Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words… Treetops has taken the plunge and decided it was time to make a video about our new Silk Mesh fabric. We are very pleased to be able to share with you all the tips and techniques we have discovered about using our new hand-dyed open weave silk fabric.
A huge thank you should go out to Soosie Jobson, my head computer tech and head video engineer. She has many areas of talent, one of which being her own YouTube channel where she teaches free tutorials about 3-D shrinkage rates other felt related things. Check her out at www.soosie.com.au.
Our felting group recently hosted a Teapot Totem workshop with the excellent teacher and artist Pam Mac Gregor from USA. Needless to say TREES feature very strongly in my life, so I picked a Boab tree as my personal totem. At the end of the class I was left pondering the question “Is it a teapot or is it a Boab tree?” Neither was my final answer, I think instead it morphed into a deer “tree” standing in a mossy forest. That imagery was from my life on another continent over 30 years ago, amazing how strong childhood experiences are held in the body….. oh well, at least I managed to create some kind of ‘tree’ totem.
We used Finn Wool, a very hard felting, strong wool. Quite a different experience to my normal superfine merino wool. On a learning note, the devore silk velvet I added for surface texture did not stay in place well because we were only rubbing the felt not rolling. I decided to stitch the edges down, which did the trick until further down the track when more fibres migrated through to hold the velvet.
Soosie is a felt and textile artist from Fremantle, Western Australia. “I love to make felt, it is absolutely my passion, I love that you start with a raw material and actually make the object. Then you get to stitch, bead or paint it!” Soosie has been making felt for about 15 years, her felting path has taken her through clothing, wearable art, hats, bags and even slippers. In recent years she has returned to the 3D form where she has been working on developing complex resists, and laying techniques that further push the structure of felt.
Finding her inspiration in nature, her resulting projects create living environments from felt, like the Felted Cactus Garden, and the Reef Dweller series where Soosie turned her local café into a coral reef with an array of colourful creatures inspired by Treetops wool and silk palettes. Recently science and geometry have been driving the design and development of her sculptures, as evidenced by her pieces in the MACRO|micro Exhibition held in Perth last August (photo entitled T
Soosie loves to teach, both face to face and online, and has launched a YouTube Channel with free tutorials. Her recent series: Shrinkage Rates Vs Percentages, guides felters through the ins and outs of shrinkage in 5 episodes, which in the next few weeks will be followed by Sculpting with Shrinkage, a 14 episode series that in 3 projects will teach you how to shape vessels using shrinkage.
This is one of my favorite felting tools. A plastic oil drip tray with hard pool cover bubble wrap clipped on. Tray is a super surface for fulling, holds the water in place to keep your wool wet while working. 95cm x 65cm, Look at auto supply stores for them.
After posting this photo on facebook, we received all sorts of wonderful suggestions for other similar tools. Here are a few of the comments:
Tanya Perry-Dunham I use a plastic,nubby boot tray! Which is about the size of oil pan you pictured and available for just a few dollars everywhere in America.
Pam Silva Black heavy duty boot trays from Walmart(in the rug section)also work really well for this and they have built in textured bottom for rubbing felt on. (usa)
Carol Jensen I use the plastic trays that are in the bottom of dog crates. They come in different sizes and can be found online on pet supply websites. Search for dog crate replacement tray. (usa)
Scintillating Stripe and Colour Sequences for Interiors & Fashion is a 2 day felting workshop by Nancy Ballesteros (Perth , Western Australia). Unravel the mystery of stripe sequences while taking your colour knowledge to the next level. Everyone loves a good stripe, but if you have ever tried to create one you realize it’s harder than it seems. We will design sensational stripes using guidelines based on the Fibonacci Sequence Principles (NO maths is involved!) as well as understanding how to apply relevant colour theory while enjoying hands-on colour play. Our final compositions in felt can have multiple applications from homewares to wearables or simply give yourself time to explore sampling. Click here for scheduled workshops or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
How time flies when you are having fun! Treetops was only a vague dream 30 years ago. In 1987, disillusioned and uninspired with a budding career in geology, Nancy gave birth to the dream of making a living from her love of textiles. Now, 30 years later, one-step at a time, and a whole lot of perseverance, Treetops Colour Harmonies can be found around the world. Thank you to everyone for their love and support!. How lucky to put colour and happiness into the lives of others on a daily basis.