May 8, 2013


'Melon'Cloche' ~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

Making felt can certainly be a physically taxing activity.  Usually I feel like I've run a long race after all the rolling and throwing required just to make a single hat.  There is also much effort in the stretching and shaping that finally takes place, usually over a wooden hat form.  Often it requires a bit of wrestling with a particular piece to coax it into the shape I want to achieve.  Occasionally the hat develops its own shape which I am then obliged to work around until the hat and I agree on the outcome.  Sometimes the hat is right and I learn I must have flexible expectations! 

Featured in this post are four new hats made with pleats and flowers. I added the flowers in honour of spring since I am so happy it is finally here again. The pleats, added in the final shaping process, were a bit of a challenge to work with wet but once the hats are dry they hold their shape nicely, so, I am happy with the results. The hats were all made using the same resist pattern and yet each one is unique and quite different from the others.  A lot can depend on the type of wool fibres being used.  In this case the inside layers of the hats were made with merino and the outside layers were of unknown wool carded with lovely long silk fibres in contrasting colours.  Even so, each hat felted in a different way and one took much longer to felt than the others. 

That is the mystery of felting and why much of the learning is done by making observations while working.  It keeps me on my toes and I find it absolutely thrilling each time a lovely new hat morphs its way out of simple wool fibre that started out in a big, soapy, soggy mess.  

'Pastille'~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Pastille' on the perfect model

'Plum Cloche' ~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Plum Cloche'

'Rhubarb' ~ wet and nuno felted using
merino, unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Rubarb' back view

'Rubarb' on Mariah

'Rhubarb' inside

Felted flowers

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