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 …
Summer.. mother nature at her best. Long sunny days, swimming in the cool sea, meals under the blue sky … It also brings along vacation for the little ones, mine included. These early summer days have spoiled us, we have had sun filled days at the beach and spend much of our time these days outside. It is the perfect opportunity for me to work on some projects that can be done outside. Projects that can be picked up (or put down) at a moments notice, allowing me to pay attention to the needs of my children. Long days in the studio where attention to timing (ie.. light sensitive material) will have to wait. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a reader. No… not a fiction reader, but a reader of reference books, how-tos, I read everything I can get my hands on regarding Crafts – not craft as in ‘get a glue gun..’, but Craft as in time honoured traditional techniques, skills passed on through generations. It …
Lately I have had been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding shibori, the japanese art of creating texture and colour on cloth. There are an incredible variety of styles and techniques that are encompassed in the Shibori classification. Here are some photos (and a quick tutorial) of a piece I made using the bomaki shibori technique.
When I work with text or drawings (either hand-drawn or computer generated), I need to go through a variety of steps to move them from the 2 dimensional world on my computer or piece of paper, to a 3 dimensional format that I can use to create the mold the the jewelry I create. One of these techniques is using photopolymers.
The vast majority of us have things laying around the studio that we no longer need or use, and an ever growing list of things we want. Whether you are learning a new craft, or are just tired of storing the supplies from a hobby you no longer enjoy, this could be a great opportunity.
I took at look at my stats today, and just wanted to say thanks for reading. When I started my blog this summer, I had no idea that it would be read by so many people. I would love to hear what you would like to see more of (take this anonymous poll – choose 2 options) : by the way, if you want to subscribe use the RSS feeder links on the top right then bookmark it.
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.
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.
Another ring in the works… This is a photo of my next piece in the kiln. The ring is sitting on a bed of vermiculite and some fibre blanket for support. I make plugs out of investment (powder that is mixed with water and then set – here is the brand I use) in the correct size such that the ring will be a specific size once I am done. This one is made size 8 1/2 (American sizing – to convert click here) I own a Paragon Xpress E-14A it is such a fantastic piece of equipment. I did a ton of research before choosing my kiln and this one will allow me to move on in other forms and media including glass fusing/slumping, ceramics (I do silkscreening and have a serious set of custom dishware patterns in my head), enameling as well as lampwork beads (I chose the option of a beaddoor) because I know myself… It is just a matter of time! I am reasonably well versed in all of these techniques, …
As you roll the ball, you will feel it start to felt. Resist the urge to squeeze it, as the secret to getting a perfect pearl is going slow and gentle.
Some artists prefer to see their work take on a life of its own, only knowing at the end what the final product will be. I have a hard time working that way.
I am working on a line of silver and felt jewelry. I am sculpting fine silver “egg shells” which will be turned into earrings set with a “felt pearl”.
One thing I love is to come across a great tutorial that gives you a glimpse of the day to day workings of an artist. To see a work in progress is something that I cherish. Watching it come to life step by step.