February 2010 Archives

Hey, I am going to be on TV talking about felt making on March 8th 2010!  If you are interested in the magic of working with wool to make felt, please tune in. The show is called "It's All About Arts"  It is a one hour live interview style (BBN TV Channel 9) show dedicated to promoting and educating in the world of art.  The show airs in Boston on Channel 9 from 6:00PM to 7:00 PM each Monday. It should be a lot of fun.  You are welcome to call into the show as well and ask questions.

For the show, I have prepared a video demonstration on how to make felt.  Rachel Worrall, my famously beautiful model, will be wearing some of my newest creations.   I have posted some pictures on my site of the nuno felt dress "Earth", but now you can see the clothes worn live!

The hosts of "Its All About Arts" are Glenn Williams and Suzanne Shultz. This popular show is in its thirteenth season, so it is a real Boston institution.

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I had the privilege of teaching five wonderful women. They call themselves the YaYas. They have been friends for over 20 years. They came together to celebrate a special birthday for one of their own, Gayle. Imagine, a whole weekend with your best buds. This, however is not a picture of Gail, but a picture of Suzanne, the organizer of this wonderful event. The event started with a Nuno Felt Scarf class taught by me at Bead + Fiber Gallery. We started at 11 am and everyone worked like mad till 2:30 when the scarves were finished .

What I love best about teaching these classes is the camaraderie that comes about while doing the work. With this class these feelings were amplified ten fold. The energy, caring and love that was in that room left me high the rest of the day. 

When they were all finished I snapped this photo for my wet scarf club.Happy Birthday Gail, Gail is the women on the right side of the picture.
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I love experimenting with new designs and materials, I just like to see if I can do it. These felted fingerless gloves are a perfect example. I wanted to try to create fingerless gloves that paid homage to Karl Lagerfelds' fall collection. In his fall show many of his models wore fingerless gloves in black with a touch of lace or ruffles. Mine are Merino wool with silk, tencel and lace inclusions. I love these fingerless gloves. They have both a feminine feel and a very tough urban feel.They were so much fun to make that I made  three more pairs all different.

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The green ones are made with Merino wool from my boutique, Algae  and Yellow Curry . I also added wool eyelash yarn as an inclusion.These green pulse warmers have turned up cuffs and the opening around the fingers is turned and stitched down. I think they have a very collegial feel.   I then decided to experiment with silk velvet. Which resulted in the purple Nuno felt pulse warmers, below..
I used cut silk velvet,  Merino wool in Pansy from my boutique. I finished the gloves by hand stitching velvet ribbon around the cuffs and the finger openings. The palms have a vine pre-felt design with hand embroidery emphasizing the design. I can't seem to get a good picture of the palms the color difference between the pre-felt and the wool is very close.
I think these have an Edwardian  feel. Purple and velvet, I can just see the women wearing this stepping out of a horse drawn carriage in the 18th century.

purple pulse warmers.jpgIn the last pair I finished, I wanted to create something a little bit wild. I really don't know how to describe them. They are a blend of all Merino wool from my boutique, Algae, Deep Water, Dirty Martini, and Hot Tamale. I know they have a reptilian feel but, they are a lot of fun to wear. You will definitely be noticed when you wear these felted pulse warmers.

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All of these felted pulse warmers are for sale in my boutique.

SO why do I call these fingerless gloves pulse warmers. Well, there is always a gap between the end of the glove and the sleeve of your coat. In our cold New England weather, wind rushes up my sleeves and chills my wrists. When I set out to design these gloves I wanted to make them long enough to cover my wrists to prevent a cold pulse, hence pulse warmers.

It is still bitter cold here in Boston. I know what you are thinking it is winter, get over it, but the harsh winter days just keeping coming on, with spring a distant memory. By now, If you are like me, you are bored, Bored, BORED with your winter clothes. The quickest way to change a look is to accessorize. A new warm bright scarf is just what I needed to banish the gray all around me.

I have made many scarves, Nuno and felt, but I wanted to try something a little different. When I am selling my scarves, I am frequently asked, " How do I wear it?" The question always throws me off kilter, I thought it was intuitive, I couldn't have been more wrong. That was my challenge, to come up with a scarf, that didn't need directions.

Here are the things that people found challenging about wearing a scarf; "what do I do with the excess?", How do I keep the ends from trailing on the ground?", How do I tie it around my neck to stay?" All the questions are design problems and I added my own problem, the scarf would have to be, feminine, light and block the wind around my ears and be versatile.

The three scarves in the video are the result of this challenge. They are all 36" - 40" in length, no more dragging on the ground, and no more excess.  They all have a slit near one end of the scarf through which you pull the tails from the other end ,Voila, no more wondering how to tie the scarf. 

I created the scarves by using the resist method and by exploiting the felting process. Each felt scarf is double ruffled, the ruffles were created by placing a resist ( a piece of thin plastic) between the layers of each ruffle. Then, because of  nature of felt is to contract more (shrink) when it is thicker than when it is thinner, I laid out the center of the scarf with three layers of woo roving, but the ruffles are only two layers of wool roving. This is what causes the ruffles, the center line, three layers thick, contracts,  more than the ruffles, the outer edges. I also made each side of the scarf in contrasting colors, making them reversible and because of the sculptural quality of the felt, the ruffles can be made to stand up around my ears, keeping them nice and toasty. I am planning on retailing these fun flirty, felt scarves in my boutique.

Here is one of my favorite fashion quotes that inspires me in my creative process.

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary"   Cecil Beaton, English Photograph and Fashion Designer 1904-1980


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