Sunday, 30 March 2014

Foil , masking tape and felt

Take an aspect of felt making and explore it with opened experiments. Easy to say difficult to choose what to do. Incorpoartion of fabric , knitting , beads, crochet, dying, laminating and connections by threads.....Just a few of the things I would like to test . Another time. I choose to explore pleats , or really the techniques of incorporation of texture into felt via pleats. Sounds a bit boring really when I write it down , but only time will tell.

So I tried eight different techniques to pleat my fabric. I used stitching , foil, cling film, masking tape and gaffer tape. Good to use all these alternatives as you never know what it going to happen , which after all us the whole idea.

I was a bit constrained as the city and guilds ( bless them ) insists that the experiment all happens together , on one piece of felt , which means all treated the same , not really ideal for these diverse processes and materials.

My starting point .

The final piece with its eight different experiments. It is all white , so that it can be true texture comparison not confused by colour.

Overall I am quite pleased and these are my favorites .


Masking tape used to prevent lamination as a way of making pleats.

Foil used to go hold the texture and also prevent laminating.

Unfortunately the gaffer tape although successful will not be taken further for now.


Sunday, 9 March 2014


When asked how to fasten two pieces of felt together I go back to my sewing roots , and think straight seams and French seams. With more thought I realised that with felt the possibilities are enormous. You can of course sew felt in a traditional way and get a traditional effect. But if you sew it at the prefelt stage , well you can either create an stand out seam or you can make the seam almost completley invisible.

Here is an example, a very small sample.

It almost looks like piping.

Then of course you might want an invisible seam , and these example would be almost invisible if I had chosen a more sympathetic thread colour.

My favorites seams are using a fabric or yarn to make the seam , I think this could look really cool , with slightly more exciting colours , and adds a flexibility that could be very wearable in a felted garment.

All I need now is to work out how to make a jacket so I can use my seaming skills.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

City and guilds

The City and Guilds course I am doing , is called Level 3 Certificate in Design and Craft 7716-23 Feltmaking. Design for craft , I quote " provides the means to develop a design reference for craft , through a series of outcomes demonstrated by a body of practical work. For me it is sometimes difficult to document this process and present this body of work ! I have a tendency to just do the design work in my head, or maybe I am kidding myself. This attitude is not acceptable understandably to the C&G . I need a little more discipline. One of the good things is that although the design process can take many directions , in the course , you get asked to try things. Which is good because I have found something's I really like doing , that I have never tried before.

Do to a lack of design documentation I have been rethinking and redoing my documentation for a piece of bark I picked up last summer. The bark is quite big , well about 25 cm long , so first I zoomed in to a small area.

I then attempted to draw the keg elements of this with wax , ink and bleach. I found this collection of media rather difficult. Not least because you cannot see what you have drawn with the wax until you add the ink and then it's too late to go back. Consquently I am not too pleased with my final result.

After this I had to develop the same concept into colours. This required my active imagination and a play with Photoshop as the colours in the bark are pretty muted. I drew with pastels which I do like using.

I had to use some own printed materials for my felted piece and I decided to try for a texture and a smooth effect trying to mirror my drawing above. After adding my texture effects and slashing the printed scrim I started with no longer resemble a rectangle , it was more like a fish. Never mind . After a bit more slashingof my Shetland fibres here is the finished piece.

Except I think it needs some stitching , but that will have to wait for another time.