Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cobweb felt curtains

For awhile I've wanted to make felted curtains for the bathroom in my 1920's California bungalow.  I tried nuno felted curtains but I wasn't too pleased with them since I wanted something more lace like.  I decided on cobweb felt.  

Cobweb felt using Wensleydale wool roving
Cobweb felt using Merino wool roving
Before making the final curtains, I experimented with both super fine merino wool roving and also Wensleydale.  I added silk and other fibers as embellishment.  I really liked the look of the Wensleydale which is a long staple fiber and creates a large curl cobweb when felted.  The merino was nice too but felted more closely together than the Wensleydale.

To make the cobweb felt , I took a hank of the roving and placed it on the bubble wrap on my work table with the bubbles up.  Using my hands I spread out the wool to a size 35% larger than the final size I wanted.  I made sure that the wool was spread fine with lots of open spaces. I added embellishments to the top third of the each piece including using pieces of wool yarn hanging off the edge.

Using a ball brauser, I wet out the wool with warm water and liquid soap.  I covered it with another piece of bubble wrap with the bubbles down.  I rubbed the package with my hands and then used the electric sander to agitate the package. When using the sander, I always use caution, wear rubber soled shoes and use one of those heavy duty orange electric cords.  

I then used a pool noodle and rolled the package for 2 minutes.  I opened the package and rotated the two curtains and rerolled.  I repeated this for all 4 sides.  I then rolled without the pool noodle but with the bubble wrap, then rolled it on it's own.  I then used hot water to bunch it up and throw it on the table periodically opening it and re-stretching it.

Once felted and fulled, I rinsed the two curtains and put it in the spinner to remove the excess water.  I then ironed them. I hung them in my bathroom on thin rods.  I was going to sew a pocket to thread the rod through but decided to just loop the curtain over the rod with the yarn pieces hanging loose.

 I am so pleased with the curtains.  They let in so much light and although they have holes, they still allow for complete privacy.

Roman glass used for embellishment

A fish trying to swallow a bead.  I left the threads hanging to resemble a fishing line.

Dyeing white silk and wool roving

And baby makes three.  Oh no, not me!  It's for my nephew and niece in law who are expecting a son, their first baby, in April.   I am so excited to become a great aunt for the first time too and super excited for my brother and sister-in-law to become first time grandparents.

For this project, I first dyed super fine merino wool roving and various types of silks, mainly 3 mm silk gauze and 5 mm silk habatoi with Dharma acid dyes.  I soaked the silk in the sink with a cup or so of white vinegar and enough water to cover.  I did not soak the roving since I did not want it to felt.  I added the vinegar to the wool roving later.  

I was careful not to agitate the wool roving when placing it in the jar with the dye liquid since I did not want to agitate it and felt it. I used a chop stick to push it down into the dye liquid.  For specifics on dyeing the silk and wool roving with acid dyes, click here.

Large steam pot used for the Ball jars
Jars are steamed

Dyed wool roving and silks
Baby blanket in process

Finished baby blanket, hat and booties.  Leather thongs used as accents.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Show 2017

What a fun and fabulous weekend at Chemers Gallery in Tustin, CA and what an awesome turnout for this two day holiday event with 19 extraordinary artisans and a whole host of employees and helpers to make it run so smoothly.

Thank you friends for coming out to help make this event such a success. And a big thank you to Karen Raab who made it all possible along with her ever friendly, hard working and super helpful staff and helpers. And a pizza party afterwards to top it off. 

This was my second year doing this event at Chemers and I am so grateful to have been invited back since Chemers in a big name and known as an innovator in the Orange County arts scene.

It was my dear friend Susan Steel who advised me to call Karen, the owner of Chemers Gallery after she had visited the gallery a few months prior to the 2016 holiday event and talked me up to Karen.  I am forever grateful to you dear Susan.  

I am grateful for my customers and so touched at how beautifully you wear my felted garments.  Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Scarves - shibori, indigo and eco printed

Similar but uniquely different - that's what these several OOAK scarves are about.  I dyed them in indigo using various shibori techniques.  After that, I eco printed them mainly using local eucalyptus which I foraged along with smoke bush which someone gave me.  I love the smoke bush because it adds little black lines and squiggles.

 Add soda ash and thiox to the warm indigo vat.  The PH should be about 10-11.

Here's an example of one of my shibori bundles ready for the indigo pot

Here are the scarves after they were shibori dyed in indigo but before they were eco-printed.  Hard decision to just leave them as is or proceed. 

I let the indigo pieces dry in the sun for several hours.  Then I dipped them in an iron/water solution for 10 seconds, placed the plant material on the scarves, wrapped each scarf in its own rusty iron pipe and tightly wrapped the pipes.

In to the roaster the pipes went to steam for 2.5 hours, turning them every half hour or so and wetting them with a vinegar/water solution.

And the biggest thrill of all is unwrapping the pipes to see what you got!  Like Christmas morning all over again!!!

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