Firstly, the young artists watched a Youtube video clip, to understand the technique, click here to see.
Five work stations were set up around the classroom, each for a different stage in the process. From choosing colours, to sponging, rubbing and rolling. Combed wool fleece was pre-prepared as a base, cut to the same size for all. You could use coloured felt instead, which is available online. The group could choose the wool for their surface design from a range of colours.
This is the first element of the project. To lay strands of wool into a surface design upon the combed wool fleece. See below. This artist has a lovely range of contrasting colours with an eye catching cadmium red in the midst of them.
This work station is for the “rolling” part of wet felting. Once the design has been repeatedly rolled from one direction, the felt is rotated by 90 degrees and the whole process is done until each side of the project has been rolled in rotation. (Imagine a compass and rotate your project to one quarter of the compass each time, then roll it slowly with pressure, 25 times). Here we can see the “sponging” part of the process. Using a piece of mesh as a barrier to prevent fibres from the design accidentally sticking to the fingers, by placing mesh in between, the soft hairs stay in place. Below you can see the stripes of coloured wool in a rainbow design, after they’ve been sponged, massaged and rolled.
The artist here thought carefully about the tonal progression of their chosen colours. This piece has a sumptuous mossy feel about it revealing a stunning selection of green tones. Below we can see that the artist had taken time in composing an interesting woollen design of varied shapes that interact beautifully. The red area is a real focus point. Below we see a gentle collection of spring pastel shades woking together. Before, the beautiful colours are laid softly over the base, in whirls and swirls reminiscent for the Abstract wax crayon drawings. After, it’s clear to see below, that the felting process has brought some ripples to the texture.
These unusual, striking textiles will make interesting works of art once framed, or they can be trimmed and used as book covers, bookmarks or a small purse. Alternatively, if you’re creating a textile piece, they can be appliqued onto a larger design and more decorations could be attached.