I’ve been creating felt for about 18 years, applying techniques learned from Scandinavian, Finnish, Canadian and American feltmaking traditions.
I’ve recently begun exploring some techniques more fully as I consider a mixed media approach to illustrating picture books.
It’s been really fun to dedicate myself to play in these new ideas and to revisit some old favorites. Some inspiration came from samples I’d created using The Art of Manipulating Fabric, by Colette Wolff.
Those samples are hiding in a notebook somewhere, but my memory of some favorites lingered, and I set myself a challenge. I wanted aspects of the manipulations to occur within the feltmaking process rather than depending solely on stitch to create dimensional changes in a piece.
What happened when I gave myself permission to explore solely for the sake of finding out?
Felted (rather than pressed or stitched) pleats
Bubbled fabric without gathering stitches or stuffing
…and a bonus video of making “bubbled” fabric
Accentuated effects by further felting stitched areas to lift, pull or shape
A sort of shirred effect created using only the shrinkage properties of the fiber
What happened? I had a blast, that’s what. I’m still having a blast as I continue to dig into these techniques.
If you are excited about exploring some new ideas, I’ve got an exciting two-day class coming up April 8 and 9. Thrilling 3D! Dimensional Techniques in Feltmaking is a weekend course I’ve been wanting to teach for years and years. All the parts finally came together for this great adventure, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I hope you can come join me in LaConner, Washington, for another fun weekend of learning at Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts.
(Plus, pssst! We’re going to make felted geodes…)