Felt passion 

Felt passion is a felt collection all made by German speakers collated by Ellen Bakker of Textiellink. It is currently exhibing at Meervilt in Haarlem.  The book Felt Passion is amazing and the exhibition interestingly contains some of the artists from the book , but features different work.    Last week I tried to visit with my good friend Els , but due to a suspect terrorist alert in Rotterdam staton , which cancelled all the trains for the whole morning we never made it .  This week I made it , but sadly had to go on my own.

It was wonderful to see the variety of felt , large and small, 2D and 3D on display, such a huge amount of inspiration.  As usual with such event a picture cannot really capture the tiny special details or the real feel of the pieces but here are some of my favorites. 

  Masses of details in these tiny squares made by Antje Spychay
  Skyline by Margaret Reidl. 

  An amazing sculptural piece made by Marie Friese

  What a fun little guy , called Fritz I think , made by Ariane Mariane Sroka.

 This felted but photographic piece , is amazing and actually some of the ladies have real lace trims on their bonnets.
  An architectural bag made by Hella Grunhage- Hoffmann finishes my collection of favorites from the totally  wonderful exhibition , if you get a chance to see it you must go ! 

DIY

Most of my natural dyed felted vessels are quite small , about 5cm in diameter and only weigh about 10 grams, as such they are so light they are likely to be blown over unless fastened down in some way.  I have thought about how to make a base in keeping with the natural nature of the pieces for quite a long time , and eventually decided to give small pieces of weathered slate a try.  Small pieces of slate are readily available in the spoil heaps from old slate mines.  I like the idea that the wool , the dye and the base were all originating  in the countryside.

But how to attached the two together ?  Here is the solution.

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Not my normal felting equipment but very well used for other things as you can see by its battered case.  I needed a small training course before I could use it !

First a tried one hole but the vessel seemed too wobbly to me , so I nervously drilled a second hole close to the first.  Nervously because I thought the piece of slate would shatter.  I need not have worried it seems incredibly strong.

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I packed the holes with some felt as the edges were quite sharp and then simply stitched the vessels to their new plinths.

I am very pleased with the results.

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My two onion dyed vessels.

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And my two blackberry dyed vessels.

 

Talking about felting

A number of months ago I was asked to speak about felting at the Pickwick club (International Women’s Club Rotterdam ). This seems like a good thing to do so I agreed. As time got nearer I began to think about the logistics .   First I needed to work out how to make a presentation with just an iPad !   I needn’t have worried,  there is of course an Ap for everything  in this case Keynote which works very well.  Then there was the content of the talk , just felting ideas or some information on were felting sits historically and how it fits into the world of wool.  I decided on the later as I think part of the magic of felt is how old it is as a craft and art , and I am also keen that felting is seen as one element in the whole context of the wool industry.

I also decided if careful I could give a small demo and make a piece of felt.

Of course I practiced a bit , including checking that a could make a small piece if felt without too much water.  I packaged up some jewelry to sell and lots  of sample of different fibres and felt to show.  Ready to go.

I asked a friend to take some photos , thanks Helen , but  I am a bit of an arm waver whilst talking to a group, so it’s very difficult to get me in focus as a result .

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Arm waving in action !

 

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A bit calmer talking about Gotland Fibre.

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Investigations into a bag I have made.

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Me making a felt sample.

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Participants trying felt making.

I have had some lovely feedback on my talk , and hope I have enthused the Pickwick ladies about the magic of felt.

Slow stitching

I have a small felt piece made with masham and merino fibres and lots of other fabrics that needs the addition of some stitches.

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My usual working mode is fast , but in this case I have deliberately gone slow, to add some stitches and then put it to one side , wait a while then look again before adding another stitch.

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First some simple neutral running stitches

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Add in some bright green cross stitches

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Think for a while then add some rust coloured French Knots
Is this enough , no !   A final touch is needed of with some delicate bright green stitching.

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Enough I think . Do you agree?