So this was a little task I set myself last year; to incorporate Nuno Felting into my weaving to create a combination of textures which would be both tactile and visually pleasing. The plan – to fuse the weight and heft of a chunky hand spun weave, (alpaca of course) with the delicate wisp of alpaca fibre felted into Silk.
The inspiration for this piece were the beautiful reeds that swathe the Norfolk broads like a curtain whilst subtly filtering light across the water. The stunning photograph below, of Burnt Fen Broad, was taken by Two Rivers Artist James Arthur, and completely catches this feeling.
The weave would be the reeds, filtered and diffused by a fine covering of alpaca fibre embedded into translucent silk gauze.
Attaching this gossamer fabric to the weave proved interesting, I needed to keep the woven part of the piece dry, as I only wanted the silk and alpaca fibre to felt – not the woven piece. As you can see, some of the weft strands have been left loose to portray the reeds, whilst also helping to catch the wisps of raw alpaca fibre as they embed into the silk gauze.
Nuno felting alpaca fibre with silk creates the most wonderful light, translucent material, The fabric is surprisingly strong for something that looks and feels so delicate and looks fantastic worn as a scarf or as with this project made to hang on a wall or in front of a window to decorate a room.
These beautiful shawls were made by some of my students last year. If you are interested in learning how to Nuno felt please visit the Nuno Felting page of the website or give me a call.
Happy Felting! Annie
New Year – New Ideas, so …….
Part of Makers Month at the Forum Norwich
The aim is to make a piece of felt – in this case a sort of carpet runner – by enough people walking over pre laid out fibres so they become felted due to the friction and pressures caused by the walking. Thus hoping to prove the theory that felt was first made by shepherds putting fleece into their shoes for comfort and ending up with felt due to the combination of sweaty feet, oils in the fleece and the friction caused by walking – as we don’t really want the sweaty feet bit the fibre will need a bit of help! The help comes in the form of soapy water to add moisture and bubble wrap to aid the friction. The project will be encased in very strong clear plastic which will allow people to see what they are walking on without them getting soggy feet – we hope!
Trail Run –Fibre laid out in it’s bubble wrap cocoon ready to be felted.
The project is part of the Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers contribution to Makers Month, an educational exhibition at the Forum in Norwich celebrating the creative talent and skills that abound in the county.
The exhibition will run for the whole of February with the first two weeks devoted to textiles. Link to Makers Month: http://tinyurl.com/jr67crj
How cool are these dudes! Masham Sheep.
We decided it would be interesting to have lots of different types of fleece so the Guild have been brilliant turning up with all sorts of fleeces belonging to breeds of sheep that I had never heard of! – Also the wonderful Norfolk Smalholders Training Group have come up trumps providing fleeces for the project.
Yes, I know – Sheep fleece, moi! With all those lovely alpacas running about outside – don’t tell them they will be very put out! However there will of course be alpaca fibre in the process and I decided it was best to have a mini dummy run in my kitchen for which the alpacas donated some lovely fleece. Thank you Apache, Canasta & Ebony.
Oz doing some felting for me – makes a great dog bed!
It was very exciting un wrapping the felt parcel after we had all duly stomped about on it and ……
It worked! A lovely alpaca felt rug made by Felt Walking!
Not bad to get to nearly the end of January before having to break the ice on the water drinkers and having REALLY cold hands, rather than just a bit chilly. This could of course be tempting the gods to throw some serious weather our way as a pre spring special – fingers crossed not!
But it always amuses me that the beasties have a lovely shelter but on the coldest night of the winter so far they all stay out and party! All were sporting their “ice fur” look this morning.
Zsa Zsa’s frosty ears
Lucky for them that they have gorgeously warm coats to tuck up in, so for me it’s up to Kurt the Yurt and light the fire and get cosy with some spinning – in the warm – none of this hanging about in the cold!
The project – to make some more of my chunky random yarn so I can make some seriously warm knitwear – possibly not to stay out all night in the frost but it will certainly keep the cold out!
My Indigo seedlings thriving on their bed of alpaca fibre to keep them warm.
Wet, windy & cold, so after getting thoroughly soaked this morning, carting hay for the beasties, I decided to spend a cheering afternoon sorting through lovely warm yarn and cosy knitting patterns! Toulouse – who turned her nose up at the wet weather option first thing, decided that this was much more her domain and chose to join me; not always helpful! Now to find where I put all the knitting needles!
Well with Christmas packed away it must surely be time to get on with alpacery, felty type things – or…… find wonderfully silly pictures of sheep wearing designers knits!