Sunday, July 26, 2015

Kimono Nuno Felted Vest - Cinnabar and Turquoise

This kimono style reversible seamless nuno felted vest was fun to make.  One side is less decorative that the other.  On the decorative side, I used various types of silks including burn-out with beads, metallic silk and vintage sari silks.  

 My work in progress including my own prefelts and yarn to embellish.

 I made a button using a cinnabar bead and glued on a button back using trusty E6000 Glue.  I then used bead thread to add semiprecious small beads, a coin and a hanging turquoise bead.  I sewed a blanket stick button hole on both sides of the vest.

 Back of the vest

 I embellished the corded closures with semi precious beads.

 This is the reverse side of the vest.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Turkey's Magical Hideaways

Shop in Antalya with felted vest made by Mehmet Girgic

I had always dreamed of going to Turkey.  I imagined the world of ancient ruins, flying carpets, hookah smoke invading exotic bazaars and cafes, the alluring music of belly dancing and whirling dervishes, unfamiliar spices and Turkish taffy, lying on very old tiles in a Turkish bath while wearing nothing but a Turkish towel, reading coffee grounds, and colorful and tactile textiles. The reality of my recent trip did not disappoint.

Shop in Antalya with master rug repair specialist

Joe and I, along with Joe's high school buddy Mike and his fun-loving wife Veralee, and a small group of like-minded aging adventurers recently traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) on a 17 day adventure throughout Turkey.  In total there were 11 in our group plus our outstanding guide, Arzu who was extremely knowledgeable, informative, fun loving and above all, very patient with us and our unbridled enthusiasm.  Her English was impeccable and she made this trip absolutely outstanding. I would definitely recommend OAT if you are 50+ and prefer small group adventure travel.

And what made this trip so personal and outstanding for me were all the textile adventures. I learned about silk production and Turkish carpet making and how the classic double knot technique distinguishes a Turkish carpet from others. I saw wool and silk fibers being dyed in madder root and indigo, and learned that mint leaves are used to dye protein fibers black. 

I saw felted hats being made for the Whirling Dervishes and saw a felt maker cleverly use a whisk broom to apply water to the felt.  I saw village women using thin silk thread and tiny needles to crochet the edges of scarves with darling flower patterns and designs.  

I am still reeling with such good feeling and warmth from all that was given to me on this adventure.  Thank you Turkey.

madder root for dyeing red
Wool yarn dyed in madder root
Silk threads being pulled from the cocoons

Village woman crocheting the edges of a scarf
Felt Workshop in Konya run by master felt maker and Whirling Dervish

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Peaks and Valleys Exhibition

Fiona Duthie, an outstanding artist and felter, has been an inspiration to me.  I learned so much from her on-line surface design felting course. Subsequent to the course, she generously continued to inspire us in a private Facebook group.  Several months later she challenged the members of the Facebook group to participate in an online exhibition called "Peaks and Valleys". A few of my felted pieces were entered. You can read about the amazing exhibition below and see the whole collection HERE.

beth marx 5

Peaks and Valleys :: Online Exhibition Introduction


Peaks and Valleys. Mountains and Plains, Crests and Troughs. Highs and Lows…..we have all experienced them, whether geographically or emotionally….and creatively! What could be a more appropriate theme in dimensional surface design than this! Explore the theme as literally or metaphorically as you wish.
Alumni of the Surface Design Online course were invited to interpret this theme using one or more of the surface design techniques. Their work is wonderful and so very diverse. This is what impresses me most….that individuals take these techniques and use them in such creative and unique ways, both in interpretation and project.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Beautiful Bea

Bea, my friend and fitness instructor so stunningly models my felted wearables.  She is as beautiful on the inside as the out.  
Felted shawl with resist techniques

Felted scarf with various types of silk, merino wool, holes, cords, nuno inclusions

Long scarf with various types of silk including a metal/silk blend.  Cords, nuno inclusions, craters and more.

Shibori techniques on felt

Felted scarf and purse with cracked mud techniques,felted craters with beads, cords and more

The back of the purse has an outside pocket, a hanging bead and a felted tag inside with words printed on the silk

Felted scarf with metallic silk

Reversible seamless felted vest.  This side was eco printed with eucalyptus leaves.  It closes with cords and two unique buttons

Eco printed reversible felted vest.  Button and cord closures

The other side of the reversible vest with printed silks and cord closures.  The collar is felted with a metal silk blend 

The seamless vest has craters, nuno inclusions, and more

Beautiful Bea, thank you Bea for all that you do.
The End

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No Roll Felting - Dryer Method

Just ask any felter what their least favorite part of the process is and most will say the rolling.  And yes I concur with this consensus; it is in fact my least favorite part.  On the other hand, I have to say it's a pretty good work out and I've developed some fairly decent upper arms from it.  Sometimes I even throw in a few squats at the same time as part of my multi-tasking mentality. Although I've heard lately that they say it's impossible to multi-task...really now. 

And to help pass the time, I usually put my iPad on the table and turn on some mindless show or some interesting TED talks. Once in a while, I'll bring my roll into the other room, put it on the floor and use my feet to roll while I watch TV on the big screen. So given all of this, I try to make the best out of rolling. 

But a recent Facebook post by Patricia Spark referencing the dryer method for felting, which is a popular substitute for rolling, got me thinking that I should try it again.  I had in fact tried it some time ago but I had not been very pleased.  I think it had to do with what I was making at the time which was a big garment with a resist. 
 But this time I was working on a simple 30"x30" square that is going to be used as either a table accessory, pillow cover, quilt piece or something similar, and thought I'd take another crack at this dryer method for felting.

First off, I created the piece in my usual method by laying out my roving on a large piece of bubble wrap with bubbles up.  I wetted out the piece with the ball browser which I definitely prefer to the garden sprayer.  I then covered the work with with another large piece of bubble wrap (bubbles down)and then wet the bubble wrap so that my hands glide to compress it for several minutes.  At this point, I would normally start my rolling.

But this time, I did the following for the no roll dryer method:

1.  I folded over the bubble wrap to make a small package.  My 30"x30" square was still in tack.

2.  I used a wet towel and rolled it up like a sausage roll.  I put that at the edge of my bubble wrap.

3.  I rolled up the sausage towel inside the bubble wrap.

4.  I put a fresh towel under the package and rolled everything up inside it.

5.  I secured the towel with three panty hose ties.

6.  Into the dryer it went for 10 minutes.  Set it for no heat or just damp dry.  It's the thumping agitation, not the heat, that will "no roll" felt the piece for you.  And while it's doing it's thing, you have time to get other stuff done...or not!

7.  After the 10 minutes, take it out, open it up and re-roll it with the wet sausage towel at the other end.  Re-roll it with the outside towel, secure it with the ties and pop it back into the dryer for anther 10 minutes.  Again relax or do your thing.

8.  Remove the outer towel, the sausage towel, and open it up.  Assure it is secure.

 Proceed as your normally would to full the piece:  roll it on itself, slam it, rub it.

 And just like that, it's a beautiful felted piece.

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