Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wet Felting Process

     Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I hope you have a wonderful day. That goes to my mom too, who I know will be reading this. Love you Mom. 

    I'm still playing with the wet felting ... holding off on the handbag project because I just am not yet skilled enough and I really want to make it nice. I'm learning quite a bit about the art just from making these bangles. I've already learned that not all wools like each other and have had a couple of disasters. The black and red number shown fell apart on me early in the wetting process, so after fighting with it for a little while, it wouldn't go the way I wanted it to, so I discarded it. 

     I've learned that the hotter the water is, the better this works. I'm starting to develop a feel for  the process, beginning to understand when to add water and when to add soap. I'm completely amazed by the process and how hard and smooth it becomes. I've been flaming the fuzzy hairs off the damp finished bracelets, before beading them because I love the look. The smell of burned wool disappears once they're dry. I can't find any instructions where this step is mentioned .... so it's not likely recommended. Remember, I don't have the luxury of an instructor. I'm trying to learn all this from internet resources. I can't afford to buy the books either. I've also been sharing this with my talented artist cousin, Deb, on the South Shore. She has made some very pretty unbeaded bangles and has also become obsessed with the process. 

     The ones shown in this pic have just been flamed and I took them outside to brush the burned bits off. Notice how smooth they look. The more I make, the more I realize I need to learn. This is especially true when something doesn't work out and I then have a need to find out why. So many questions ... so much to learn .. but it wouldn't interest me if there was no challenge. 
I'm looking for a list or chart or something to tell me which types of wool work best for needle felting vs. wet felting vs. spinning. So far, I have found no such chart, but lots of info. It looks like I will have to make the list myself based on many different resources. Any helpful hints from my readers are gratefully appreciated. 

     There are volumes of things I want to know. Like all about wet felting with resists, and how to stick on pieces of prefelt and how to attach ropes for bag handles and the like. I now realize a beret with a resist was a silly thing to do for a beginner project and the fact I was able to save it with so little experience was a pure miracle. This is so much fun and at the same time so difficult. The learning curve will surely take years to master. I now understand so much more about the accomplished artists in this field, and have so much more respect for the time they invested to get to where they are. 

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