February 2009 Archives

Hey everyone, I've been away for a bit moving to my new studio.  It's been hectic but we're finally done.


Right now I'm putting up the new show at Bead and Fiber.  For the next six weeks, Bead and Fiber is showing "Into Africa".  This is our February to April show.  Bead and Fiber is combing with the Hammil Gallery to do this show and they're lending Bead and Fiber some beautiful works.

Also, if you live in Boston and create clothing, Bead and Fiber is putting on a fashion show during the Sowa Art Walk.  The date is still being finalized, but the show, The Practical, The Impractical and the ARTrageous, is definitely going on.  I'm going to create some wonderful things for it and as it approaches I'll be giving out more information.

Moving to A New Studio

Yesterday, my son and I started moving my stuff to a new studio.  It's a little smaller, but I get to share the space with another great artist, Lisa Houck.  Here are some pictures of the new space and my tired son.

A Couple of Classes

Since my last post, I've been really busy doing a number of classes.  I've done a scarf class as well as a a jewelry class.  Both these classes went well, and my son helped me with the scarf class.  There were three students, who all came out with beautiful scarves.

Two of the students used felbi pre-felt as a base.  The good thing about pre-felt is that it works quicker than just using the wool roving. You can create designs on it that you might not be able to make as easily with the wool roving, such as polka dots and plaid.  You have a flat surface to start out with so you don't need to work as hard creating the base, but you also don't get the depth of color that you get from layering wool roving.  I created the plaid scarf below by weaving different colors of felbi pre-felt.

Creating the scarf took a long time, but I think that it turned out great.

The second class was jewelry and I had the student create a lariat of one color and then get to learn how to create a flower at the end.  Lariats are easier, and usually solid colors, but the nice thing is that you can decorate them with beads.  All of this was done with wool roving. 

If you want to do some of it yourself, the best way is to use a large piece of industral bubble wrap and take a strip of wool roving and rub it in hot soapy water.  I suggest using olive oil soap.  Soon you'll have a long thin strip of felt strip of felt that you can embellish with beads and turn into a necklace.

Thanks for stopping by at BFelt.  I hopefully get to take more pictures at the next class.

Interview With Christine Liu

Hi this is Ian Poole.  The blog posts on this site are mostly by Barbara, but I'm doing something a little different today.  We've got an interview here with Christine Liu about one of the classes Barbara recently taught on Felted Slippers.  Christine is a writer, and editor based in boston and works and has worked at the Weekly Dig, the Boston Globe, the Daily Candy, and Boston Magazine.

BFelt:          What experience do you have in fashion?
Christine:    I follow fashion a lot.  Fashion theory, clothes and what they signify.  Not design or anything, but more social and cultural aspects.

BFelt:          Have you ever taken any classes before in making clothing?
Christine:    I've taken a couple of sewing classes, and I have knitting experience.  I really don't have any room where I live to do anything except sleep and eat.

BFelt:          What were your assumptions before you took the class?
Christine:    I have been to the gallery, but I've never taken one of their classes.  I didn't have any idea.  I knew what felt was, though.  Before I went, I thought "What are we gonna do for 5 hours".  I did not know what I was going to do.  I knew I would learn a skill that would be interesting

christine laying out wool.jpg

BFelt:          What did you think of working with felt?
Christine:    I loved it.   If I'd known I'd was going to get covered with warm soapy water I would've worn less nice clothing.  I loved the hands-on aspect.  I don't think there could be room for more people.  There was just enough space.  The one thing I would suggest is just a little outline of what is going to happen.  I would have liked to know what the process was going to be before, so I could choose colors, but it might have been a blessing in disguise, because I would have agonized over the slipper.

BFelt:          How do you feel about the slipper that you created?
Christine:    I think they're adorable.  They're so comfy.  When I show people, they're like "you made those??".  It's nice to have something I invested myself in.  I feel like as far as the seasonality, and the recession, it seemed like a very timely class.


BFelt:          How'd you feel about the level of attention you were given in the class?
Christine:     I think it was great.  I ducked out to get a sandwich, and Barbara had finished layering the wool.  It was great to have the assistance.  I was impatient and she came over and helped me out.

Bfelt:           Do you think you'd ever want to make somethng out of felt again?
Christine:    It really transforms the object that [is made].  I've seen hand-made felt dresses, really simple minimalist cuts, futurist/primitive things going on.  If I had a whole weekend, maybe.  Maybe make weird little creatures.

BFelt:          Anything else you'd like to say?
Christine:    It is really fun to do, sort of like a vacation, but you invest in your own little creativity pod.  

That's all for today.  Unfortunately, Barbara didn't get to complete the last class yet because of the snowstorm.  But once she does, she'll be back up here with pictures of the class and tips and tricks on how to use felbi batts.

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