Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FAUX RIVER ROCKS

Sooooo, what did you do over the long holiday weekend??  Yippie....I had so much fun.....  

In part, I need to thank my friend Nancy Bruce, an original Fiber Junkie member.  Nancy introduced me to the thrills of felting from wool roving.....  She's a confident and experienced felter whose work I admire greatly.

Well...that led me to this current project.  I saw some faux felted river rocks in a gallery and was totally drawn to them, except for the price tag.  I couldn't quite get them out of my head.....so I figured...how hard could it be to try to make some myself? 

As it turns out.....not so difficult, but a tad time consuming.....I'm still experimenting but here's the process I've adapted so far.

 First, I ordered some wool roving in shades of grey, black and white.
 Some internet searching led me to several different directions....one of which was to use an actual river rock as the base....or filler if you will.  OR....using yarn.  I decided to try two approaches, one was some wool batting and the other was scraps of thickly felted and hand dyed felt I'd previously created.

The equipment is simple.....a bowl of hot (or as hot as you can stand it) soapy water & lots of towels to soak up the spills.
 I began by wrapping some felt scraps into a small ball (ignore the batting in this photo.....it was just there for a higher contrast.)
 I'd prepared some roving by arranging wisps of it vertically and horizontally, using different colors.
 The 'filler' was centered on the roving, which was wrapped over the 'filler'.
 Holding the mass tightly, it was dipped into the water.....pinching, squeezing, massaging the fibers until it began to stick together. (meaning the invisible barbs on the wool fibers get hopelessly tangled and become one) 
 This process takes TIME.....  The biggest issue I continue having is how to achieve a tiny 'vein' in the rock.  When added with all the fibers it disappears, adding afterwards I find it often won't adhere properly.
This one is better.  Notice that a bit of the green filler is peaking out.....I needed to have more roving around that area.  I'm learning little tricks as I go.    I'll provide some hints in my next post.  

6 comments:

Nina Marie said...

ohhh Interesting! Its funny what inspires us onto our next project isn't it?

Sandy said...

It might help to just have a felting needle for adding the veins. With a little bit of punching in and out, they would still remain distinct, but not come off either.
Sandy in the UK

Lisa Chin said...

The faux rock is fabulous! So will you be making a bunch and putting them onto quilts the way you do with your beads??? I can see all kinds of possibilities! Have fun.

Carol A. Babineau said...

Gee, I really like this. Don't need to do more right now though. Maybe in a few months. Thanks for posting.

Mary Stori said...

This reply is from Mary....thank you all for your comments & suggestions. Sandy was on target with hers....I spent 30 mins. looking for my barbed felting needle and never found it.....I too thought that might be a good solution. Hopefully you've read onto the Sept. 5th post to see the results of my efforts.....I'm pretty pleased.

And yes Lisa.....incorporating small felted 'rocks' or ?? is something I may explore.....however, as my pieces are getting smaller and smaller....so too will these items have to be.

And Carol really summed it up......she doesn't need more to do right now......we hear ya......I say the same thing but tend to plow ahead in spite of words of caution to myself!

Marit said...

I think you would like this blog if you haven't already looked at it.

Lisa Jordan
http://lilfishstudios.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-make-felted-stone.html

Love felting of all sorts!