Saturday, August 11, 2012

We Meet the Coolest People

It's true.  No matter where we go or what we do, we seem to meet the nicest people.  It's a continual reminder that good friends are the real treasures in our life.

Today, we went over to our new friends Peggy and Louise's house where they introduced us to a whole new art form, felting.  We had never heard of it, have you?  Basically you take wool, and using soap, water and your hands, turn it into felt.

Now, keep in mind that I was in felting mode, not photography mode, so these pictures are for explanation only.  And truthfully, this blog is woefully incomplete, but I wanted to get it down while I remember as many details as possible.

Here goes.

You start with some netting, 
a piece of ordinary blue tarp, 
some unspun wool (Peggy says Merino is best), 
soap and water.

The tarp needs to be cut to the approximate size 
you want for your finished object.  
This was about five inches across.  
We were making small pots.

you gently pull the wool apart 
and lay it in one direction.

Now, I skipped taking pictures for about twenty steps (my bad) so I'll just try to keep you in the loop here.

You wet the felt, then wrap it around the edge of the circle.  Then you wrap the other side with wisps of wool, going in the same direction.

Next you lay and wet the wool in the opposite direction, repeating the above steps.  You do this for three layers, and if you want a design, at this point you add some other colors.

This was my first attempt, 
so I was under the impression 
I could actually work a design.  

Silly Rabbit

At this point, instead of just wetting it, 
you start adding soap.
Then you rub and rub and rub.  
What you are doing here is
 actually turning the wool strands into felt.

Here's a shot of Peggy's piece.  
It has been felted and is ready to go to the next step.

Next you cut a very small hole 
in the middle of your circle, 
making sure you cut right down to 
(but not through)
the tarp pattern.  
Then you carefully pull the tarp out 
through the hole, 
leaving you with a two sided disc 
with a hole in the middle.

Then you start working the piece into a shape.

You keep working the felt 
till you have a shape 
that brings a smile to your face.

Then you wash and wash and wash,
making sure to get all the soap out of the wool. 

And Voila!

Here's the three bowls we made today.

In the real world, 
these look much better than these photos. 
Colorful and so very tactile, 
each completely unique.

Here's Terry's. 
Dark and masculine, 
just like my Hunny Bunny.

One other thing . . .
Depending on how you layer your colors, 
your pot can be a different color on the inside.  

Peggy's was yellow.

Mine was red on the inside.

Now I know I haven't explained this very well, 
so if I've piqued your interest, 
you can look at some other 
explanations and examples 
here, or here, or here.

We had a great day!


Gaelyn said...

Those felted pots are So cool! And that seems much easier than the original felting process.

Donna said...

Yes, I have heard of felting. I've seen some craft shows about it but I've never seen it turned into an object. It's usually being sewed on or something of that nature. I have a needle felting machine but it's not exactly the same thing.

Have a great day!

photowannabe said...

Very cool Kate.
The High Hand Nursery by us in Loomis has a craft area. One of the "shops" there does felting. Some very amazing pieces can be seen.