Needle Felted Wool Dolls and Other Sculptural Works of Fiber Art
My soft sculptured character dolls were inspired by real people that I have either known personally or simply noticed from afar. They are not meant to be exact replicas but are instead altered egos of "familiar others".
With a decent place to work now, I am extending my craft beyond the Familiar Others character dolls; have been learning the art of wet felting and am very much enjoying crafting wool vessels, hats and wall tapestries. Please check out 'Wooly Hair Studio' at:
This was my first attempt at making a 'pumpkin' vessel but I have certainly made other vessels, but in my own defense, not that many, three to be exact. But this one turned out bulky and heavy and it's simply because I forgot basic principles that should become innate for me soon.
Mistake #1: Layered the fibers too thick aound the resist.
Mistake #2: Put fiber layers in the wrong order causing the outer layer to be horizontal rather that vertical. Result: Couldn't apply pantyhose wraps without disturbing the fiber layers.
Mistake #3: Tried to correct mistake #2 by covering fiber with sheer curtain remnant so I could pull the pantyhose over the mass without disturbing the layers.
Mistake #4: Prefelted the vessel before discovering the sheer had acted as a 'resist' and created folds in the surface of the vessel. (Luckily this vessel is felted wrong side out so the folds are on the inside and I discovered the problem in time to remove the sheer so that the final wet felting stage somewhat corrected the folds issue.)
Anyway, not wanting to give up on this beautiful fall-colored fiber, I added the embellishing yarn around the top then finished felting and fulling the vessel, taking extra time and effort to try and get the walls thinner and more acceptable. This helped but it is still too bulky. Nothing to do about that now except add the bead embellishments. Those will be larger earthy looking beads rather than the delicate glass ones that I had in mind in the beginning. When finished, it will be an acceptable vessel for displaying little gourds or nuts or even small twists of roving in the studio. (I will take additional photos when it is finished.)
Well here I am back again. We have been through so much major 'drama' over the past year...but I'm not even going to go into that, not here, not now. It's just hard to believe I am finally getting to do some serious - and not so serious - felting again and actually have something completed to post here! Wow! Happy, Happy!
InUterine1 Vessel/Pouch This is a theme piece I did for our annual Kindred Spirits holiday party. Each of us was to bring a gift to exchange and it was to be something from our own stash. One friend hinted that she might go to the "Knitty Womb" for funny inspiration. Since I have been comtemplating a series of InUterine vessels, pouches and figures, I found this to be a perfect opportunity. My Kindred friends are mostly wool spinners and knitters. They are forever giving me colorful bits and pieces of wool and yarn, scraps from their projects, which I snatch up thankfully. And we have ladies who own sheep and alpacas, so handdyed fibers are often available and I can purchase them at very fair prices. Virtually all of the fibers - batt and merino rovings - in this piece came from my Kindred's fiber inventory. It was so much fun to felt this vessel/pouch and all the little surprises inside. It's the second piece I've let go of and the possibility of selling my work is more appealing.
I promised a change and still it hasn't happened. But I really have been working:
Doctor visits for my husband, my friend and myself. Steve's hearing and vision issues are being resolved, Susan's MS is unfortuantely much worse, and I've been diagnosed with complicated migraine syndrome and peripheral neuropathy. Simple things like thinking and moving are more difficult, but I can still do them thank goodness!
Grandchildren and now, gulp, two GREAT grandchildren - and cute little boys they are! But not nearly enough time is spent with them.
Daughter Michelle has a new best friend of the male variety and they are just moving into new digs and building a life together. Tween granddaughter Lexy says they are correctly called "domestic partners".
Raising our new best friend Rocky from a cute little 7-week old puppy to a 1-year-old rambunctious delight!
And okay, I confess, to having watched a few episodes of Ghost Hunters and Ice Road Truckers along the way.
I've been doing a little writing mostly short, short stories and poetic stuff and have a new "Critter Cam" hobby (will have more on that later on my other blog).
I'm felting vessels and character dolls and currently working on "Mary Elizabeth", a doll modeled after my great great grandmother. But not enough time is spent in studio. I vow every day to change that.
Unfortunately blogging, as you can see, is at the bottom of my list. The quality may suffer, but I WILL COME HERE MORE OFTEN! If I can find the time that is, smile.
Oh, almost forgot to mention, I still work two days a week.
My life is full and I am thankful!
God Bless and see you soon.
Several weeks after my friend Carol's husband passed away I gave her my first felted vessel. She grows beautiful orchids and had really expressed an interest in having it to put an orchid pot in and the combo turned out quite lovely I think.
As my very first vessel it wasn't up to the standard I want to achieve but she likes it and I'm proud it pleases her. It has found a good home.
Life - health issues, family matters, etc. - has kept me away from this blog for much too long. But thanks to finally finding the right doctor I now have diagnosesis and appropriate medications and am feeling better. And with some of the family issues resolved I am able at last to resume felting and blogging about it.
It has really been a lovely spring in East Tennessee but now we're getting into a long hot summer . My studio is finally set up to where I can enjoy working in it and I am FELTING BETTER AGAIN! YAY!!!
My current project is a large handdyed wool and bamboo vessel, shown below at the soft felted stage and with slub yarn embellishments added. Today, I will finish the wet felting and fulling and am so excited! Soooo, let us go do that now!
Update, 9:21 p.m. - It's felted, fulled and drying. Can't wait to steam and shape it and add the finishing touches. Will upload more pictures then.
Update, Tuesday, July 5 - Gettin' there...a little more shaping to do, then shaving off the fuzzies to give it a little sheen, then adding beading and perhaps additional embelishments.
Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, artist, writer, photographer, animal lover, oh yeah, and wife. That's about all there is time for now but later I would love to become a traveler. Wales is first on my travel bucket list.