a variety of techniques that produce different effects on the finished piece. These included working flat, tray pleating, crystalline, folding, doughnut, twisting, coiling, and how to dye skeins of thread or fibre.

She had a myriad of samples including how the dye takes on different fabrics and fibres. Other uses for Fibre Reactive dyes and how they can be used to dye protein fibres like wool were discussed.

Sara also provided comprehensive notes, a list of suppliers of Fibre Reactive dyes, and some websites as references for further reading.

I think I can conclude that a messy but fun day was had by all!

Alison Higgins

Fibre reactive dyeing with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail  Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton threads with Sara Quail

Participants dyed many pieces of fabric and items, so there was no time dry them all and view the results on the day.  There was quite a display at the first Feltwest meeting of the year of their achievements as well as some further exploration with the leftover dyes they took home.

Jigsaw Weave & Felt with Martien van Zuilen

Workshop – Nov 2017

Presented by Martien van Zuilen, a FeltWest member and international tutor, participants spent a very pleasurable 2 days learning her unique Jigsaw Weave & Felt technique. With its strong visual impact, the opportunities to include this woven effect in handmade felt are endless – homewares, accessories and wearables or as accent pieces for larger projects. Inspired by slumped glass techniques and the calming process of re-piecing jigsaws, her technique involves using fine merino pre-felts, which can be commercial pre-felt but which Martien often makes by hand using her hand-dyed wool. After selecting a colour palette to produce the desired effect, pre-felt is cut and re-pieced.

The first day was spent making a sample and coming to grips with the technique. Colour selection, the thickness of the pre-felts and the degree they have been pre-felted, play a key role in this technique. Martien had brought an amazing array of prefelt and many samples to get the creative juices flowing. She guided us through the planning and specific process of cutting to ensure a well-defined result. The actual method of interweaving and re-piecing the cut pre-felts had some unexpected elements, but it soon became apparent this was essential to the process. Paying attention to detail in the early stages is very important, but with immense benefit to the final result!

The 2nd day was spent working on individual larger pieces which included bags, cushion covers and table runners. Embellishments and fabric can be incorporated and minds were over-flowing with many ideas on how to create texture, optical illusions and functionality. Specific ways of dealing with resists for hats and bags were covered as well as emphasising her specific felting and fulling methods she uses for the Jigsaw technique. Her gentle approach to felt making is evident in the smooth, high quality felt pieces that were created.   

Those who attended really enjoyed trying out a new technique. The technical process gave everyone an opportunity to achieve precise results as well as refining felt to a new level. A very knowledgeable and sharing tutor who had some memorable ways of remembering her tips and tricks!

Martien van Zuilen (PhD) is a felt artist and dyeing artisan living in Perth, Australia. She exhibits her high-quality and distinctive felt art nationally and internationally and through her dyeing business Colourant Dyeworks she supplies the finest hand-dyed Merino wools, silk fibres, yarns and fabrics to felt makers and textile practitioners worldwide. Since the late 1980s she has delivered felt-making workshops at all levels of experience throughout Australia, as well as in Europe and throughout the USA. Martien is the founder of the Victorian Feltmakers and for 18 years coordinated the Australian National Yurt Project. She is the Convenor of Fibres West Inc. and the editor of FELT, Australia’s national felting magazine with international reach. Her artwork is published in numerous international publications, including Showcase 500 Art Necklaces (book), Textile Fibre Forum, Felt Matters, ViltKontakt, Fiber Art Now, Yurts Tipis and Benders (book), FELT, verFilzt Und zugeNäht, the 2015 book Pots and Pods for Feltmakers, Adventures in the Third Dimension, and the 2016 book Worldwide Colours of Felt. www.martienvanzuilen.com

Borris Lace Workshop with Leiko Uchiyama

Borris Lace Felt with Leiko Uchiyama  – Feltwest workshop – October 7 & 8 2017

On the weekend of October 7 and 8, international felt artist and tutor Leiko Uchiyama presented her Borris Lace Felt workshop to 11 enthusiastic members of Feltwest. Leiko is well known in the world of felting for her distinctive Pine Needle Felts, a technique she developed after seeing patterns of fine pine needles on pristine snow in her home town of Sapporo Japan.

For the past 5 years, Leiko has lived near the small village of Borris in Ireland and it was there that she first encountered Borris Lace*. Her workshop ingeniously combined her interpretation of Borris Lace in Felt and her Pine Needle technique. It was clear from the start that students were in for a treat.

Leiko began by explaining the history and principles of Borris Lace and how she came to interpret and translate this in felt. She was well organised and prepared, showing everyone multiple samples while explaining the various possibilities of Borris Lace Felt. She had also managed to bring a wonderful collection of her sumptuous hand-dyed fine merino wool (16 & 18 micron) and merino/silk mix fibres; no mean feat for having travelled and taught classes around Australia for 6 weeks before arriving in Perth.

 

Then the work began! Everyone made specific pre-felts to resemble lace tape and prepared stacks of pine-needle fibres, all the while designing and then laying out larger works. With well over 50% shrinkage from start to finish, rolls of bubble-wrap were involved!

The afternoon of day 1 and part of day 2 was spent on laying out the large works. Meanwhile Leiko imparted lots and lots of tips on her specific techniques and fine felting more broadly. It included handling of fibres, laying out for different effects, laying wool in narrow width areas without getting fluffy edges, making specific cords for textural effects, creating a balanced and intricate design, attention to detail, rolling and finishing, and much much more. Leiko’s dedicated, methodical and gentle approach, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge brought to the fore the value of attending a class in person and working hands-on and face-to-face with a tutor.

Leiko was a delightful and fun tutor who was very clear in her explanations and instructions, and due to her good management, all works were finished by the appointed time! At the end of the class, 11 beautiful wraps and scarves were displayed and Leiko pointed out specific areas of interest in each work as a way of recapping the entire process and the class.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Leiko for a wonderful class, and thanks to all the students who enrolled!

– Martien van Zuilen

For more info on Leiko’s work, see http://leikofelt.com

Leiko Uchiyama’s work is also featured in the Australia magazine Felt (issue #17), with an artist profile and a pine-needle felt project written by Leiko! http://www.artwearpublications.com.au

* Borris Lace is a lace made with lace tape joined by various filling stitches. The name originates from the village of Borris in Co Carlow, where Leiko Uchiyama currently resides. In 1857 Lady Harriet Kavanagh of Borris House visited Corfu and was so impressed by the specimens of old Greek Lace that she bought some pieces and brought them home along with tape laces from Venice and Milan. She felt that they could be copied in Borris by the local women, thus enabling them to add to the small family earnings and aid local employment. The well-known Borris Lace Collection (housed in Borris House) was painstakingly researched and catalogued by Australians Marie Laurie and Annette Meldrim. Their 2010 book The Borris Lace Collection : a Unique Irish Needlelace is still in print today.

Feltwest October Toss N Tell – Surface Design

Sara Quail surface design felt

October 2017 Toss ‘n’ Tell

Demonstration – Surface Textures by Sara Quail 21 October 2017

Sara presented a fantastic and comprehensive demonstration, encompassing a huge variety of ideas & techniques that she has been experimenting with. I can hardly begin to represent it here…The accompanying pictures will help to tell the story.

Looking beyond conventional nuno felting with silk fabrics, Sara showed how other types of fabrics and fibres could be used to achieve surface texture. She had samples with beaded chiffon, sequinned, printed and embroidered synthetic organza, metallic mesh, hessian and recycled knitwear. As long as there are spaces through which the wool fibres can migrate, a range of synthetic yarns and even rug wool, can also be successfully felted. Wool yarns are more easily incorporated, while wool nepps don’t adhere well unless carded with a very small amount of wool fibre.

Because of their ‘holey’ structure, she has felted pieces of Cricula cocoon, skeleton leaves, crocheted items and nylon lace. Lace pieces can be laid out in lines, curves, grids or layered to create frills. Free machine embroidery worked on felt friendly fabric scraps, between 2 layers of water soluble fabric, creates another unusual effect with the stitching remaining on the surface. Generally, these items were laid out on dry wool fibre using gentle felting techniques until items are well attached.

Raising the surface a little more, she demonstrated how medium sized beads and buttons with shanks can be in incorporated without stitching. A suitable needle is threaded with a thin piece of roving and passed through the hole. With about an inch of wool either side, this is then fluffed out and felted in with the wool base.

 

 

To create thin raised lines, nylon strings with their ends protruding can be placed between 2 wool layers, and removed once the piece is very well fulled and completely dry. Inclusions of found items like string, cords and polystyrene beads between wool layers create curvy lines and little lumps under the surface. She showed us how bigger items like shisha mirrors, glass beads, buttons and small objects can also be felted between layers of wool. Near the end of felting, the top layer can be cut to reveal about 2/3 of the encapsulated object.

Sara then showed us how to create a crisp pleated effect by using thin plastic or tin foil on damp silk gauze or paj. Once the folds are created, wool fibre is placed on the fabric side and then carefully felted. The same method was used to produce a sample with multiple felted flaps. Instead of fabric, a prefelt was laid out on thin plastic, pleated, fibre placed on top and then felted. Many of her samples involve a lot more massaging at the beginning of the felting process because rolling too early is inclined to make things shift.

Using resists of narrow plastic strips or polyester ribbons, Sara revealed how a chenille effect could be achieved. The resist material is laid on the wool fibre and then covered with a lightweight fabric (silk gauze, paj or chiffon) and then felted.  The fabric channels created are cut through to produce a chenille look. Varying widths of channels, type of fabric(s) and the amount of wool used will produce different results.

Expanding on the ‘cracked earth’ technique where resist strips are laid between equal layers of wool and then cut, she showed how this principle can be used in other ways. Simple organic designs can be dramatic if contrasting colours are used and the cut edges are manipulated upwards. With additional cutting and manipulation near the end of the felting process, ‘doughnut’ shaped resists can become creative circular designs.

 

 

And lastly, Sara covered 3 distinctly different Shibori style techniques. This involves enclosing objects in a firm prefelt with either stitch or binding. Using very strong thread, more precise results can be achieved with stitching methods but are also more time consuming.

Toss ‘n’ Tell 21 October 2017

 

Sara Quail -asymmetric cape. Sara dyed this wrap a deep vibrant blue in both fibre active dye & acid dye in 2 stages, as it is made of wool, soy and cotton fibres, which respond to different types of dye. It was her first experiment with ‘deconstructed nuno’.

 

Jean McKenzie– made a beautiful white pine needle felted scarf/wrap at Leiko’s workshop. Also 2 felted seahorses as baby toys.

 

 

 

Mother and daughter felt team – A stunning needle felted picture of Tranby House in Maylands. Also displayed a blue, green, yellow pine needle felted scarf made at Leiko’s workshop and the needle felted cat “The Box Kitty”.

 

Stacey – a pine needle felted scarf produced at Leiko’s workshop. She also showed us a Felted Collar made via an online workshop with Fiona Duthie “Felting over the Edge”. (photo not shown).

     Pat – Nuno scarf in pink tones, very flattering.

Judith – a shoulder bag with a face that she made many years ago. It provides her (and others) with a good source of amusement.

 

Toss ‘n’ Tell News 21 October 2017

Chair: Marion Finneron.

Craft House, Menora.

Reminders :

  • The planning meeting is set for 28th October, which is to plan for 2018. The committee will look at suggestions noted in the suggestions book from members, among other things.
  • Saturday 18 November will be the last meeting for the year, and will be our 21st Anniversary party. There will be a celebration lunch at Craft House with members & past members. Members were asked to contact any past members if they are able, many are not on email. Members were asked to bring a plate of food to share at the lunch party. Members were invited to bring a handmade wrapped gift for the ‘Kris Kringle’ if they wish to participate. There will also be the raffle draw from the $2 tickets that members pay each meeting. In order to win the prize, the winner must be present at the party on the day. The prize is a hamper of ‘felting goodies’.
  • Craft House is open for felting in the morning from 9.30, as usual. Lunch will be at 12.00. There will be an informal Toss’n’Tell at lunchtime.
  • Members were asked to return all outstanding library books by November 18. New books have been purchased for the library. Martien has donated a copy of the ‘Felt’ magazine that she edits to the library.
  •  She advised the members that we have a committee of 7 persons, where previously there had been 10. She called for members to approach the committee if they felt able to help with tasks. There is the possibility of forming subcommittees to help with projects etc.
  • The meeting was advised that there are still places available at Martien’s upcoming ‘Jigsaw felt’ workshop.
  • Marion introduced the committee to the members:
    • Karen Wood has taken on the President’s role of Feltwest.
    • Treasurer: Christiane Gray;
    • Secretary: Marion Finneron;
    • Workshop Co-ordinator: Sue Eslick;
    • Online management: Liz Owens;
    • Committee: Sara Quail;
    • Committee: Alison Higgins

Questions raised:

Q: (Christiane) How do non-internet members find out about workshops etc?

A: A letter was mailed out earlier this year with part of the workshop program. It isn’t possible to do this for the whole year, as the workshop program is an evolving thing.

Q: Is it possible to mail hard copy of e-news out to non emailing members?

A: Suggestion from a member that each non-email member could be ‘adopted’ by an emailing member, who would undertake to send information on.

Q: (Jill Jodrell) Could we advertise the 1st Tuesday felting meetings in correspondence also? Perhaps as a separate reminder.

Correspondence:

Advertisement: Member Liz Arnold is holding an exhibition “Reef- A Fine Line” at the Basement Gallery in Subiaco. All members & others are invited to attend.

Reports:

Martien reported that she hosted Leiko’s “Pine needle felting” workshop.                                           for details see workshop on website

Suggestion:

  • Martien advertised the Fibres West calendar for sale.
  • Martien encouraged the group to make more use of the Facebook page to promote Feltwest members work.

 

Feltwest 2017 September Toss ‘n’ Tell

September 2017 Toss ‘n’ Tell

Demonstration – Silk Paper -Nancy Ballesteros

Please see full instructions on Nancy’s website here: http://treetopscolours.com.au/more/make/silk-paper/

Materials & utensils:

Bombyx or tussah silk tops, baking paper, iron, ironing board, starch (either spray or powder & water mixed in spray bottle), water, net, textile medium or acrylic gloss medium/varnish, anti-static spray (if required).

Bombyx silk tops are made from silkworms fed exclusively on mulberry leaves. It contains no tannin and has a higher lustre.  You may need to ‘snap’ your bombyx fibre to unstiffen it. It stiffens in response to being wet in the dyeing process.

Tussah silk tops are made from ‘wild’ silkworms, that are not cultivated and eat a variety of foods. It contains tannin as a result. Either type of silk tops can be used to make silk paper, depending on the effect you require. You could also try throwsters waste or flax fibres.

Different bonding materials have different pluses and minuses. They are available as stores such as Jacksons Drawing Supplies, Oxlades etc. Various media can be watered down to as little as 10% concentration. Some give a cloudier result than others. Atelier brand gave a nice finish without ruining the lustre of the silk. Some brands available are Atelier & Jo Sonja.

  • Textile medium should not be watered down, and needs to be heat set. It gives a nicely flexible result.
  • Ceracin (obtained from silk, the natural bonding agent used by silkworms) is not viable as a bonding agent due to its enormous cost – $1000 per ml!!! (It is in high demand by the cosmetics industry.)
  • PVA works as a bonding agent, but does not cope with humidity as it is a water based product.
  • Starch is available as a pre-mixed spray (eg Fabulon) or the old-fashioned powder type that you mix with water & put into a spray bottle for ease of use. This is still available at IGA. Nancy believes that powder starch rinses out better than pre-mixed spray starch, and has a less offensive smell.

Instructions:

Pull and lay silk out as you would with laying out wool fibre for felting. Some people have problems with static at this stage. If so, you may purchase anti-static spray from the supermarket in the laundry section. Fibres must be laid in at least 2 or 3 directions to provide sufficient strength in the paper.

If using acrylic gloss medium, the silk needs to be wet down with soapy water before applying the medium, otherwise the medium will not penetrate the fibres. It is advisable to lay the fibres down on net to prevent bonding at this stage. Media that don’t need to be heat set can be dried on something like a fly screen, so that it doesn’t bond to the fabric net. Media that need to be heat set can be ironed between 2 sheets of baking paper. Don’t use steam, as you are aiming to dry it out. If the silk paper doesn’t peel easily off the baking paper, you need to iron it more to remove the moisture.

If the layers are not bonding apply more starch and continue ironing. Alternatively, you could try starching between the layers as you lay the fibres down. Re-do if necessary.

If you choose you could lay the fibres down in a random rather than directional pattern for a different effect.

Once you have made silk paper you can cut a very precise shape from it and apply it to your felt. Silk paper for felting needs to be semi see-through, so that it can be grabbed by the wool. If it is too thick the wool fibres won’t grab it. If it is too fine, it will be swallowed up by the wool and disappear into the felt rather than sitting on top. Silk paper can be quilted or embroidered on the surface.

Nancy gave an interesting demonstration that engaged the audience, and prompted many questions. She did stress that there is quite an element of trial and error involved in this process, depending on your purpose and what kind of result you wish to achieve.  Keep experimenting!

 

 Toss ‘n’ Tell

We had a few showings of pieces worked at the recent Leather Workshop run by Bec Fogarty of Hammered Leatherwork. All participates made credit card holder to learn how to use the tools.

 

 

Marion Finneron – Marion has made a felt bag with a magnetic catch, leather strap & base, and a leather pocket on the back.

Christiane Gray – felt and leather bag in red and green tones.  Christine stitched her bag by hand.

 

 

 

 

Alison Gomes – Felt and leather crossbody bag.

Jill Jodrell – produced a number of small items at the Leather Workshop: a card holder, sunglasses case and a belt pocket.

 

Christine also made a felt necklace as thank you gift  for the upcoming workshop.

 

Nancy’s nuno felted shawl “Wandering in Purnululu” felted onto both silk mesh and tissue silk in beautiful ‘outback’ colours. Fibonacci stripes were used in the design of the garment, and some stitching was done post felting for embellishment. The shawl was made for an exhibition called “Dare to Wear” which was stages in Williams and various other towns in Western Australia.

 

 

Teresa Rocchi – produced a piece of felted fabric at Sue Swain’s workshop. Teresa has a dressmaking background, and intends to use the fabric to make a skirt.

 

 

 

 

Katrina Virgona – produced an IPad pouch and a small purse of leather and felt made from a fulled jumper (sorry no picture).  Katrina showed a few pieces from a recent exhibition at Mundaring Arts Centre “The Habits of Horses”. This consisted of a neckpiece and other small pieces using felt and horsehair.

 

Sue Swain’s 3 gorgoeus garments.

Wearable felt wrap made for a friend. (Picture not shown) It consisted of two oval layers that overlap.

A wrap that was too long for requirements. Sue cut some fabric off the length, and used this to make a collar that lies over the top of the garment.

A long cream wrap with arm holes. The garment is in one piece, the top edge flips over to form a collar. Sue found that the upstanding seams were too heavy, so trimmed them off.

 

Jacquie- a returning past member introduced herself to the group.

 

 

Judith Shaw – showed a number of pieces that she produced after drum carding the wool. Leftover scraps of wool in different colours were mixed in an unplanned way. She also added pieces of white flax which combined beautifully with the wool for an interesting effect. One of the items made was a pencil case.

 

 

Our young 11 year old showed a beautifully detailed small needle felted owl & a felted pouch style bag. The pouch was embellished with beading and machine stitching. Well done!

 

Liz Owens’  felted hat with little spring sticking out the top. The hat was tall to start with, but folded down almost like a pleated effect, to become something like the shape of a fez.

Toss ‘n’ Tell News

Chair: Karen Woods.

Craft House, Menora.

Reminders :

  • Leiko Uchiyama’s artist talk coming up on Friday 6 October 2017, 7pm to 8.30pm. Craft House Main Hall.  Light refreshment available.  Those who can please bring a plate.
  • Bookings are now open for Martien van Zuilen’s ‘Jigsaw Weave and Felt’ workshop to be held on November 4-5.

Questions raised:

  • To the membership regarding the membership contact list. Do members wish to have it available electronically or in hard copy?  Members present decided that names and emails were sufficient. It was agreed by the membership that a member may have their details suppressed if they wish it. Some members were happy with an electronic document, others wished to be provided with a hard copy.
  • Feltwest Facebook page and website: Are members happy to have photographs of work displayed on the Facebook page? Are they happy to have names with the work or not? Are they happy to have members photographed ad displayed with their work?Nancy Ballesteros stated that currently the website is used to provide information to members regarding other activities and organisations that our members may be interested in. Concerns were raised regarding privacy, and the possibility of the public copying members ideas/work. It was decided at the meeting to leave it as it is currently.
  • If members wish to have items posted on the Facebook page they can send it to one of the Facebook administrators via a message on “Contact us”. Current administrators are Soosie, Nancy & Sue Eslick.
  • The Christmas Party will be held in November. As it is our 21st birthday year, Sue Eslick had the idea of inviting past members to this special event. Membership endorsed this suggestion. Karen has a list of past members, which would enable this to happen.

Correspondence:

  • Forest Heritage in Dwellingup, enquiring whether Feltwest wishes to make use of their facilities in future. The question was put to the members.   An investigation is required as to what facilities they have.

Suggestion:

  • Publishing a calendar for 2019.

An option of forming a sub-committee to work on this project next year was suggested. In the meantime, a suggestion was put forward to produce a small magnetised fridge calendar for 2018, highlighting dates for Feltwest events. This could be produced for about a $1 each if using a set format. Suggested size to fit a DL envelope, therefore postage cost would be limited to $1 each. Customising is more expensive. A member suggested that it might be worth investigating Vistaprint for this.  Liz Owens to investigate.

  • Requested for a group project for 2018.

Christine mentioned that a group event for 2018.   She has a contact at Wagin Woolarama. It features a fashion parade, and has the possibility to sell members work.  Member feedback was requested about this idea.

  • Be involved in next years Royal Show.

One of our members Teresa is involved with the Royal Show, and would we like to participate next year. This event also involves a fashion parade.

 

Notes by Alison Higgins, photo’s by Liz Owens.

 

 

Review of Leather Workshop

What an inspiring day looking at the possibilities of adding leather to our felt!  We met at Leather Direct in Osborne Park where there was lots of different leathers and tools available.  

Bec from Hammered Leather works showed us the properties of different types of leather and their uses, from very soft kid leather, used for clothing, to sturdy strap leather.

The range of leathers and colours was staggering, and Paul helped people to find the right piece for their project .

Bec provided all of the tools and leather we needed to  make a small card wallet,  learning the basics of cutting, stitching, and adding straps and rivets.  We learned the secrets of how to make stitches even and neat, and how to deal with the ends.

       

 

Then people brought out their felt and Bec helped everyone individually to work out how best to work with the leather to turn their design into a finished project, using leather from her scraps box, or purchased from Leather Direct.  People added a range of leather bases, corners, flaps, straps, gussets…..  Everyone had a different idea, and Bec worked flat out helping everyone with their project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t all get to finish, but everyone left with the holes punched, and the materials they needed to complete their project at Home.  Thanks Bec, for sharing your skills, time, tools and materials, and staying late to make sure we were all able to continue with our projects at home.  You have really whetted our appetite for adding leather to our felt.