Primordial felting

Last week was a good week for felting. Two days after my fleecy adventure, I went to spend a day felting with Ruth Packham – a wonderful felt artist who lives locally. I had done a two-day course with Ruth last summer and I wanted to spend some time with her practising some of the techniques I learned then. Over the years I’ve been on various felt-making courses, but I decided that the time had come for some one-to-one tuition.

As it turned out, I chose the perfect day. I started raining overnight and didn’t stop all day. Sitting under the Velux windows in Ruth’s studio, listening to the rain hammer down, I was very happy that I was spending the day indoors, playing with wool. Ruth’s studio is full of amazing creations and loads of inspiration:

After some debate about what I would make, I decided to have a go at a sculptural piece, mainly based on wet felting, but starting with some needle-felted balls that would be felted onto stalks and then the stalks would be felted onto an undulating base. This was the piece made by Ruth from which I drew my inspiration:

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one of Ruth’s creations

 

First, I chose my colours… which Ruth described as ‘sludge’! Because I’m interested in natural forms, I wanted some colours that might be found in natural habitats, so I went for a couple of greens and a reddish-black. I got so carried away with the first part of the process – needle-felting little balls, making cords, attaching the cords to the balls and making the ‘resist’ that would define the basic shape of the base, that I forgot to take any photographs, but I did capture most of the rest of my work:

And after some more work to get the little antennae to stand up straight/ point in the direction I wanted them to and the base to sit nicely and the edges to smooth out, I ended up with this:

I’m thinking of it as life emerging from the primordial soup… I may add some more evolved critters to it.

Whilst I was working on my creation (I was with Ruth from 10am to 7pm, although we did have coffee and stop for lunch), she made these cute little ‘creatures’:

I have made so many useful things recently, that it was rather lovely to spend a day making ‘art’. Ruth is a brilliant teacher and I highly recommend her courses… she will teach you how to make rather more traditional things if you like (!) and she sells needle-felting kits too in her etsy shop. She also sells her creations

 

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Ruth’s creatures

I have made so many useful things recently, that it was rather lovely to spend a day making ‘art’. Ruth is a brilliant teacher and I highly recommend her courses… she will teach you how to make rather more traditional things if you like (!) and she sells needle-felting kits too in her etsy shop, along with some of her lovely creations.

Have you been doing anything arty this week? Share your more frivolous or quirky creations!

 

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19 Comments

  1. I love, love, love this!!!! Primordial aardvarks spring to mind.
    What fun, I can just imagine how wonderful it was to immerse yourself in that day.

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  2. It’s so long since I did any serious felting, sounds like a lovely course. Shame I’m too far away to take advantage of it! Your piece reminds me of a close up of some kind of moss 🙂

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  3. Love those sludgy colours! Felting is yet another entry on my One-Day-I-Must-Have-a-Go list.

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  4. Fantastic creations. I am still bogged down in skirt making, for which I am deciding life is too short.

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  5. What an intriguing process, and I love the result. I agree with Wild Daffodil ~ primordial aardvarks! I have never done felting, but would love to give it a go sometime. It is a shame that I am too far away from Ruth. BTW….what are those creatures leaning out of the basket in the top left photo?

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  6. Danger ! Leave quickly. I spot alien life forms.I’m sure they must come from the Clangers World.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  7. What fun! My friend Liz taught me how to felt many summers ago. I’ve never done anything beyond her workshop, but it was a lot of fun. I love your creation. I thought for sure you had created snails crawling out of the ooze.

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