I didn’t have much to post in December, but I was in fact busy making Christmas presents. I took a surface design class at the Art Institute in the spring, coincidentally taught by my boyfriend’s mother, Besty Knabe Roe. So I had all these fabric samples and no idea what to do with them. So I found something to do. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t do was weave the fabrics themselves, and if it’s a felt bookmark, then I did make the fabric. I’ll post these a few at a time. Probably too time-consuming to sell commercially, but they were fun exercises. They are humble bookmarks, but I belive the family enjoyed.
This piece I started as part of a live demonstration at Paint the Town – St. Lukes Hospital’s annual benefit in late September. I demonstrated wet-felting, as most people probably haven’t seen this done, or know anything about it. The initial idea was to finish a piece at the benefit, but even with a lot of prep work, it just wasn’t feasible.
The main shape was wet-felted, which was completed at the benefit. The pink dots were blended into the back of the piece with a felting machine, or embellisher. Originally, I was going to just put pink dots on each of the sections, but I added the stitching for contrast and texture. I sort of tried to come up with a name for it, but I always thought of it as the “St. Lukes piece,” so might as well leave it at that. It’s approximately 24″ accross.
This is also backed with a commercial felt for hanging on the wall.
The colors are hand-dyed from Shetland wool. I have a thing for hot pink and (especially) purple lately, which might sound bizarre to those who have known me for years. What can I say? I have no logical answer for you. It does not stem from K-State (those who know me well should know that!). I avoided purple for years due to my anti-sport and superfluous school spirit policies.
I finished this in October, but I’ve been bad at blogging lately. I’ve been having problems getting accurate photographs of the fiber work.
The main section of Glacial features natural colored fleeces from the farm, wet-felted. The “buttons” are pit-fired earthenware with amorphous, needle-felted wool attached to each. It is backed with a commercial felt fabric (ie., not craft felt) to hang on a wall. It’s about 18-20″ across.
This is a walnut vase I turned on my Delta Midi Lathe and carved channels into with the idea to inlay a mixture of crushed glass and resin. However, I did a test of the inlay and a person who I trust for their candid opinion said that it looked like someone threw up glass, so that idea got put on hold . So it sat on a shelf for several years just waiting to be finished. So here comes the felt! This is a functional vase with a glass test tube insert.
The wool is a mix of mohair and shetland. The nubs were initially needled felted to strips of cotton, which were then affixed to the carved channels. Then additional needle felting took place, carefully working to get symmetry.
Here’s a fun little new guy. This was made by needle felting. It’s a very simple process. You take loose bits of fleece, lay it on something like a pillow or foam, and stab at it with a felting needle, which is rather large, barbed, and extremely sharp. You really just stab things into shape. How often can you say that?
Fleece courtesy of my mother, which she hand dyed, naturally. 🙂