After making several of these felted mats with integral bowls (I can’t come up with a name that isn’t just a description), I was inspired to make a similar design as a wall hanging. Although I meant for the bowl to be more of a pocket, it is tilted upwards just enough to be able to hold moss and an air plant. The piece is secured to the wall using simple thumbtacks that are covered with leftover felt. I will keep making these and playing with the bowl shape and angle. I envision a whole grid of them on a wall in varying natural alpaca colors.
Back to the name dilemma. What would you call this piece? Maybe just a real name, like Susan? Or a made up name like cars models – The AVRA. Anyway, I will consider any and all suggestions. In the meantime, this item is for sale on Etsy
Wet felting is a very organic process for me. I figure things out as I go. Therefore…I am constantly making mistakes that I have to incorporate. (I rarely just throw something away.) Since I am often changing mediums and therefore almost always experimenting, I make a lot of mistakes. But for me, these are opportunities rather than failures.
For this particular felted wool vessel, I wet felted natural alpaca roving around a ball. Because I wanted the walls of the vessel to be rather thick, I wrapped about six layers of roving around a three inch diameter ball. If you have ever done any felting, then you know the unwieldy mound of fluff that six layers becomes. Conventional felting wisdom recommends using pre-felted pieces, or needle felting before wet felting in order to prevent the layers from slipping around. But I just go ahead and wet felt the whole thing. And the layers slip. And bunch. And do all sorts of uncontrolled things. Wrinkles form. The overall shape is imperfect. And for a moment I am disappointed; maybe I even put the misshapen vessel aside for awhile. But I don’t forget it. I look at it every now and then while continuing with other projects.
And then one day an idea comes to me. I decide to highlight the wrinkles by stitching a pattern in wool yarn. Thus the wrinkles are meant to be. They give purpose to the stitching which in turn enhances an otherwise plain vessel.
And that is a perfect example of my creative process; organic, experimental, inclusive, additive.
This item is for sale on Etsy
Continuing my play with geometry and paper tubes, I created a Himmeli-inspired polyhedron. You can find varieties of Himmeli all over the Internet. Traditionally a Finnish craft, these geometric shapes were made using straw and combined into mobiles to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Contemporary versions are often made using metal tubing or straws. I really like these made from colorful magazine paper tubes. Using floral wire, I tied four three inch paper tubes into a square. Then I threaded wire through one side of the square and into four six inch paper tubes to create a pyramid shape on top. Adding another pyramid below completed the Himmeli shape. This geometric sculpture hangs from the ceiling with string and is adorned with two air plants.