Art can be more than just drawing, painting, or photography. One of my new interests in non-traditional art is feltmaking.
Robin Blakney-Carlson, a feltmaker who runs Luckystone Feltworks Studio in Glens Falls, NY, created the abstract piece above by felting wool and using such as silk and fabric. She was my guide into the world of feltmaking.
According to her website, feltmaking has been around since at least 500 B.C. and uses sheep’s wool. Traditionally people felted fibers into large pieces that could be sewn into clothing, jackets, and hats. Here is a great article about the history of feltmaking. While the process used to be primarily for functional objects, artists are now felting to create wall hangings and other types of art.
I went to a workshop this summer featuring instruction from Robin, her sister and fellow felters Polly Stirling and Sachiko Kotaka. Below is a photo of Polly showing me proper technique for rolling up my piece and agitating it to help the wool fibers grab on to other wool fibers and felt together.
I created a landscape image using a wool batting, loose wool, silk fibers, and silk chiffon fabric. Here’s me holding up my final piece:
Have you ever tried creating art with wool (by felting, knitting, crocheting, or another way?) What do you like about it? Leave a comment and let me know.
If you want to see more examples of feltmaking, check out Robin’s blog.