Friday, March 6, 2015

MORE FELTED BOWLS

My Mom was a do-it-yourselfer' before that phrase came into being.  This wasn't necessarily by choice.....with 4 kids to raise almost alone and short on finances....she did what she needed to do!  (When I was in fourth grade, my dad began his battle with brain cancer). Like so many of us at a young age, we may not have recognized the strength and hard work our parents exhibited to provide a better life for us....AND in my case.....good work ethics too. 

While the completion of my two current projects are in the handwork stage...I was ready for a completely different project.  I'm determined to conquer the secrets of wet felting and bowls are my current obsession.

  Practice....it's the key to unlocking the secrets to a well shaped and felted bowl.  Following a number of online tutorials, I begin working on a tray (to contain the water).  This view is part way through the beginning stage of layering the felt while trapping a plastic 'resist' between the layers. 
Netting covers the layers as they are very gently stroked.  This starts the process of the wool fibers grabbing each other.  That's the goal....as the fibers tangle...the mass shrinks and ultimately become felt. The messy edges are carefully folded over each side to provide a tidy package.

***My explanation is only superficial and doesn't include all the steps, it's provided only to give you an overview of the process.
 The package will eventually look like a tortilla.....when the fibers feel a bit more stable and don't pull apart when pinching them, it's time to layer it between bubble wrap & roll in a bamboo mat.  Friction, hot water and soap are the ingredients that make the fibers 'felt' together.  (Think -  wool sweater washed in a washing machine...and then dried in a dryer....YIKES....it's now 5 times smaller and much thicker!!)
 This entire process is good for the upper arms....though one's hand can get a tad grumpy later in the day!  The 'tortilla' (or better description would be Pita bread) is rolled back and forth....about every 10 rolls, its position is shifted 1/4 turn to keep the round shape.
3 hours later.......with lots of rolling, removal of the 'resist', lots more hot soapy water, and 'kneading' of the bowl....it looked like this.....  Now drying  stuffed with fabric to retain its shape as it dries.


Here's another one...the fabric has been removed as it's now nearly dry.  I'm STILL working on getting the layers of roving more even.....which will make the  edges more uniform.

Follow these links to see what others have created this week:  Whoop, Whoop Friday, Off The Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya Quilts.

10 comments:

Windy Hill Happenings said...

They look pretty wonderful to me...can't wait to see them in person

gurligregersen.com said...

Lovely. Perhaps I should try one day.

LA Paylor said...

Hi MARY
seems to me like you are working out a new style and need to just keep making til it emerges into something all about you. I love wet felting as it sort of takes on a life and substance of it's own. And it works out your biceps. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

quiltedfabricart said...

Ohhhhh! This is wonderful! I have had grand ideas of trying this but never got around to it. Your bowls are gorgeous

Kelly said...

Ha, that bamboo mat is for rolling sushi! So glad you've dove head-first into this felting.

Afton Warrick said...

Thanks for your peek into the process. I had no idea how you'd go about making one of these.

Victoria said...

Very cool and what great results! That turquoise colored one is so pretty!

The Idaho Beauty said...

I think I'm going to like that black and white one a lot!

Nancy said...

Excellent step-by-step photos and description! It must take quite awhile to dry when the fibers are so compacted. Interesting.

Robbie said...

I give you SO much credit for the effort in this felting process! Like the black/gray bowl....very nice! And nice seeing it come to life!