Friday, August 7, 2009

Some wool, some water, and a whole lotta shakin' goin' on!

Although there's been a bit of a gap since my last blog post, I think I'm back in the blog saddle again :). Happily, one of the things that has been keeping me away is a felting project. It all started with a blank slate, or in this case, a blank rubber mat... (click any photo to enlarge)
and some inspiration - a photo out of National Geographic Magazine.The photo is of a jellyfish relative called a blue button. So I'm naming this, Jelly-belly button :). I am mostly enamored with it's tentacles, but the overall design is pretty neat, too. I also was inspired by the technique Linda Brooks Hirschman used on her "Floating Poppies" in Carol Huber Cypher's book "how we felt".

So, on my blank slate, I started adding wisps of colorful merino fiber. It's like laying out cotton candy, but not that sticky...or tasty.
This is just the first layer. The second goes in the perpindicular direction.




After laying out the basic design, I took it down to our kitchen and soaked it carefully with water, laid some bubble wrap on top, and started shakin' it, well, rubbing it with my fingers back and forth. About mid-way through, I added some yarn highlights to the design. I kept adding hot, soapy water and enlisted the help of a hand-sander with a washboard attachment to help me with the agitation. I think I was getting more shakin' than the fiber! The water, soap and agitation all help the fibers to interlock. A long time later (did I emphasize long? :)), it was felt! I rinsed and squeezed the water out and inverted Jelly-belly over a bowl to shape it while it was drying. It doesn't look so great at this point....
But then, the part I love the best - flipping it over to reveal how it looks once dry. Yea! It's so fun to see the colors come out and see how the added yarns worked.

There's more to come on this. But I'm excited so far. Stay tuned....






8 comments:

NEARBYTREE said...

Ooohh, that's clever! I like it!

Funnily enough I took a lot of photos on the beach the other day intending to use them for an idea for a dry felted piece.

lori vliegen said...

this turned out fantastic!! i can't even imagine how much time and work goes into making something like thisl! it's really beautiful! bravo!! :)

shiborigirl said...

Well done, Christie! I like that you showed us images of the different stages. I had no idea so much went into a felted piece!

Shake away, Girlfriend... :)

xoxo,

Katw

Miss Gina Designs said...

Very nice! I have just recently discovered wet felting and am loving the tactile experience! It is alot of work, but so worth the time and effort!

Miss Gina Designs said...

Yep, Kim R. passed along your blog info. :-)

aimee said...

this is so groovy looking!

florcita said...

beautiful! lovely colors! That jelly button thingy! hahaha it' s gorgeous!
Well done!

Move With Me said...

wow thats cool.. so beautiful, ive never tried felting, thanks for sharing the whole process