Fea: Materials Research

by Meredith 17. April 2008 15:40

Sample felted face out of undied wool rovingThe major exploration portion of the project was devoted to learning about manipulating wool, both with the dying and the felting process.

First I had to purchase by materials. Based on the recommendation of a friend I bought my wool from bought The Sheep Shed Studio. I ended up buying way more than I actually used: 5lbs and I used about 1 lb. My felting needles were purchased from Wool Works. Once I had the tools and supply of wool I tested out the felting process by making one face. It was fairly time consuming the result worked well enough that believed I could make the project work.

Dying wool with food color was fun!The next step was to dye the wool into the colors I wanted for the project. The best and easiest instructions I found to follow were from Pie Knits’ blog, Feb 20, 2006. This was an incredibly easy and fun process. Because the dyes used were edible (Wilton’s Icing Dye), the entire process could be done in the kitchen using the pots I already had, no special equipment purchases were necessary. Another amazing thing about dying wool is how little mess there is. You know when the dying process is done when all the dye has been absorbed from the water by the wool. Unlike fabric dyes, there is no real rinsing required, the wool as fully absorbed all of the color.

As part of a human and organic element, I wanted to work in a fringe of hair around the wool faces. I made wefts out of a mix of synthetic and human hair. The wefts were made by laying out layers of the three different colors of hair onto a bead of glue. A strip of fabric (so I have something more solid to sew to the dress) is pressed onto the glue. Once dry I cut the strip of fabric down the middle to create two long wefts of hair.

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About Meredith Cook

Welcome to my repository of creative expression. I'm not a happy camper unless I am making something and over the years I have dabbled in quite a few different kinds of art projects. Some projects come from taking art classes, others are completely hobby driven, and projects like home decor come from a need to customize an item and make it better or unique. The overall theme behind what I do is to learn how to manipulate objects and practice what I know about visual aesthetic and good design. Oh yeah, and to have fun.