weekly photo challenge : layers

It’s been a wonderfully busy week, and I’m delighted to say that one of my activities works perfectly with this week’s challenge. I was invited to a friend’s house in the country to do some felting. I should say that up until this time, my idea of “felting” was to buy inexpensive wool sweaters at thrift shops, wash them in hot water several times and dry them in the dryer. The sweaters would shrink and thicken as the fibers in them “felted” together. This was not what was planned for our felting day.

As a novice, I started out putting layers of wool roving in a square. The rovings are laid in layers like shingles to cover the size needed, and then laid out across the first layer. I was working on a piece of paper as a guide for size.

layers of wool rovingNext the roving layers were carefully moved on to a piece of bubble wrap. They were then sprinkled with a mixture of water and pure olive oil soap. Here some of the water has been applied.

starting to wet the roving

Here I think everything is wet and partially felted.

starting to felt

To felt the fibers,  they are encased in bubble wrap.roving layered in plastic The bubble wrap is then wrapped around a foam pool noodle and rolled with some pressure applied. Periodically you must stop and re-wrap in a different direction so that the fibers felt evenly. rolling to feltThis is what is looks like when it is partially felted. Note the lacy consistency. This is because I was trying to make a thin piece of felt – something delicate looking – so my initial layers of roving were quite thin. I rolled a bit more.more felted You continue to work the piece in the bubble wrap until it reaches the desired amount of felting. That means the wool fibers have latched on to each other and a certain amount of shrinking has taken place. I wanted this little sample to remain lacy, so when it went from a 12″ square to about an 8″ square, I quit rolling it. The next step was to rinse out the soap and lay my work of art down to dry. Here it is, first just on the counter, and then held up to the window so that you can see the fibers.

finished piece

finished piece

finished piece in window

Here’s my second attempt – a 3 dimensional container. I missed taking photos of the first steps, but here are a couple of photos of my project. I won’t try to explain what I did because I’m not sure I’d describe it correctly.beginning of bowl form starting to felt container more felted container taking shape finished bowlI spent a day with friends, learned a new technique and a bit about felting. I won’t pretend to have learned much – I was just doing as I was told. Our gracious hostess provided supplies, a wealth of knowledge and a delicious lunch. It was an excellent day!

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18 thoughts on “weekly photo challenge : layers

  1. These are amazing photos! What an interesting process!

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  2. This craft is new to me, Terri, but the end result looks familiar so I must have seen artworks that were made with felted wool. You’re so talented with arts and crafts with your quilting, your forays into print making, plus of course your terrific eye with the camera. You should have an overall exhibit — and arrange the menu. Make the feast a part of the show, too.

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  3. […] weekly photo challenge : layers | Time To Be Inspired […]

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  4. […] weekly photo challenge : layers | Time To Be Inspired […]

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  5. Felting… such an ancient technique – great to see it still alive and well in our contemporary art world. Your little container with the stripe is super…

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  6. Sunni Morris says:

    That’s very interesting. I’ve never heard of it, but love trying new things like that. I like the lacy look. Will it stay together now on a permanent basis even with washing?

    I definitely know what you mean by unwrapping something to find a gorgeous eye-popping piece, no matter if you’ve done the process a hundred times. It’s always amazing to see the finished product. I’ve always experienced the same thing when doing tie-dye years ago. It was such a long process and very exciting to take out all the rubber bands and wash it the next day.

    Sunni

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    • Thanks, Sunni. My little felted piece won’t be washed, and you would make it thicker if it was to be washed, but essentially the same process. I think all felted things must be handled carefully when they are washed though. Apparently I could continue to work on my things by reapplying soapy water and continuing to work them smaller and tighter. I think I’ll just leave them the way they are.

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  7. […] weekly photo challenge : layers | Time To Be Inspired […]

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  8. Colline says:

    Looks like an interesting project to do. I can imagine, too, the conversation contributes a lot to the enjoyment of the activity.

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  9. ranu802 says:

    It is quite a creative piece of work.I liked the stages in which you completed your work.
    Ranu

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