Felt & paper workshop 31st Jan -11th Feb 2010

Paper Making

I had previously made some paper samples during my foundation year but in this workshop I was experimenting more extensively; creating different coloured sheets of paper and using a range of pulp mixtures, playing and manipulating the paper by embossing, layering, trapping and embellishment. I really enjoyed making a mould for embossing my papers, even thought this was the longest process out of them all it was worth the wait. Below are of few samples of my experimentation with paper and papier mache.

Felt Making

After extensive experimentation and learning about paper making and what came be achieved with it I was ready to move onto another material and process; felting. During the Christmas break I went to an exhibition and saw an artist’s work that was all about felting, knowing and seeing the work it made me more interested in making my own felt than what I was before.

I first experimented with flat felting sheets, these were plain samples so I could then use them as a later date to decorate or add to. This process was also very time consuming and required a lot of work in order to achieve good results.

I experiment with creating text, images and pattern within my felt using the same method as flat sheet felting. I really like the effect of the text on the felt as the fibres at the end of each character fade into the background creating an interesting appearance.

Needle felting was another process I used when experimenting with felt making. Using the flat sheets of felt that I previously made I made a simple pencil case. I first cut out a basic envelope net and from the felt and then needle felted the seams together. Laying the felt onto a foam board and pushing a needle through the felt continuously to mesh the fibres together.

Nuno felting uses finely woven fabrics within the felting. When the fleece fibres get hot and wet the fibres start to shrink and adhere to the fabric. The fabric becomes ruffled because the fabric doesn’t have the ability to shrink with the fleece fibres. The felt become matted and created a beautiful element to the fabric and felt itself. For my samples I used cotton muslin, I found that the fibres and fabric did not matt and blend together as much as I thought they would.

Throughout this workshop I’ve be able to learn new skills and techniques to enhance myself as a textile designer and maker. I have really enjoyed creating using the techniques and will hopefully use them in the near future to create wonderful things.

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