Wet Felted Milk Bottle Vases. Why?

IMG_5593These are leftover bits of wool that I saved from various projects that I have worked on since I first started felting in March.  Just like I hate wasting paint, I hate wasting wool, and string and fabric, etc.  I gathered the wool into color groups and carded them.  Carding the wool blended all of the different shades into a new shade.  I was going to use the bits as a bit of core wool for a project, but then I found a couple of bottles of milk left precariously on my neighbors’ dustbin.  The neighbors weren’t home, so I brought them home so the milk wouldn’t spoil.  Turns out the milk didn’t belong to them and they just sat in my fridge as I already had milk.  And that is the story of how I ended up with two milk bottles.

I had seen videos of people felting on old glass vases or jam jars etc.   You see, you can’t put flowers in felted vases unless they are contained in glass, so some people upcycle glass and turn them into vases.  It’s a nice idea.  I have to say that felting glass is not one of my favorite things to do, but I guess it has to be done at least once and rather than putting the milk bottles in the recycle bin, I thought I would wet felt them instead.

IMG_5596I split the colors into warm and cool and these are the result – two wet felted milk bottle vases.  They are not as pretty as the vessels I usually make, but they didn’t turn out too badly.

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Wet Felted Vessel With Hearts

IMG_5582I learn something new every time I make a vessel.  I had some leftover fabric I made for applique.  The fabric didn’t have any stitching on it, so I had high hopes that the applique would adhere to the wool better than on the last vessel I made.   I am trying to use up some of my wool that I originally purchased for needle felting.  This pink is great for noses and tails, but I am not needle felting at this time, so I decided it would make a great contrast for the bright pink applique.  The wool is Corriedale and is a bit too itchy for making hats (though some people do), but is great for making vessels.  I don’t measure out my wool when making vessels.  I had about 100g of this pink and I still have a little bit left over.  I don’t know what was going on in my brain when I was laying out the wool, but I used only 3 layers when I normally use at least 4.  This created some thin spots that I wasn’t aware of.

Downloads2Here is the completed bowl.  When I make a bowl, I tend to cut the hole in one side of the resist.  It is also possible to cut the hole at the top of the resist.  As I stated above, I wasn’t thinking clearly when working out the design and should have put the little hearts slightly below and in-between the big ones on the same side, or I should have decorated it with a view to cutting the hole at the top.  I was trying to avoid putting the applique on the seam.  This created some large blank spaces on the vessel.  Luckily I had some mother of pearl discs from a necklace and bracelet I deconstructed and some beads to fill in the gaps.  Although thread won’t felt, I used some for decoration and I laid down very thin wisps of Merino in the same color as the pink to hold the threads down. The wisps are so thin you can barely see them, if at all.  The applique felted very well, although there were a few areas that didn’t stick down too well and that seemed to be where there was a fair amount of silk fiber that was embellished onto the prefelt.  I just needle felted them down into the bowl and they are now felted in nicely.  I also used some of the Corriedale to needle felt over some of the threads where I stitched on the large pink beads.  Seeing that annoyed me when I looked in the bowl, so I covered them up.  As you can see, the bowl looks lovely on its own and with some fairy lights inside.

On another note, I sold a couple of my Xmas mice and my Long eared bunny on FB Marketplace of all places.  The lady doesn’t live far away and will be coming back for a couple of rabbits and my bumble bees next week.  I’ve reduced the price for the bunnies and bees considerably, but I do need to make space for more wool!  There is a sale on this month! 🙂

Wet Felted Vessel With Applique

Downloads2-033Here is my latest vessel.  I am starting a new contract, so I will only be able to felt on the weekends!  It is approximately 6h x 7w inches.

I used the embellishing machine to make some fabric.  I embellished different shades of pink and purple wool, with sari silk fibers and sari silk ribbon onto a piece of Merino Prefelt.  The silk gives the fabric a nice sheen.  I also added some Angelina fibers for a bit of sparkle.  I then used the sewing machine to sort of make some round flower shapes.  I have to admit that it was tough going without a backing fabric on the piece, but I wanted to use the fabric as an applique, as I did with the iris vessel.  I lost the will to live with trying to sew the whole piece of fabric, which is a good thing as I have an idea for another bowl.

I decided to make the design on the inside of the bowl, which would ultimately become the outside.  I thought that wouldn’t disturb the applique too much.  In any event, some parts of the applique didn’t felt completely to the vessel, but as it is all a learning curve, that was ok.  It may have had something to do with the stitching.  The wool and silk felted nicely in any event.  I embroidered a running stitch around each piece of applique and stitched a few beads on each piece too.  I was going for an abstract flower design.  The felt is nice and thick and I am happy with how sturdy it is.

On another note, I went my first meeting of the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers this weekend.  They meet once a month on a Saturday.  It was suggested I go by two people I met and I finally decided to do it.  I have to say that there is a combined wealth of information to be had here.  Although I don’t weave or spin, I am interested in dying and carding wool.  I met some really lovely ladies.  Although we are not supposed to bring work to sell, some people had bits of carded wool and books for sale.  I restrained myself from purchasing anything other than dye.  There was a guest speaker who talked about her life in dyeing and she had product for sale.  There were some bargains to be had.  If I had known about the dyeing class on Sunday, I would have booked that.  Something to look forward to in the future.  There is an exhibition at the end of the month over two days that I am looking forward to going to.  It could be an opportunity to show my work one day. 🙂