Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Felting Resolution

In late December I had the very good fortune to attend a workshop at atelier Fiberfusing given by Lisa Klakulak . This was not a workshop about making a wonderful finished piece but a workshop about techniques to make hollow forms. We learned with lots of maths and felting examples.

Here is the tiny piece I made with its three lids. Just waiting for a genie to rub it.

I am now brimming with ideas on ways to improve the felt I make , new things to make and ways to fix previous felt problems.

I also am left realizing the importance of recording what I have done . I knew this and Artybird certainly requires it for all course work , but I do have a tendency to to be a bit slapdash when making things for myself. Progressing my ideas will start in January, tomorrow , and my New Years Felting resolution is going to be better recording of what I am doing.



Sunday, 7 December 2014

Feedback please

I am a novice at natural dyeing. The chemistry of the reactions with the animal and plant based fibres. The use of mordants. The actual process of the dyeing , of extracting the dye out the plant material and getting it into the fibres to enable them to react. The whole process fascinates me. This is not really surprising as these kind of process have played a large part of my career as an engineer.

So I recklessly decided that my final C&G wall hanging would be naturally dyed. I decided to use madder. I didn't not grow the plant in my garden , although this is possible , I bought ready ground roots. Madder gives orange to red colours depending on the conditions of the dyeing. I determined not to try and be too clever but just dye my two pieces in my madder bath and wait and see what happens.

I am pleased with the results and one of the requirements of the course is to obtain feedback on the pieces. so I am requesting readers of this blog to please give me some feedback on the two pieces below. So I hope you can spare me a little of your time to tell me what you think .

Photographs © courtesy of Dave Mercer.

Thank you


Sunday, 30 November 2014

White , at the start but not at the finish

In September 2011 I nervously wrote my first blog , about a piece of white felt I made at the start of my Artybird courses. Very basic !! I was quite happy about the felt but I was nervous about becoming a blogger. Since then I have written another 139 blog posts and I am no longer nervous at all.

This week strangely I return to all white again for my final pieces of course work - two wall hangings.

These have been made from Blue faced Leicester , as was the first piece . But that is were the similarity ends. The first was just BFL , flat felt , these last two have many many additions. First silk fibres and alpaca yarn , followed by scrim , silk chiffon and mulberry bark . Cords made of BFL wrapped in silk fibres were added next and on one piece fibre balls. The final additions were mixed fabric pleated pieces .

Here are all the elements prepared and ready for adding to the fibres before feltIng.


The two pieces felted.

All ready for this glorious madder dye bath.

I can't wait to see how they will turn out.



Sunday, 23 November 2014

Knitting and stitching Show

It used to be an annual event for me to visit this show when it came to Harrogate. That was back in the days when I lived in Yorkshire and I was a knitter, now I live in the Netherlands and I am a felter and a knitter. So I was pleased to be able to combine a visit to the show , now looking also from a felters perspective , with a visit to the UK to help look after my new grandson.

Compared to the equivalent shows I have been to in the Netherlands in the intervening years it was HUGE and incredibly busy - and I went on Thursday. It was great to meet up with Yulia Badian and see her mermaid project. Also to talk to Dionne Swift , and to Alysn Midgelow-Marsden and see their fantastic textiles. I enjoyed seeing the felted work, from the Black Sheep exhibition that I had only see as pictures before.

A piece by Maria Friese.

Amazing fine felted bowls by Gladys Paulus

I was amused by these quirky knitted items , so retro.

And I think this knitted dress is truly fantastic.

I did manged to persuade myself that although cheap, 10 balls of orange wool was not going to help my stash busting targets and was probably not a good colour. But I did buy a few things.


Overall it was great to return .



Sunday, 16 November 2014

Nearly Finished!

Well after nearly three years and an awfull lot of fun and felt I am working on the design of my final City and Guilds project. It will be a natural dyed textured wall hanging. Well actually I am going to make two , so I can made good use of my dye pot !

The inspiration comes from this photograph .

Which has been manipulate many times via collages and photoshop.

Actually I have so many images it really hard to decided which to use but eventually I have chosen these two.


I have started sketching parts of these images to be the base for my hangings and so far I think these are my real starting points.

My fabrics are all prepared and mordanted and I am ready to go .


Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Felt Artist needs a felted handbag !

A number of months ago I set off to make myself a handbag, having felted it I decided I did not like it as it was lopsided. I threw it in a drawer. This week I got it out with the intention of making it again, or something similar anyway, as I thought as a recently self confessed Felt Artist I needed to publicly display my work. Looking at it I decided perhaps I could rescue it. All it needed was some differential shrinking and a bit of love and care, some TLC and maybe it could be revived. With this terrible photograph it makes it look worse than it was!

You can just about see the pins marking about 2 cm that needs to be shrunk away

So I set to work and manged to get the front and the back to be the same size. Stitched it as orginaly intended over the imbedded fabrics and then sewed in all the loose ends . I also made a piping following through from the handles for strength and stability.

I have a phobia about losing my important documents., having once lost my passport , so I added a hand stitched zipped inside pocket. This was not in the orginal plan, but seemed like a good addition to me now.

And here it revived and ready to tested out on my trip to the UK this week.





Sunday, 26 October 2014


My husband is a photographer, and he has published a photograph every day since 1/1/2013 on Blipfoto. You can see his photos here at Bizonderimage. Sometimes he publishes transformational photographs . I generally love these and one really spoke to me.

He took this photograph at the gashouders in Amsterdam .

And transformed it first to give this .

And then this.

When I saw it I wondered what it would this look made in felt ?

Well here it is .

Wet Felted incorporating silk , scrim , prefelts and mulberry bark . Then machine stitched using variety of threads.

I used mulberry bark for the first time which you can see better in this close up. I really like the effect it gives.

I feel that this is a wonderful collaboration , maybe we have a new future together.





Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Roman blind and a Rug

A few months ago I helped my pregnant daughter make this Roman blind for her babies room. I have made curtains many times before but never Roman blinds. The tricky part I think , as in a lot of sewing is the cutting. We did a good job between us and we're pleased with the final result.
This got me thinking over making a felted gift for my new grandchild and eventually I decided on a rug , echoing the birds on the blind. I wondered whether I was up to the task of felting a thick sturdy rug.
I draw / painted my design and then cut out prefelt birds , and leaves and used fibres and roving for the branches and flowers.
It then had to be reversed and laid out in order with the birds on the top.
I filled in the gaps with merino fibre.
With the addition of four substantial layers of fibre and a prefelt backing it was ready to felt.
I really spent a lot of time rubbing to ensure it was felted before I transferred to the garden table where I could add loads of water from the wateringcan and I rolled in a cloth directly onto the wooden slated table. It was not as much work as I had imaged.
All ready and waiting for my my new grandson , Sebastian, who was born on the 9/10 /14. He is too young to appreciate this master piece but I think it looks very good on his bedroom floor.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A splash of colour

This week I decided to give natural dying a rest and try using my pleated technique with coloured fabric and fibres. The fabric was all hand dyed. I used a small element of a filterstorm manipulation below as my inspiration.


I deliberately went for bold and bight colours , some lime green , hot pink , sunshine yellow and bright blue. My plan as to have these colored elements on a black background.

The elements are bright and bold.

I am very pleased with the finished piece.

Well maybe it's finished or maybe not as I am just contemplating whether to add some stitching!