For days now I have been lost in the creative moment ....the "Zone". It is usually the empty fridge that forces me to emerge, but this time I have been awakened by my dear friends Alice and Jo. Cold weather during the current School holidays is keeping their grandchildren inside more than usual and they want something to keep them amused.
Some had been dyed a wonderful gold colour with onion skins over a pit fire a few years before, some was "over" spun in chunks to form a 3D texture when felted ..the rest was left natural. An interesting contrast in texture was created with some gold cord. I preferred the coarser wool as it allowed me to create a nice sturdy bowl.
I don't remember the exact dimensions for this square...a little over 30cms (1 Foot square)..I think.
To Begin: Find a bowl or vessel that you would like to use as your mould. Cut pieces of news paper and experiment with folding it around the vessel. Then adjust the shape and size to suit. It doesn't have to be perfectly square..interesting vessels can be made from skewed shapes.
To make the felt you will need to lay out a square 40% large than your paper pattern. Lay the first layer wool in one direction, then the next layer at right angles to the first. Continue to alternate the directions of the layers until you have enough to create a solid bowl. The finer the wool the more layers needed. I am assuming that the Granies and others who may like to try this already know the basics of fulling the felt using hot soapy water.
To be truly free form one can make the square first then find a mould to stretch it over later. I used a pudding bowl...and tied an old stocking around the rim to hold the stretch. I also worked the base of the bowl with my fingers. If you don't like the shape ..simply take if off and find another mould to try.
Variations would be to cut the corners and add extensions...or cut and curl 3 or 4 leaves into each corner.
You can twist it, curl it, tweak it, pull it, cut it , carve it and stretch it ...all limited only by ones imagination.
Free form Felting is a wonderful way to experiment with different effects and bring out the creative instinct in all of us. Enjoy!