Sunday, October 14, 2012

After my week felting in Geelong, I've had a bit of a felting frenzy.  I love the softness of fine merino roving, particularly for wearables but after working 3-dimensionally with coarser wools, I've grown attached to the ruggedness and natural look to those undyed fibres, so I've been using those in my bigger bags to give robustness to them.
I used corridale roving in a bag made earlier in the year for an exhibition with a musical theme, and so have made a few more.

This one uses dyed corriedale wool roving with hand-dyed silk velvet and surface embroidery with a leather strap. It's about 40cm by 30cm.

And this one uses a mixture of bluefaced leicester and jacob wool roving with a slightly different musical arrangement.  The felt looks quite grey here but actually it's more of an oatmeal colour.  I feel a theme coming on here!

These wool breeds are commonplace in the UK but a bit more unusual in Aus, so it reminds me of home. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Felting at Geelong

Last week I was at TAFTA's Geelong Textile Forum enjoying 3D Concepts in Felt with Anita Larkin. This workshop formed part of the forum's Design Focus Program where 5 workshops and tutors joined together each morning for an hour's lecture from each tutor on their inspiration and design process, before breaking off into each group's daily workshop activity.  I first thought that this would be quite disruptive but quickly realised that I got so much from these lectures it felt like I was being taught by all the tutors, each approaching their 'craft design' from a different viewpoint.

From a felting viewpoint I learned such a lot from Anita.  My knowledge of techniques used in sculptural felting was minimal to say the least, let alone my experience, but by the end of the week we were designing and using resists like pros. If anything my appreciation of the work involved has only increased, particularly of the design process involved to achieve that 'simple sculpture' outcome.

My favourite part was felting around a found object - a typically 'easy looking' task that is anything but.
I chose a ceramic goblet to cover completely and was pretty pleased with my effort.

The 16cm goblet is in this large hairy blob somewhere.

 And it only took 2 hours of strenuous fulling to transform the 'vessel in felt pillowcase' to a recognisable form!

Comments were "that's cool" from daughter and "is that it?" from other half.  I don't think I'll be felting a whole crockery set at that rate, but if my other half annoys me he may just find critical parts of his bike 'under wool'!

As far as my C&G diploma work is concerned, this week has really helped me realise some of the ideas I have for a sculptural assessment piece to come, so watch this space....