Sunday, March 17, 2013

Collaborative Illuminated Felt Fiber Art

I met an amazing fiber artist, Nancy Ruth, through an on-line felters e-mail group and we started talking about the different festivals and events we attend. She lives fairly close to me and we were discussing the nearby Black Sheep Festival that takes place in Eugene. Nancy has been wanting to work on a collaborative piece and enter it in this event.

We decided to work together on something. We each will start a piece then swap with each other and finish them. Our chosen theme is Inner Light. I am working on a seamless piece that will be a lampshade of sorts. Depending on how it finishes us it might be suspended with a bulb inside, or as a stand alone piece with a bulb. either way, it will be lit from within.

Tree still needs some work, but you get the idea
This is the first side with the moon, moonlight rays and a tree. More details and fine tuning will occur. I have a resist underneath and will turn it over and work the other side with a continuation of the moon and moonlight rays. Below you can get an idea of how it looks with light shining from behind. Once it is finished and a bulb is shining it will have a bit of yellowish tint from the incandescent bulb.

Seeing how it looks with light from behind

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nuno Felted Book Cover - Part 2

Where we left off: Felted, fulled, dry & somewhat misshapen

Looks like I am getting this post done this week by the skin of my teeth. But I made it, whew!!! If you are just now joining this pictorial lesson, be sure to read Part 1 first, and then follow along with part 2. Thanks for your patience everyone. And now, on with the show...

 When we left off last time the book covers had been felted, fulled, rinsed and left to dry. Now we get to cut the flaps that will hold the front and back covers. I start by laying the book on the felt piece to make sure it's still large enough. If you find yours has shrunk too much you can wet it again, stretch it, block it and then let it dry.

Checking the size

Now I make a cut on either side of the center hole, straight up and down. The wider it is, the more of the book cover will fit inside. Since the center hole of this one is rather large so all I really needed to do was cut so it straightened the edges of the pockets. I then cut all the way to the top edge and it leaves the extra material on the top and bottom to be removed.

Sides cut straight and extra material at the top & bottom

I cut straight across the top and bottom to remove the excess felt.

Extra felt cut off the top.

Pockets formed & raised up so they are easier to see

The book will be placed inside this area

 Repeat the process with the other book cover if you made two like I did.

Book cover before cutting
Pockets being cut with excess felt at the top
Excess felt at top and bottom with pockets cut straight

Excess felt removed

Now that the pockets have been formed and the excess felt has been removed we need to seal the edges of the fresh cuts.

Freshly cut edges need to be sealed

Head back to the sink and thoroughly wet the felt. Put a drop of soap on your finger and then rub the raw cut to seal it.

Rubbing the edges
  Work all the way around and seal all cut edges.

Keep rubbing all cut edges

After some time rubbing your edges may become uneven or a bit fuzzy. Carefully trim if necessary and then rub lightly to seal.

Uneven & fuzzy edge after sealing
Sometimes it helps to rub back and forth against the counter top to keep the edges from getting uneven.
Rubbing the edges against the counter

Once you have finished with all the cut edges, it's time to rinse again. No kneading or throwing this time, just gently rinsing.
Gently rinse the soap out

I like to make sure it has kept the proper shape so I cover the book in plastic and do a fitting on the book.
Book wrapped in plastic for a fitting

Close the cover to make sure it's fitting properly

Looking good!

Once you know it fits correctly remove it from the book and let it dry. In the meantime, pick out a pretty button and gather your needle and thread. When it's dry put it on the book, close the flap and decide where you want the button to be.

Or maybe here?

Ah yes, right here!

To make the button hole, cut the tiniest of slits in your chosen location. Wet your fingers - no soap this time - and rub the cut. The edges will seal and the hole will slowly get larger. Check it periodically against the button to make sure you don't make it too large.

Snip a tiny slit to start the button hole
It gets larger after rubbing it with wet fingers
Check the size using the button - don't make the hole too big

 After you have gotten the button hole to the correct size, mark the location on the body of the cover where the button will be and stitch it in place with a strong thread.
Marking location of button
 Guess what? That's it. You are done!! How does it feel? Examine your handiwork and congratulate yourself on a job well done. These two are off to their new homes and will be treasured for many years to come. If you make any please share the photos with me - I would love to see your work. I hope to do a nuno felted poncho or jacket soon and will get that posted here as well. It may be a while but it will get done. In the meantime I will be getting inventory made for the upcoming Spring Arts Festival next week and the Master Gardener Spring Fair next month - with our Artisan Market selling season beginning the following month. Wow, Spring has sprung!

Merino roving, silk fabric, firestar
Merino roving, merino tussah blend, cotton gauze, poly lace

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sorry for the Delay

For those of you that are waiting for Part 2 of the Nuno Felted Journal process, do not fear! I dear friend of mine passed away while staying with me and my heart has been heavy. I am now remembering the great times we shared and knowing that he is on a new and exciting journey. My heart is lighter and peace is being revealed once again. Part 2 will be posted this coming week, so be sure and watch for it.

Raise a glass and give a smile to "Chief" aka Terry Hook, the next time you tip a glass of wine, bottle of beer or cup of tea.