A wonderful chance meeting with a visitor to Morvah Schoolhouse recently inspired a new venture in 3D :-)
Mary makes felted pots and vessels and also keeps alpacas and she very kindly gave me a large bag of last year’s shearing from her 12-year-old, Josephine. The fleece is beautifully soft, a wonderful quality with subtle stripes and colour variation and a slight crimp too - such a joy to handle.
It's fantastic to know the provenance of the wools and fleeces, especially to this extent! and in feeling sure that the animals are treated with kindness and respect. This is fundamental to the work I do - further details here.
To make the pot, you can use a cheapy resist (£1 silicone baking sheet) and table mats. I cut a large circle in the resist and pre-felted three layers of wool around it, then, with a good amount of felting, the resist starts to buckle as the fibres shrink and you can cut a smallish hole in the felt and pull it out. (In the final layer I added a few strands of French D’Arles Merino for a little more colour contrast - darker brown - and then decided to sew a few ridges into the surface for interest whilst wet.) Finally, shape the pot and fill with bubble-wrap then leave it to dry in the sun (and the airing cupboard).
Felted pots/vessels and pods have such an organic nature, they feel truly beautiful to hold and you can create any shape, size and design, and each type of wool will create a different texture. The alpaca wool is very fine and soft so adding a little more of another wool such as Merino or maybe Texel (quite bulky and resilient) might be a good idea next time to increase sturdiness and I don’t think I felted mine for long enough this time... I might still sew a few more ridges too... they resemble texture on bark a little...
I can imagine future designs with simple embellishing, birds, ferns, flowers, plants, insects …maybe felt plates, platters, dishes, pots, sculptural pieces….endless!
The wonder of felt is that you are creating the form whilst also making the fabric and it's great to watch what happens and unfolds along the way :-)
There are many online tutorials for making felted vessels and I think I might follow one next time to get some more handy tips and hints. I'd also like to start working out how to film my work to make time-lapse videos (my son can help me with this!) and when I create another pot/pod I'll write more detailed notes... this first time was a real (pretty messy!) experiment :-)
Thank you Mary and Josephine for the inspiration, the tips and technique using resists - and your beautiful fleece xx
I was so happy to take part in a charity art auction this month, for Cornwall Hospice Care at The Exchange gallery, part of 'Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange' in Penzance. The event raised much needed funds for this important charity and was attended by many.
It was an honour for me to show my work alongside many well-known and inspiring local artists and it's wonderful to know that my felting, inspired by a line in a poem by the local poet W.S. Graham has found a happy home.
'A few scattered rooks blown against the pewter sky' from 'Waiting for Snow' by W.S.Graham
(please click for catalogue of artworks in the auction)
My feltings to illustrate an accompanying resource for a life-changing course
So happy that some of my feltings, prints and cards are in The Blue Bramble Gallery in St Ives.It's wonderful to see them amongst so many beautiful artworks by artists I've admired for quite a while and in such a unique gallery! I've taken some feltings out to show at Archie Browns in May and June but then hopefully will be making some more....
I've missed felting, with all the preparation, measuring for frames, painting frames, arranging prints and cards...I'll be happy when all is complete and I can get to work again :-)
From Cornwall to New Zealand, with love :-)
You will notice the different texture of the wool as you felt it – the brown is very soft and easy to felt, the grey wool has an elasticity and stretch in it that is completely different from the brown wool.’
Thank you so much Allyson and Cilla - and Fernando, Lola and Luna! What beautiful sheep and I can't wait to get felting :-) xxxxx
There's a moment in Part 1, 2 or 3 where he sees a squirrel in a tree through the window behind the interviewer. The memory of that moment stayed with me from when I first watched :-)
....The Sparrow has now SOLD :-)
So happy with the new cards from Monkeypuzzle Repro Arts in Porthtowan. Excellent quality recycled card with envelopes and cello-wrapped...Ginger and the Stonechat. Available via my website and MorvahSchoolhouse gallery. Also many other designs available at BlueBramble gallery, St Ives.
'The Cat and the Sea' - looking towards Godrevy Lighthouse
The Cat and the Sea
It is a matter of a black cat
On a bare cliff top in March
Whose eyes anticipate
The gorse petals;
The formal equation of
A domestic purr
With the cold interiors
Of the sea's mirror.
Even though I thought of this poem at the time, the felting was of a Summer scene (and featured my Silver cat) and so i made a note, that I need to return in March and try to capture the formal equation :-) ... featuring Archy, a beloved black cat ...
Blue Bramble Gallery
E E Cummings
Folt Bolt Shop
G M Hopkins
Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
R S Thomas
Thank You :-)
W S Graham