A while back, I blogged about the raw wool felted laptop bag (see post) that I created for myself, and I thought I would show how the handles were made. Store bought handles of all shapes, sizes and colours are available in most craft stores (or online), but in my opinion, nothing beats a good quality, handmade, adjustable thick leather strap with solid brass fittings. I have not used a pattern for doing this.. I simply gauge the size based on the bag and what feels comfortable. The only factor to consider is the width of your buckle. I cut five pieces of leather, one for the strap, and two shorter pieces that are doubled over and secured to the felt itself using chicago screws (leather bond optional), and two narrower pieces that are looped to keep the strap from flailing about. The side pieces are very simple.. an oval hole in the middle for the buckle to pivot, and in this case two holes matched up on each side. Punch matched holes in your …
Forever inspired by my dear friend Elis Vermeulen of Holland to work with raw fleece (see my previous post on working with Texel with Elis), I decided to make myself a laptop bag a while back using my favorite medium. I have yet to add the straps (really need some studio time this week), but will be using some good quality leather with a buckle to make it adjustable. The base is made using norwegian C1 (I planned for a shrinkage of 30%). It is the perfect wool for sturdy bags. It produces a nice firm felt that hardly pills and wears well. Now to pull out a hide of leather and some brass findings. Oh! by the way, if you are interested in learning more about how to work with raw fleece, Elis will be teaching a bag class at the Creative Felt Gathering in Michigan this september. See her website for more details, or contact her to arrange a workshop in your area.
Yesterday, Elis and I published the 2nd International FeltUnited Exhibit. What started two years ago as an idea to connect artists from around the planet in a joint exhibit, grew to be a worldwide happening celebrated in over 25 countries on 5 continents. Nearly 1000 photos have been compiled in two themed exhibits featuring artists of all skill levels, from new beginners to renowned textile artists; all brought together to celebrate a common passion. Do take a moment to make yourself a comforting beverage, turn on some nice music and watch the show. We have also announced next years date and colour theme; Red–Purple–Blue, our third and final segment of the colour wheel. Please join us October 1st, 2011, see FeltUnited for more details. … and to Elis, thank you.. for everything. You are a dear friend, a fascinating artist and old soul, whom I am blessed to have in my life… I adore you. EDIT: fixed the links 😉
FeltUnited was celebrated around the world, as felters everywhere shared in their love of wool. Photos are streaming in, and I am in awe of how many joined in on the fun. Chile, Australia, Argentina, Germany, Russia.. the list goes on. Events ranged from large to small, some organized workshops, others decorated public statues, groups marched through city streets boldly wearing this years colour theme… and many hung a symbolic piece on their fence post; and in the meaning of the event, they Felt United.
Take a moment to read the article about FeltUnited in HandEye magazine 🙂
Another productive day in the studio (and it is not even noon!). FeltUnited as many of you know is fast approaching (at least for Elis and I). There are a series of projects ongoing in the studio (well mostly in my head for now) that require some preplanning .. ie dyeing fibre.
…when you work with fleece right off the sheep, full of grease and bits and bobs, trust me you get dirty and well the smell of all that stuff warmed up with hot water.. well.. I think you know what I am getting at!
The long wait is over.. FeltUnited’s 2009 exhibit is ready.
Feltmakers around the world took part to celebrate what they love.
We felt united! take a look.
Since that trip, I have been obsessed with trying to new wools. Specifically Norwegian heritage sheep, but also other breeds to get a better understanding of wool and how it felts.
A few moments from the studio today. Made using a mix of Norwegian C1 and pelsull with a touch of silk throwers waste for accent. Here is a glimpse of the process: UPDATE: This photo will give you an idea as to how much it shrunk in the felting process. Norwegian C1 is fantastic wool! ohhh.. and a link from Siki in Canada.. I absolutely love this, turn your music on and enjoy.
This was entry for the Cheongju Craft Biennial in Korea: suffice it to say I did not win ;( The theme for the competition was: (you can skip this part if you want.. a little long winded!) The theme for the 2009 Biennale, Outside the Box, proposes that craft be considered or approached as a composite whole, rather than as a series of fragmentary and contending disciplines. To think outside the box, as the phrase goes in the West, is to transcend spurious divisions through the human faculty of imagination. In newly-merged artistic and managerial discourses, ‘outside the box’ is where the indispensably ‘innovative’ is to be found. But it is also where a state of integration becomes attainable; where meetings become possible. As what is devised as a necessary means to an end, craft and innovation have ever been one and the same. By the same definition craft is integration; with nature, with others, with its collective self. It therefore has the power to unite and represent all human values, in the here and now. …
Artist of the Month Cynthia Reynolds Nesoddhuset October 3rd – October 31st opening Oct 3rd 12:00 come by and take a look
and then the important part.. see that hammock in the garden, grab a good “how to book” lay back with a cup of coffee and learn something new while relaxing to the rhythmic sounds of your tumbler.
A system that anyone can apply to is important, regardless of their location, or association affiliations. This should also be an anonymous application such that no biases are formed prior to judging.