I will be teaching “How to wet felt a landscape with wool” class this Saturday, May 19th. The workshop is in Lancaster at the PA Guild of Craftsman building at 335 North Queen Street. There are still some spaces available. Go to http://www.pacrafts.org/workshops to register online, or call 717-431-8706. Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the questions I hear most frequently at art shows is “Do you teach?”. This is your opportunity to learn the techniques I use. Every class participant will create a felted artwork suitable for framing or for use as a cushion cover. Have some fun getting your hands wet and take the mystery out of the felting process!
On Feb 14th while at a show I received a phone call. A fellow artisan had been in my booth at the previous show in Virginia and was quite taken with my hand felted wool art tiles. She was particularly enamored of my new water lily piece. I was pleased with her reaction but didn’t think any more about it, however she did. Evidently she told her mother about the piece and coincidently, her birthday is this week. So Mom made the call and the 12″x12″ wood framed art tile has shipped to NY for a birthday gift!
The coal stove kicks out some dry heat so even this thick piece of felt was ready very quickly. I hand stitched a backing on the piece and mounted it in a wood frame. I’ve chosen not to use glass on my felted wall art so the tactile textural quality has a room softening effect. This is helpful when the collector places it in a bank, an office or other “sterile” environment.
Every aspect of this piece relates to my environment in some way. Anyone who drives past my little farm in the summer knows about my towering sunflowers. The old picket fence offers a rustic backdrop for a constantly changing display of lilies, hollyhocks, zinnias and more as the season progresses. Many of the wool colors are derived from flowers growing in my gardens or fields. The finished framed size is 36″x 24″ and is available for $1429.
This weekend I am heading to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA to do my first show in 2016. The festival is Jan 29th-31, Friday and Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5. My booth is #312 so if you are in the area come check it out along with 250 other crafters and artists.
Rubbing to felt the wool fibers
After many hours of design work, my new landscape piece is ready for wet felting by hand. I saturate the wool with lukewarm soapy water and then rub it to create friction. I use a plastic bags so the wool fibers don’t stick to my gloved hands. Wool fibers are covered with scales much like miniature pine cones. The soap helps the fibers slide together from the rubbing, the scales interlock, air pockets are removed and what is left is felted wool. I start rubbing very gently at first and then with more vigor as the fibers condense and start holding together. I thoroughly rub both sides and when I am satisfied with the structure I rinse it several times to remove all traces of soap. It will dry over night or longer near my coal stove.
Wetting the design with warm soapy water