Here is my new method to make better FELT

I am rusher, doing everything at high speed.  Is this a problem?  I walk, read and talk fast and I can wet felt fast. It is a great time saving skill !  So why have I come  to the conclusion that when making felt –  slower is better.

AS a result of this conclusion I am working on a personnel slowness re-education program.

I started on my journey at a workshop with Jeanette Appleton. She makes beautiful felt pieces very slowly and thoughtfully and I greatly admire her  work.
But it is not easy for us naturally born rushers to slow down.  Here an example of my slowing down reeducation process in action.

Flirty
I love the vibrant orange silk embedded in this piece of flirty felt : the shadowy hidden depths below and the sea green spirals are like thought patterns.

But and its a big but this felt screamed out at me that it was incomplete and I did not know what to do with it.

So I hid this felt away.

NOT thinking and NOT doing is very hard for a rusher.

But I now know  the only solution is to put the unfinished piece away. Leave a pause of a few weeks and return to look at your felt with new eyes and your refreshed thoughts .   Do this as many times as it takes and the results will be wonderful.
After a few thinking cycles it came to me that this felt piece was just  lonely.  She – not an it a she – needed to be a part of a family, she needed more warmth and a friend to cuddle up to.
I decided to use all the same glorious colours and stitches and make the flirty orange felt piece a more serious but related sister felt piece.

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Here is the sister piece being made using lots of prepared pre- felt

The two being stitched together

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Well it was a transformation I was proud of. The two felt pieces fitted together and complimented each other perfectly.

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I see the thought patterns repeated and echoed through the circles and stitching.  The colours blend. There are subtle undertones and zingy colours, it is silky and smooth and warm and woolly all at the same time and I LOVE it.

So my advice to all you felters out there is slow down , let your felt pieces mature out of sight and great things will happen. If I can do it I am sure you can .

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How to construct a unique wet felting studio

Choose a location

Where to build my wet felting studio? The location of my studio choose me!  When the builders built my house, which was on a corner, they built the garage at an angle to the house. They built a small utility room to connect the house to the garage. This left a corner which 50 years later was the ideal corner to build my wet felting studio. Well actually it was the only corner !  If ou would like more information on why I choose to build here read  A little corner

Design the layout

So what would you need in a wet felting studio ? Which also will be used for natural dyeing !  I would need a

  • sink
  • a water resistant floor
  • Good lighting
  • Felting tables
  • A sewing table
  • Lots of storage

This was the felt studio vision !!!

 

Building

Great builders are hard to come by anywhere. Everyone normally has a problem with their builders.  Not us , our local builder has done a fantastic job.  they started three months ago and here are a few shots of progress of the build.

 

The foundations

Building the walls

The finished studio.

Finish the inside 

I am still completing the inside, but I wanted to show you how it was going.

My walls are plastered and painted but the floor tiles are still to lay.


A small but deep sink- still to be installed.

Doesn’t it look great !   I am very excited about soon being able to open the door to a working wet felting studio.

 

 

Never to old to learn!

With no space to felt or dye I need some alternative creative outlets.   I need to learn something new.

Stitching is a good calming task , one that has been recommended to me .  I am slowly stitching a piece in orange and greys that’s coming on well , very slowly though.


I have quite a number of Eco dyed pieces , which I have looked at and wondered what next. That’s actually a bit strange for me, because normal I am good at making decisions, in fact I sometimes get caught out by my snap decisions. But I think here I will wait my time until something tells me where to cut or stitch these beauties.


I am also knitting, but then I am always knitting . Only one thing on the go at the moment , this beautiful sweater , but in my case in purple.  Not the easiest knitting in the world as every row is different.  The wool and the pattern are by Di Gilpin.  Check out her website for for more of her lovely yarn and patterns.


So far so good , but I do all these things all the time.  What  I guessed I would need  a new activity at the moment, so months ago in anticipation of this difficult , no felting studio, position I signed up for  creative strength training !!!   No  weights or burpies are involved.

Above picture shows how to execute a burpie for those of you who have never tried, for me after one attempt I decided never again.

No creative strength training , is  activities to nurture your creativity.  The course is run by  Jane Dunnewold and has been recommended to me by a number of fellow felters. I hope that is just the right timing  for me and that I am not to old to learn !

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A little corner 

I am a felt artist and have nowhere to felt.   How has this happened ?

In 2008 I moved to live in the Netherlands and shortly afterwards got introduced to the wonderful world of felting.  Thanks to Els for that first introduction.  As I became more and more addicted to felting , we converted an upstairs room in our Dutch house to a small felting and fitness room as my Christmas present in 2010. It was small and perfect .


Here is my certificate of ownership.

Thinking about moving back to the UK the question uppermost in my mind was not where to live , but where to felt.  Quite crazy really. So when having decided to move back into our old family house, I needed to work out where to have a felting room.

Upstairs , maybe enough space, but there are wooden floors so my kind of felting with lots of water would cause floor to rot very quickly, not to mention the dangers of water leaking through the ceilings.  A no go.
Shed in the garden.  The obvious solution. You can get some really nice sheds .  Here’s an airy example.


But I could not imagine tramping across the garden to a shed, and anyway what about water and electricity I needed.?  No a shed was not for me.

The kitchen table. Simple and cheap !  I know many wonderful felters have started on the kitchen table , but for me I am far too messy a felter and I also really like to cook.   These two parts of my life cannot operate in the same room!.

We were faced with a dilemma!!

But the was a little corner , or hoek, to use a lovely Dutch word, that perhaps could be incorporated into the house .

So here we are , many months later , and the corner is in the process of becoming a felting studio.


And the consequence of this work is dust and there is still no place to felt and worse no time for even thinking about felting at all !