Resist Felting

February 1, 2009


Today as most of the 300 million US citizens slam down guacamole dip, chips and lots of beer, I was expanding my skill set.

I have been learning how to construct a tight dense fabric made of loose feathery wool fibers. Since I have been satisfied with the quality of the fabric the next step was learning how to resist selected areas. That is right several weeks ago, I made a large spiral using the resist method by placing strips of plastic between each coil, thus preventing each curve to not felt to the next but remain independent. The technique I wanted to master next is to create a pocket like fabric, which will be tremendously useful later, when I am creating artwork using the felting process. So, I chose to make a seamless pouch that can be used as a purse.

I sketched an asymmetric heart (one side ballooned out and drooped a bit very similar to our bodies, as we age) the other side tall, tight, erect, onto paper with chalk. Once I was satisfied with the shape, the heart was cut out and placed on a sheet of bubble wrap, the type with tiny air pockets this had to be cut with an X-acto blade as my paper-cutting-scissors were not sharp enough. I laid the heart shaped bubble wrap on top of window screen fabric which was setting on top of a large sheet of bubble wrap. The first layer of wool would constitute the inside of the purse so I placed two layers on going north and south the next layer east and west, covered with another sheet of window screening. This was drenched with water and slightly soaped. The package was carefully turned over, so that bare bubble wrap was exposed. The layering process repeated. Turning back to side A, the screening was lifted, wetting the fibers keep them more controllable, the edges from side B were tucked neatly around to side A. Layering the wool at 90 degree angles was repeated including the wetting and soaping until each side had 6 layers. A tidy wet wool package hugged the sheet of bubble wrap. The tedious process of felting began. I am immensely pleased with the outcome and pics will be posted tomorrow.

The second resist project was a square but the goldenrod fibers were laid in a cross hatched pattern with each layer again at the traditional 90 degree angles. The heart shape was in a single ground of blue, but the square piece was constructed with multi colors within the same hue but different tonalities. Even though theoretically it is a monotone, the colors contain depth and eye catching appeal. The handle for the blue is yet to be attached and the square turmeric piece has yet to be crowned with a handle.

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