felt luminary

Friday, March 9, 2012

A New Form of Felt for Me

For the past few weeks I've been working on making felt cuffs, or bracelets; cuff is the "in" word for them now.  Over the past couple of years I have taken numerous classes from a master felter, Lisa Klakulak of Strongfelt.  She is an amazing artist and an equally amazing teacher.  She teaches technique mostly, you don't come away from a class with a purse or some object but you do have a wealth of information on how felt works and different ways to manipulate it to reach a certain
outcome.  If you want to see some of the most awesome felt ever made you owe it to yourself to check out her gallery at: http://www.strongfelt.com/

These cuffs have been the perfect project for me to practice combining some of the techniques I have learned.  Trying to get straight edges, free motion embroidery, felted rings, the use of partial felts, and using plastic resists; I've used all of these techniques in these cuffs.
The purple cuff at the top was so much fun to do the free motion embroidery on.  I love
the pattern that developed over the whole thing.  I made a ring out of felt then attached it to the end of the cuff before felting it.  The white cuff on the upper right also has free motion embroidery on it.  I found a cool old vintage belt buckle made out of bone and ended up sewing it on the front, I was going to put it on the Etsy site to sell it but I just loved it so much I decided to keep it!

I'm really happy with this black cuff  pictured above.  Here I
made a sheet of partial felt in gold and cut them into circles and felted them onto a base of black.  Through the felting process they fuse together.  By stitching around the circles it caused them to raise slightly, I used a variegated thread.  Then I stitched red coral hishi beads in the center

Now this white one here on the left....I'm still not sure if I really like this one.  It kind of reminds me of how oldfashioned sleeves used to have lace hanging down.  It was an experiment with kid mohair locks.  I ended putting it up on the Etsy site, like my sister says, you'd be surprised what people like!
(a note a few weeks after this post.....this white cuff has gotten the most "favorites" on Etsy !!! People really seem to like it )

The black and bright multicolored cuff here on the left I'm really happy with too.  Here I used a plastic resist and made a felt loop for a closure in the back. I did some hand stitching along the folded back sides.  To be picky the edges could have been smoother......

Not all the cuffs I made have turned out!  These are just the better ones.  Like anything, there are going to be a few failures but I have learned from each one of those.  I'm keeping good notes so I don't repeat the same mistakes.

All of these, except the white one, are for sale on my Etsy site, ifeltlikeitbyterry.  It will be interesting to see what sells and what doesn't.  When I make things I usually make something that I would like to wear, I don't really want to start guessing what others may want, that would put a damper on the creative process, for me anyway.