Saturday, January 12, 2008

Renee's Rules of Felting

I thought I'd make note of some rules of thumb to follow, that have made a difference in the way I make felt. I'll come back and add to this entry occasionally.
Rule Number 1: When you think you're done, you're not. Keep going.
This rule started coming to me when I took Sharon Costello's vessels class. She would go around and check on our progress, and whenever one of us students thought we were done, well, we weren't. "Keep going," she would tell us.
So I've been following that advice. It is easy to think you are done just because you've been at it for a while, or you're getting a little bored, or your wrists are getting tired. To get a really hard felt, that will allow a vessel to stand up straight and stay in the shape you want, it can't be loose and spongy. It also looks better when it's good and hard. Keep going.
I'm starting to be able to feel the difference, too, as I work, between felt that is not quite hard enough and felt that is.
Rule Number 2: This one refers to needle felting. Wisps not wads. When starting a pictoral needle felting project. Start by adding only wisps of fiber to give a general idea of the picture to come. Just start by insinuating the color and shape and position. Little by little add more fiber until the picture is as crisp and color dense as you want it. The credit for this rule goes to Brenda from The Fiber Studio in Minneapolis.

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