While I was away for a short break in our campervan I made these little needle felted brooches. They took quite a while to do but it was very therapeutic!
My latest obsession is eco printing, that is using leaves and flowers natural dye to make an imprint of them onto fabric. It's a very tricky business, and hours can be spent going through the process with often very little results. There is a lot of trial and error involved and many small changes can affect the outcome. I've spent lots of time looking at other people's websites on the subject, to try and draw on their experience. Many people live in far away places where the plants are very different, so it's just a matter of seeing what you can get from the plants that are local to you. The first five images are examples of rust dying the others are eco prints onto merino felt with rose leaves, ornamental plum, elm, ostespermum. purple sage.
I'm on a bit of a hat kick at the moment. I thought I'd push the boat out and make a real fantasy hat. It fits like a glove, I just need somewhere to wear it now!
Art dolls have always fascinated me, so a few weeks ago I made this lady, her name is Mary, Mary. Her body is made of felt, her face is made from polymer clay and her hair is Gotland sheep's wool. Her clothes are from old scraps of cloth.
There is a poem that goes with her...
Mary, Mary, thin and scary
How does your garden grow
With slugs and snails, barbed wire and nails
And tangles weeds all in a row
She also had a trug full of the afore mentioned things and a bunch of dead flowers in her hand. This photo was taken before I made them and shortly after she went to a new home. I was so reluctant to let her go I'm going to make another just for myself!
It's been a very busy year so far with workshops, I've hardly had time to make anything new myself! I'm not complaining though as I love teaching and seeing what my students create. See below some of the photos from last weeks scarf making workshop at the East Sussex WI.
I took on an unusual request yesterday to felt human hair. The request came from a local art student who was working on a project with the theme, recycling the unexpected. He'd collected a weeks worth of hair clippings from a hairdressers. I asked if he'd like to come and make the felt with me and he jumped at the chance.
We blended some merino wool in several shades of brown to match the colours of the hair. We then layered the hair with the merino wool in a ratio that would still show the hair more than the wool - the result was very good. I suggested he spray the felt with a dilute PVA glue to stop the hairs from shedding. He intends to use the felt to make a seat cover for a chair, the rest of the chair will be made from large cow bones. I'll post some photos when I see the finished piece...should be interesting!
A few weeks ago we took the yurt to 'Seedy Sunday', an annual event in Brighton where people swap seeds, attend talks on all manor of gardening issues and the environment and buy lots of interesting garden type things. The yurt project attracted a great deal of attention and lots of people helped out needle felting motifs for the felted panel. I made a contact there with the 'Sussex Prairie Garden' people who would like me to run some felting workshops this year using wool from their flock of Shetland sheep...very excited!!! Watch this space.
Last week I helped a friend make this wet felted hanging for her cottage in ireland. It's the view from her window over the bay. It's 'nuno felted' onto cotton muslin. We laid down and felted the area of sky, sea, land on one day and needle felted the detail and textures on another day. It's approx 4 foot high and 2 and half foot wide. It's probably the largest piece of felt that I've helped make so far. I'll be great to see it framed!
I'm still in holiday mode after Christmas but it's given me time to play with my new purchase. I'ts not actually new, just new to me. I've only got the hang of it and today I used up loads of old wool scraps that had gone a bit stiff and made it into these beautiful soft blends. It's quite exciting adding different colours and watching the carder do it's magic, very rewarding. I'll be using these to make some beatiful felt very soon
In the Spring I joined a project 'Knitting the Map', that was felting a yurt. Below is the framework of the yurt that that was made last year. Last weekend after lots of planning, trial runs and bad weather the first wall panel (1 of 18 not including the roof) was completed. Barny, the horse, performed beautifully and pulled the rolled felt around the field in the traditional method used by the Mongolian nomadic tribes. All the panels will depict the East Sussex rural countryside and sea. Flowers, animals, birds and leaves for the trees will be added at other events involving the public. All the wool is hand dyed using plants. It was a long process and now there are plans to try and get an industrial felting roller to speed up the process. Watch this space!
Hi I'm Mo Jackson from Brighton UK and I'm a creative felt maker/tutor.