the latest felting adventures

A series of before and after pics from a felting session last week…

The first two pieces, focusing on working with colour, are flat felt in merino with a little silk floss on the surface. The first is more about the colours outside my window; the second, the colours inside my head.

outside colours

before

outside colours felt

after

inside colours

before

inside colours felt

after

The next sample is nuno felt using sari ribbon with a cobwebby layer of fleece, in this one the top layer is the ‘back’.

sari ribbon nuno felt

before

sari ribbon nuno felt

after

I really like the scribbly texture where the frayed edges of the ribbon are felted in, it looks almost like machine embroidery.

sari ribbon nuno felt

detail

The next experiment was to follow up a thought I’d had when making this scarf, ‘what if I felt a cord tied with sari ribbon?’

felt cord before

before

felt cord

after

Finally, I made a nuno felt ‘sandwich’ of two layers of thinly laid fleece trapping a layer of fabric scraps between. Sorry about the blurry ‘before’ image!

trapped fabric before

before

trapped  fabric nuno felt

after

The next colour pieces I do are going to be bigger! I want to make some seat covers for a set of dining chairs we have that are in rags. I’m going to try the felted cord again, with a variety of ribbons and yarns; and the nuno pieces are quite soft and stretchy and would need to be stronger for actual use – more experiments definitely needed there!

I’ve applied to end the deferment of my OCA Textiles 1 course at the beginning of March – exciting and a bit daunting as I’ve got so out of the habit. I’ve already ascertained that I can focus on nuno felt and shibori for the fabric manipulation module I’ll be going back to, so I can continue to build on what I’ve been doing recently.

I had some other bits of news but I think I’ll save them for another post as this one seems to have grown very long already. :-)

fun with Flock and Flickr

Styling itself the “social web browser”, Flock (based on Firefox), has a host of built-in features for social networking, but I’m writing about the one I like best – the Media Bar. This can be opened from the View menu or by clicking an icon in the Flock toolbar:

Flock media bar button

The Media Bar can be used with several different media services including Facebook and YouTube, but I only use it with Flickr. When the bar is open (at the top of the screen by default though you can move it to the bottom) it displays photo feeds laid out as a single-row grid of square tiles. (I have a thing for grid layouts so this is great for a start!)

There are a couple of built-in streams, which update regularly to show the latest images that have been added to Flickr, for example photos from your Flickr contacts:

Flickr contacts

But you can have your own custom streams too, and this is where the fun really starts. You can add your favourite Flickr searches – mine include “stitch textile”:

stitch textile Flickr search

shibori:

shibori Flickr search

and “nuno felt”:

nuno felt flickr search

It’s visually exciting to see the thumbnails together, and if something particularly catches your eye, you can hover over the thumbnail and expand the image to see it better and find out who it belongs to – this one is by felt4uart:

nuno image expanded

Or you can click through direct to the image on Flickr (this is by KatharinaBe):

from media bar to Flickr

You can tell someone else about an image:

sharing images

And save your favourite searches to revisit:

media stream menu

Sometimes I play with keyword searches for inspiration – this was “orange spiral”:

orange spiral search

The default media stream is “Preview New” which displays the newest images from all your saved searches, including your Flickr contacts.

Flock preview new

I spend much of my working day using a browser, so I really like this colourful little changing show of textiles and design inspiration quietly feeding itself onto my screen. Something will often catch my eye and give me a moment of pleasure. When I stop for a break I sometimes scroll back through recent images and maybe follow through one or two that stand out. And if it all gets too distracting, I can just close up the Media Bar, knowing next time I open it up there’ll be new goodies to enjoy.