Material Explorations

Fibers and surface experiments

In my explorations of felt, I’ve been interested in creating seamless forms and shapes. I love the forms and shapes that Andrea Graham creates. I started working by creating small vessels. By wet felting with a resist, different forms and structures can be created. I created a bunch of pods…..

and used them in Aural Outpost. I imagine them to be nests or homes for the users of The Depository.

I am curious to move beyond the pod like form into a more organic, abstract form and structures.

I started researching different forms, textures, and structures. The web is great for visual reference information. Pinterest is a big help. I started various boards there for visual research. Feel free to look at my collections.

I came across the book Filtz Experiment and other books in the series. Despite the fact that they are written in German, I’ve found them to be a great resource of insight. They have beautiful, clear images. With a little help from Google Translate, one can get the gist of what is being discussed. (thank you Google Translate.)

I set off to create some fiber surface experiments. The images in Quentin-Stall and Quentin’s book gave me some clear directives. I prefelted some wool, then manipulated its surface by sewing in threads and pulling them tighter during the wet felting process.

First, I tried a more straight-forward approach to create these stalks or fingers. After prefelting the material, I sewed some cotton twine into various patterns.

I pull this twine tighter as I wet felting it into shape.


They came out quite interesting. I could see this being a nice surface texture on a larger form. But making quite long independent fibers could be made more easily than by manipulating the surface design. Knitting or large-scale wet felting seems to be an easier approach at this point.

So, I went on to create a larger tube structure, with surface textures. Since I work with white all the time, I thought it’d be a nice break to work with a color. I have tons of green about in my studio, due to my love of plants and natural forms. So I kept going with the green and laid out the fibers.

After prefelting it, I sewed the fiber with threads to later pull taut in the felting process.

All in all, I like the direction this is going. It’s quite sturdy and I love the folds or wrinkles in the surface texture. I see some interesting possibilities for these for additional materials.

Next up, is a larger tube with wrinkles. Much much larger. Like 6 feet long (finished). It’s going to be a long process just of laying out the fibers considering my work space. But, here goes…..