Wednesday, 22 June 2016

More Nuno Pieces

I know, I've been slacking again, sorry. I'm sure there's a much easier way to do blog posts than to 'manually' copy and paste text from Word/Wordpad, then upload the photos, but any time I deviate from the 'usual' way of doing things, either here or on Wordpress, I end up with a mess of huge spaces between text and photo or otherwise, no spaces. Pretty much all the felt pieces I made lately have been nuno felt pieces. This first piece was made with a piece of a polyester scarf I bought not so long ago:

This next piece was made with some fabric from a dress I found in a charity shop:

I like this part the best:

This nuno piece was made with a strip of linen scarf, it was a lot like some viscose scarves I've used, but shinier:

I've used pieces from this next scarf on some nuno samples, so thought it would make a great piece. It is unusual because it's 2 thin layers with loose fibres trapped between which look like soy top:

Here's a closer look at the fabric:

This last nuno piece has lots of strips from various silk scarves I found in a salvage shop years ago. The scarves are really gaudy, but work well cut up and mixed with others:

This is the back of the silk piece, I thought I'd stick with the bright theme :)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Nuno Felting

After I made my sample/reference nuno pieces recently, I thought I'd make some larger nuno project pieces. I've got quite a few pieces cut or torn, in various sizes and made a start with a piece of a woven pink scarf I got from a charity shop. I always put far too much effort into choosing the colours to go with the fabrics, you can't tell, but the felt under the scarf actually has 3 different shades of pink, plus a few wisps of turquoisey blue:

I thought the pink scarf and this next piece would make nice coin purses, though I'll probably use just a plain piece of felt for the inside section of the coin purse. This is a piece from a spearminty peacock scarf:

It has great ripples, this is a closer view:

I've also made a couple of camouflage inspired pieces lately. I think it must be one of my favourite 'themes', I know I've made a camouflage hat and drawstring bag, a shoulder bag, a notebook cover or two, and a felt cuff and coin pouches (I still use that one in the photo, 4 years on). Maybe it's because I really enjoy doing  felt layouts, choosing all the colours of wool and embellishment pieces. This first one uses some strips from a camouflage patterned silk scarf:

Here's a close up of one half:

This next piece took a lot longer to lay out, it has patches of cotton gauze, the camo silk, cotton scrim, cheesecloth and some muslin my friend Ruth dyed and sent to me:

Close up of the centre:

I got a small kids' weaving loom not so long ago, and finally had a go recently. One of the things I tried was pencil roving waste from World of Wool. I've tried weaving and felting with it before, but had to do it 'freestyle', this was the post about it: I think it was a bit 'closer' using the loom, and I left the edges longer, but it looked pretty much the same really:

Looking at it on an angle:

And close up:

 If you've always wanted to try nuno, but feel a bit daunted and don't know where to start, I have an e-book called 'Beyond Nuno'. Nuno is more than a bit of Merino on a silk scarf and doesn't have to look a certain way to 'work', all the info is on this page here:

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Batts and Roving

The last time I did a World of Wool order, I got some Botany Lap Waste. If you've not heard of this it's basically a huge bin they have at WoW, where they put the left over tops from the ends of carding runs, and when you order some they grab 500g out of the bin and you get what you're given, but it is cheaper than Merino or blends and sometimes you get a lot of the luxury fibre like yak, alpaca etc. This time it seemed I got the ends of someone's bizarre order of various greys, including what looked like natural grey Merino blended with trilobal nylon (why?!) I don't know why they can't have a 'neutrals' choice for browns, greys etc. The rest of my bag was a kind of dyed steel grey Merino,  some green Merino which looked like it was their Gooseberry shade, and some pinky pale lilac I didn't recognise. I carded them all up into batts then put them through again with other Merino to make some blends. I put the lilac through with various shades of purple and a few blues. Then I used a diz (a brass picture hook with 3 holes) to make roving:

I made another batt with the same colours, but added some orange, pinks, yellow, red, and some brighter blues:

This is what the roving looks like unwound:

I put the gooseberry batt through the carder with some green shades and light/bright blues. I meant to make roving, but forgot, so I might put it through again. One side:

The other side:

I put half and half gooseberry and grey through the carder, and made roving:

When I was putting the batts and blends away, I discovered some other odds and ends from when I did MakeFest last year. I might blend some of these greens with half the gooseberry batt I forgot to card:

I found some gorgeous (even if I do say so myself!) texturey batts I'd forgoten I'd made too. I might have to save these for when I get a spinning wheel to make some texturey yarn!:

Saturday, 16 April 2016

More Nuno

If you liked the painted landscapes and the Start2 tutorial from my last post, you'll probably love the post Ruth did on the Felting and Fiber Studio site this week. She wrote a great tutorial for how to add detail to the landscapes to finish them off.

You might remember I had some unusual pieces of fabric in the nuno samples I also showed in that blog post. In the small piece, I had a strip from a scarf which pretty much looks like lengths of fine shiny threads held together loosely. This is what the scarf it came from looks like:

On the bigger nuno sample, I tried a piece of a loosely woven and ruffled scarf, this is what that scarf looks like:

Another unusual scarf I sampled was also loosely woven, it had different sections:

The part I used on the previous nuno piece had lots of loose fibres trapped between the layers which I didn't know until I cut it:

They looked like soy top, but fell out so didn't get felted with the sample. I don't think I showed a close up of that piece, here it is:

This is the full piece of the recent nuno sample I made:

This is a closer look at the left end. The top and third piece are both sections of the pink scarf, cut from the different ends:

This is a close up of the other pink piece:

This is the middle section. The bottom piece is a strip of Sari silk. I've had mixed results with sari silk scraps I've had before so thought I'd try it out:

It was difficult getting a photo of the right end of the sample, the colours were so bright. I had to ignore the beige crepey strip at the bottom, it didn't attach very well anyway:

I managed to squeeze a couple of other strips on at the end, another piece of sari silk. I also put a little piece of a linen scarf I've tried before at the bottom:

Monday, 28 March 2016

Landscapes and Nuno

Ruth did a post on The Felting and Fiber Studio just over a week ago about a landscape tutorial on the Start2 website. I hadn't come across that tutorial before and thought Ruth's paintings were brilliant, so having been stuck in a recliner for a week and half with flu, I was itching to do something creative so gave it a go. I had some thick but cheap sketchbook paper and also a variety of printer paper samples to try it on. This first one is the sktechbook paper:

And this is the textured printer paper sample:

They need flattening and cropping. I was disappointed they weren't as nice as Ruth's, but if I'd seen them before Ruth's I'm sure I'd have been more impressed :) I wish I had the artistic skills to add to them to improve them. I'm at least going to look for a white gel pen. I don't think I've mentioned Start2 here before. It's a creative well-being site which is great for activities which get your mind working and your creativity flowing in ways you might not have tried before. I did a post about it on the Studio site just before Christmas:

In my last post I mentioned I hadn't had time to felt my demo piece when we did landscapes at the well-being centre. As well as the general layout, I was showing ways of using some different fibres, like cotton, nylon, plastic and even mohair for effects in the sky, and how to tease apart and fluff up texturey wools or dyed nylon for adding depth and texture. I didn't really give much thought to how it would look, just showed them all and piled them on. All I can say is, the locks look nice :)  The patch of wool and nylon on the bottom right looks like some green bodied, red headed creature looking over its own shoulder!

I took some fabric strips with me the week after for some experimenting. This is the piece I made:

I thought I'd make a bigger sample trying out more of the fabrics. Before going back to the other well being centre, I wanted to get a better idea of which fabrics attach securely and will hold up to being handled a lot, which might need some stitching to secure and which will be better for more decorative pieces. This is the whole piece:

And here are some angled photos to show better how they attached and their texture (or not in some cases), left side:

Middle pieces:

Right hand side:

I still have a few more strips I want to try, hopefully I'll get a chance later this week.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Wet Felting for Well Being

I've mentioned previously that last year I got involved with a well being centre doing wet felting (I'm still very grateful for all the wonderful donations I received!). The organisers started to get another well being centre up and running in the New Year, and a couple of weeks ago we started the wet felting classes there. We're planning to alternate between each centre for 6 week courses and have them more structured and with themes like nuno or resists etc. For now we have a loose plan for 6 weeks of taster sessions, depending on whether we get the same people each week or new. The first week we made nuno flowers, and the second week we made soft, layered, decorative felt. We had an extra table the 2nd week which was good:

If you look near the top right of the photo above you can just see the bowl Jo (one of the organisers) made at the other centre a few weeks ago when we used resists. We were making these pieces as an exercise in laying the wool out thinly, building up layers, and using yarns and embellishments to create soft decorative felt. I've noticed in recent years that a lot of people learn to make one specific thing when they start felting and have fixed ideas about how it should be or what 'works', so I wanted to avoid that and encourage more experimenting and discovery about why things turn out the way they do. Here are some of the pieces being made:

The piece above is one Linda was working on, when it was finished and dry she embellished it beads, buttons and ribbons:

And this is my finished piece:

Close up of commercial loop yarn pulled apart, what I think is mohair yarn from Lyn, some different nylons and silk throwster's waste:

This is what it looks like when light comes through it:

Last week, week 3, there were loads of us, the loose 'theme' was landscape/garden. I got a photo of the table and as Leonor from Felt Buddiespointed out in her blog post recently, you can tell it's the UK from the mugs of tea :)

I can't remember the name of who was laying out this piece, she was new last week, tilt your head to the right a bit:

I know this was Linda's (tilt to the left a bit!):

And I know I shouldn't have favourites, but I just loved this one by Pearline who was also new (both Pearline and her friend whose name I've forgotten were a bit late and missed the laying out demo, so just watched others and picked it up) she'd almost finished felting it here:

We had so many people that there wasn't space for me to felt my demo layout piece and I just haven't managed to do it yet, but it should be interesting as I showed a few techniques for clouds and streaky skies with plastic, nylon, cotton and blends, so it might look like I went over the top a bit :)