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Archive for June 6th, 2009

Wool Felt: Pincushion and Nuno Scarves

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

I teach wet felting quite often, both at Rae’s (East Side of Lansing) and Threadbear (West Side). Several weeks ago I taught at Threadbear on a Friday night, and we decided to make wool balls and cut off the tops and bottoms, to make pincushions. Here I show the project I created that night.

feltpincushion.jpgIt was a very fun project. Every time I make wool balls I try different approaches. This time, I used feltable wool yarns to hold the fluffy wools together. I like the way the colors contrast with this particular piece.

I layered different colors, like color-changing jawbreaker candies. When we cut it apart (with an electric carving knife), it makes me think of geodes. (Geodes are rocks which hide crystals inside, even though they look ordinary on the outside.) A lot of folks say it reminds them of sushi, or hard candies with different colors inside.

Nuno?

Tomorrow/Sunday, I will be teaching “Nuno” felting at Rae’s. Basically, this is where you use wool fibers and a woven fabric, and you work the wool until it felts through the woven fabric.

You can do something as simple as a neck scarf with this method. However, amazing things are being done by fiberartists, particularly those who create wearable pieces. With Nuno, you can make a thinner felt piece, and it can be cut and sewn more easily than all-wool felt. It can drape beautifully with sheer areas between wool fibers, or it can be made very dense for items such as purses.

Friday night, Rae and I dyed some fine, drapey silk fabrics in all sorts of fun colors. We will use those on Sunday as the middle of a “wool sandwich” and make long scarves as our project in a short class.

The scarves are quite translucent, so where the wool is thin it will let light through. I made a very skinny version as a hair tie, and even though there is a bit of wool making it thicker, it drapes beautifully and has a transparency which enhances the soft texture of the surface.

I am looking forward to seeing what my students do. Let’s hope I have some photos for you later this week.