Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wet Felting Flower Seminar with Carol Cypher

So, I said that it would be coming and here it is. The complete rundown on the Carol Huber Cypher workshop that I went to last weekend. If you can imagine that lovely wooley smell that is slightly redolent of wet dog, then you can feel like you were actually there.

We arrived and were greeted with a long table covered in luscious wool. It was full of little bags filled with roving in stunning color combinations. We each chose our seats and our bags, fully geared up for a full day of felting and fulling. ( Could I use the word "full" there a few more times?)

Then it was time to design our flowers for our lariats. Mine started out looking like the love child of Cousin It and Man Ray. They were puffy and lovely and tempting to pet, but always remember and never forget: Don't pet the felt!

The water came out and it was time to start felting....and rubbing and felting and rubbing some more...with intermittent peeks to check on the progress of the flowers.

Next we moved on to the fulling and shaping of the flowers. Folks went wild here, some ended up with multi-petaled rose/violet hybrids that exist no where but in the imagination. My flower called out to be a trumpet shape, like the Angel Trumpet Flower, so I did my best to give it what it wanted.

Next we made our lariats. This involved essentially laying wisps of roving down over a long length of roving, building up thicknesses where we wanted to cut leaves later, and adding in colors for interest. We then felted these as a rope, and tried not to entangle each other's fibers at the same time.

Below is some great video of Carol explaining how to cut the rope part of the lariat to sculpt it!

Then it was time to bead and assemble. Carol was insanely generous in sharing her impressive bead stash with us. I was immediately drawn to some lavender fringe beads that seemed to be just the thing for my lariat. I didn't want to overdo the beadwork, but I still wanted it to have some pop. I also added a little pekoe stitch beading around the edge of one of the petals for some textural interest.

Here are some photos of the finished product. I really love how it turned out. The image on the left is before it was quite done (hence the hanging thread)...the one on the right is pretty much fully realized. One thing that I did that I love is that I split open the "bump" that I had sculpted into the "pod" end of the lariat and sewed in a lava bead. It looks like a primeval seed.

My husband says that they whole thing looks like it is about to assimilate me , like a Triffid. He couldn't be right....could he?


TrueMirage said...

Yes! resistance is futile! oh wait, that's the borg and this is definitely more "pod people" - except gorgeous. sounds like amazing fun.

kneek said...

Ahhh, I'm dying! What an amazing workshop. You are so lucky. I've been making tons of lariats lately, but none as lovely as this! Oh my. Where does the line on intellectual property lie when she has published this piece in a book? Oh my. Oh my. Thanks for writing it all up. Your lariat is GORGEOUS! Well done!

Marysusan Noll said...

The technique was in her book and that is what she taught us. Each lariat was our own design based on her technique. We expressly asked her about selling items based on her techniques and she said to please go for it! (But I'm not selling that is my souveneir!)

breezily said...

I love it! What a great workshop. Thanks for sharing.

raspberry said...

That is amazing, I think I should really try to get to do some feltmaking course, mine stuff, look really quite dull now, and not experimental enough!

Paul said...

Good Job! :)

Chair said...

I just got my first ever felting kit yesterday & started my first felting project. Made three hearts and a couple of beads. LOVE it. Gotta try those flowers.

Crafty Critter said...

I love the flower lariat. For some reason it makes me think of vining plants in the Amazon jungle or somewhere exotic. Just gorgeous!