Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Felting with the Artfelt kit

I tried the Artfelt kit from Skacel. I made 2 different designs. The first used a background of the regular roving with designs made of pencil roving layered on top of that. It's pretty abstract. For the second piece, I wove the pencil roving. Let's just say, I'm probably not a natural weaver. By the end of the piece, my rows were tighter and narrower than at the top. I'll probably cut these pieces up and use them in other work.
My humble opinion of the kit? Well, since you asked...
I felted the pieces using the Artfelt kit instructions, and that seemed to work as described. The pieces felted in 15-30 minutes, but it is a soft felt. If I planned on using the felt for anything, I'd harden it for sure.
After having used the kit once, I think I prefer to roll my felt by hand, rather than use the dryer method. I was a little nervous about the pieces getting scrunched up in their nylon tubes (read the instructions for that). Tacking the roving down to the paper might give the advantage of keeping the designs from moving around.
The instructional DVD was a slide show, rather than actual moving video. That seemed a bit cheap to me. It has a few ideas of what to make, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Anyone who is already familiar with making felt probably would not want to bother with the kit. But it might be enjoyable for people who haven't done felting and want to give it a try.
The Zitron roving included in the kit is very pretty. The kits come in different color choices. You can buy the roving separately. You can also buy the special paper separately. The unique thing about the paper is that it is water soluble, but only with boiling water, unlike many water soluble interfacings and stabilizers. I haven't researched such products, but I would imagine that other brands of this type of stabilizer are available.

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