Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nuno and Bamboo

I found time last week to make a notebook cover from the bright flowery nuno piece I recently made. The finished felt piece turned out bigger than I'd expected and I did play with the idea of making a passport style shoulder bag. Maybe if I'd had a nice button or some Delrin clips I would have, but in the end I thought a book cover would look nice. This is the front:

And this is the back:

I usually leave the natural felt edges on the inside front flap, but when I worked out the best position of the felt for the cover, it ended up on the inside back :

So the 'neat' cut edge is on the inside of the front.

I've been mostly working on some ideas using natural wools and fibres recently. As much as I like nuno and brightly coloured Merino, the natural shades of wools and fibres and the different textures and properties of the wools and fibres and how they work together is a bit of an obsession for me :) I made a few pieces with different bamboo fibres this week. Some were just samples as I worked out the crinkles of ideas and played with the fibres to get the look I want. This is a sample piece I made using black bamboo blended with black merino:

This piece worked out just how I imagined and wanted it. It's 18.5 mic Merino with bamboo staple fibre for subtle shiny texture:

What have you been working on lately?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Fourth Quarter Studio Challenge

Over on The Felting and Fiber Studio Site, we have quarterly challenges. It's just something to get us thinking, sometimes take us out of our 'comfort zone'. This quarter's challenge is 'Autumn'. I know it isn't Autumn everywhere, the idea developed from 'monochrome' to sections of the colour wheel to 'Autumn' since I was thinking of burgundy, reds and oranges. For once, I didn't leave it until the last minute to start on my piece for the Studio Challenge! I was hoping to take photos of the whole process of making the batt for the top layer, but I've moved all my stuff downstairs and it's really dark so the photos didn't turn out. The oranges, rusts, yellows and reds associated with autumn are one of my favourite colour themes, so I have a nice collection of embellishments in these colours. I made a piece large enough to make a book cover out of and have plenty of felt spare to make closure flaps and straps:

I don't usually add wisps over my surface embellishments, but I wanted a look of them being more 'submerged' and part of the surface than on it. Some yellow cotton gauze:

A red and yellow piece of silk:

A dyed lock of Bluefaced Leicester:

I also nuno felted my new fabrics this week. I only managed to get a clear photo of this one so far, it's very dark again today. This is a nice patterned grey/blue and pink georgette fabric.

It didn't attach very well in some places, it's a bit 'slick', but where it did attach, it rippled nicely:

Have you made anything for the Studio Challenge? Lyn has and so has Teri Berry

Monday, 11 November 2013

Meet the Artist/Supplier

Over on The Felting and Fiber Studio site today we have a very special guest post from Sara of Sara's Texture Crafts. She has very kindly done a video for us talking about her love of textiles, fibres and wool and how this led to what her business is today. She also describes a typical week behind the scenes and what inspires her. It really is an excellent video. Come and watch it :)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Recent Things

I made some mixed white wool batts on my drum carder recently. I like to use different wool breeds together because they felt differently to each other so you get interesting results and it's different every time. I made 3 batts altogether and used Lincoln, 23 mic Merino, 18 mic Merino, Norwegian, Texel, Cheviot, Devon, Teeswater and Shetland wool tops.  I also added in some carded mixed lambswool and Falkland fleece for texture, and Border Leicester, Mohair curls, Bluefaced Leicester, Wensleydale, and Alpaca for crimp and curl. I also added some silk for extra shine.

I thought I'd use the batts as the inspiration to put together another wool and fibre pack to sell on etsy, using white/natural as the theme. I added some cotton scrim and some of the 'luxury' embellishment fibres I have: Bamboo staple fibre, Egyptian cotton top, Ingeo, Banana, Ramie, Flax and Milk protein fibre. And also some silk fibres: silk threads and throwster's waste, silk carrier rods (don't they look so ugly before they're soaked and separated?!) and one of my favourites, silk noil. I love the way it felts, but I also love the way it smells and sounds as it's separated and stretched out :)

I went to Abakhan on Wednesday for some supplies (they were out of delrin clips!) and couldn't resist getting some gorgeous georgette fabric in a few designs. This is one of them:

I also couldn't resist the braiding, so got 3 designs:

I hadn't had chance to do much over the last few weeks so I decided to make time on Friday and laid out and felted a nuno felt piece with one of the new fabrics I bought. I knew I should have added some wool around the edges of the fabric, but I laid it out upside down, with the fabric on the bottom and knew I'd mess up if I tried to flip it :)

I picked colours from the fabric to make a muti coloured patchwork back:

It textured really nicely: