Monday, August 30, 2010

First Annual Creative Felt Gathering

I don't have enough "OOOOOOOOH's" and "AAAAAAAAAAH's" to describe the Creative felt Gathering in Manchester Michigan. Chad Hagan, Elis Vermeulen and Jone Rakoski were amazing teachers, in a place that called out to feltmakers. Rustic, calm, spacious, beautiful, tress, water, trails. It was an in gathering of wonderful feltmakers and wonderful people. I am so glad I was there. It was perfection!

I was not able to take all of the classes, I arrived two days after the event started. I needed to get some rest after the Michigan Fiber Festival, which was 5 days of intense teaching and "vendoring". I needed to get some rest and I am only sorry that I missed so much of the time with Jone and Elis. To say that I learned a lot would be an understatement, in so many ways! I made this scarf with Jone and a piece of fused glass as well. It doesn't sound like much, but what I came away with is so much more! I simply do not have the words to express it!
(Me, nearly husband is liking this part!)
Back to the felt table for now! Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up shortly. So much to do, so little of me to get it all done!
PS: Elis, me and Rachel in photo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Amazing Students, Amazing Hats!

Today, I was totally blessed and honored to assist these amazing folks learn to needle felt, then wet felt a hat using the Hooked On Felt Needle to Wet Felt Forms.

We started with the showing of one of my favorite films: On Gentle Threads, featuring the incredible felt works of Judit Pocs. I like to show this film to inspire beyond what I will teach. I find that sometimes one can have a strong influence on what another person creates. Seeing multiple different artists work can inspire a relatively new feltmaker to look beyond the instructor, to look at endless possibilities, to listen to the inner voice of creativity, to hear their own voice and thus, create their own art form. I have no doubt that every single one of these folks who took this workshop will hear their own voice. They have an abundance of creativity and courage. Truly, amazing hats all the way around and spectacular felt, good, soft, strong felt was made by each of them. I am just so honored to have spent the day with them. Some classes can fatigue me, this one energized me.

You all ROCK!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Cotton Scrim/Cheeze Cloth Laminate Felt

Martha, Martha, Martha! She planted this seed of making a cheese cloth laminate/nuno felt in my head. I told her I wanted to do one and she challenged me to do one before Michigan Fiber Festival. Ok Martha, you win, here it is. What do you think?

It is ultra light, great drape-ability, perfect for walking one of Michigan's fine beaches in the evening. Now, to get to the beach!

Happy Felting, and Shalom,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eva Cassidy/Fields of Gold/Nuno Felt

Some time ago I was listening to some stuff on You Tube and found Eva Cassidy, quite by accident. I was shocked, amazed, tear filled, awestruck by her amazing voice. I listened to everything I could find. What a gift in her voice, her delivery, her soft strength. I went on to do some research on her, only to find that she died some time ago from melanoma. It appears that the UK is well aware of her, though USA born. They made her a household name, then her fame filtered back to us here in the states. If you have the time and inclination, do take a listen.

The nuno here is in honor of Fields Of Gold, no matter who sings it. I'd love say that I shibori dyed the silk, but for those of you who follow, you know I just twisted, knotted, tied and twisted some more to get the effect on the silk. I used hand dyed 50/50 merino silk along with some hand dyed mohair locks and hand dyed tencel. It is a very large shawl. Though I don't sew a stitch, it makes me want a dress of this fabric. It is YUMMY!

We are having phenomenal heat and humidity. I continue to pray for an early, long, soft autumn, temperatures in the 70's again. Naturally, I want it right now. The Michigan Fiber Festival starts next week Wednesday. I'll be teaching the Needle to Wet Felt Hat and Let's Just Bag It there. One is on Wednesday, the other on Thrusday. I think there is still a spot of two open in the bag glass if you are interested. I'd really like the heat to cease for the festival. It is 5 days of hard work, hugs, booth set up and tear down. Ok, maybe the heat won't stop, but will you at least join me in praying for a very nice breeze?

Don't expect much for the next week or so, gotta finish getting ready for festival, houseful of Sabbath guests and of course, delicious rest.

Shalom and happy felting!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Laminate/Nuno felts with mohair locks

A dear friend gave me some mohair locks that she could not use. I've had them here for some time and decided to try them on the nuno/laminate felt wrap/skirt. Love the effect of them, the sheen is wonderful. Also used some hand dyed tencel ( the blues) in the wrap. It is a different type of sheen, very very nice indeed.

That's all folks, for now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recurring dream

There are a couple of recurring felt dreams that I have had over the past 10 years, one was the needle felt hat forms 10 years ago. About 6 years ago I had the opportunity to spend about half an hour really looking at, studying, inhaling the sensual colors an incredible piece of stained glass at the Kalamazoo Museum.

That night the dreams began about making felt with stained glass in it, with light shining through so that they could both be enjoyed. Now, usually I am pretty quick to jump on an idea that I have, but this one needed time to "just float". It was not something that I wanted to enter into quickly, mess up, or get frustrated with. This is only a small portion of the piece I started to day. I will no doubt have to work on it more in the next few days. It is many layers thick. Since I cannot roll the piece, I am quite literally doing it all by hand; so much so that the skin is peeling off of the palms of my hands. I had to stop before I could felt it all the way down to the finished stage. I wanted to get a bit of sample done today because my hope is to incorporate these elements together into my piece for Felt United, Oct 2, 2010.

This photo was taken at night, so it is difficult to show you that the light does shine though. The fiber has been cut away on both sides of the felt so that the wonderful colors of the stained glass can shine though. Now that I've started this idea, so many more are coming. So many ideas, so little time!

I think a lamp shade with felt and stained glass could be stunning. Does that give anyone else an idea?

Not much more for today. Heat, humidity and felting have done me in for the day.
Sleep well, dream well

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fab Feltmaking Day with incredible women!

Allison, Megan, Terry, Betty, Heather, Dena, Sue, Christee, Pam, Evelyn, and Chris, shared in a day long event to make felt. These gals were nearly all first timers! I am so impressed with their results, hard work, colors choices and designs. I have so few photos to share because I was more tired then I knew and there were some seriously "shaky" photos taken. In the last photo, you'll see that Terry got dye all over her. I don't know why that color bled out, but it did. Still, she has a brilliantly colored bag. (I covet that bag. The color is yummy to me!)
I am so proud of their hard work and accomplishments. I hope they are too!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Coffee Break

I'll be having coffee with my buddy Dawn of tomorrow. I've not seen her in so long it will be a real treat. I've got some of the sari silks I want to share with her. I hope she likes them!

It's about all I have time for today.
I'll try to finish this entry tomorrow after coffee with Dawn .

Post coffee entry:
I think she liked the silks. We made a small flower together so I could show her how to ensure that it attaches. It went well, but we choose colors that didn't really go well together, so though the experiment went well, the end results could have been much prettier has we pad attention to the details of color combination. Nonetheless, I expect to see more silk fabrics showing up in Dawns works. Her hats are wonderful, if you not taken the chance to see them, do take a peek.

We took off for coffee and giggles and long talk. It was good to be with my friend, who also happens to be a felting friend!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Catching Up / Falling Behind

It has been a couple of weeks of packing, unpacking, dyeing wool, getting ready for the next show, blown head gasket on my big van, (gerrrrrrrrrrrr!), packing orders, getting ready for classes, and finding precious little time to create. I also find the heat, which has been intense this year with very high humidity, disabling.

I've only made a few things in the past two weeks. One of the things I was able to get done was this nuno/laminate scarf. Huge shrinkage was achieved on this piece. It started out 7 feet x 3.5 feet, but after it was all done, it measures a mere 54" x 24". It has merino silk, hand dyed silk roving, mohair locks in scattered clumps all on silk gauze. What great fun to watch it all come together. My goal is to get one a day completed over this week.

On many of my felts I've been adding sari silks and a huge new shipment arrived last week. These are in fat quarters and the variety of colors is stunning and inspiring. I've been buying them from Fiona Wright on Etsy.

The service and selection is outstanding. If you decided to try out the silks, you'll be hard-pressed to be disappointing. These are recycled so they do have some small, and I do mean small, flaws. For those of us who use them in the feltmaking process, it is completely un-noticeable. The colors are incredible.

This hat has was made of hand dyed merino/silk with some of the sari silk on the surface, as well as my beloved cheese cloth. When working with the sari silks, be sure to be very gentle and use cold soapy water until it has really melded into the wool.

I had the unique opportunity to be on a local TV station, Channel 8, the program "eightwest" this morning. Here is the link to watch it if you'd like.

So tired tonight, maybe I'll not make any felt tonight.
Sleep well in Peace,