Felt Jewelry Techniques: Explorations in Craftsmanship, Composition, and Context
Focusing on materiality, participants will develop an intimate relationship with wool fibers’ contracting nature, malleability, and strength, while addressing its comforting qualities and associations. Learn techniques for making a variety of solid felt forms inclusive of cords, clasps, and hinges, and the means for connecting components to one another and to 2-D felt fabrics. Bring texture and concept to these small-scale 2-D components with additional material associations and referential patterns/images by way of fabric fusion, object inclusion, and free-motion stitching. Work will culminate in compositions to be worn around the neck while considering the body context.
Lisa Klakulak is a studio artist living in Asheville, NC, USA. Klakulak teaches felting workshops worldwide and exhibits at national fine craft exhibitions and select galleries. Her body adornment, accessories, and figurative sculpture have been featured in Fiber Arts, Surface Design Journal, Fiber Art Now, and American Craft. She was a 2015 recipient of the James Renwick Alliance’s Award of Excellence for Innovation in Craft. For more information visit www.strongfelt.com.
Human reaction to the unquestionable vulnerability of life is the lens through which I perceive and create. Wool’s qualities physically comfort. The process of coaxing the mayhem of thousands of filaments into felt satisfies my psyche. Body adornment contextualizes my work in reference to emotional and physical insecurity, as well as fiber-based jewelry being a unique stage for discussion of material valuation, permanence and associations.
- a large bath towel;
- merino wool (top or carded roving) in a variety of colors including primary colors to red, yellow & blue for color theory discussions/blending exercises (available to purchase from instructor);
- 2 pieces of small bubbled bubble wrap measuring 24” x 30” (no pool covering please, ideally cheaper bubble wrap as the bubbles have more “wiggle” creating an increase in agitation when rolling);
- half of a foam pool noodle;
- a pair of knee high nylons (used or thrifted is fine);
- single needle felting tools;
- 5” x 5” piece of at least 1” thick upholstery foam;
- measuring tape;
- double edged razor without moisture strip (look in the men’s section for Gillette brand);
- a variety of fabrics that are thin or have an open structure such as chiffon, tulle, cheesecloth (no piece need be larger than 12” x 12,” but can certainly be smaller);
- a collection of objects that won’t break down with water/soap/agitation, suggested no larger than 2” in length and width and .75” in depth (and with no sharp edges or filed down such as stones, shells, fired clay, glass, plastic, and wood & ferrous metal objects should be sealed or coated with rustoleum to avoid water absorption/tannin staining or rusting, respectively)
*All of these items except the “collection of objects” will be available for purchase either from the instructor or in the Shakerag store
Suggested materials, but not necessary for participation:
- hand carders for fine wool/cotton;
- a pocket scale measuring to .01 accuracy;
- small rotary cutter and self-heal cutting mat;
- sewing machine only if it has feed dogs that drop and you have a free-motion embroidery foot (also called a darning foot) that fits your machine (Bernina machines have an attachment hole/accessory called a knee lift that allows you to lift the pressure foot without using your hands and this tool is VERY helpful to allow for stitching on thicker felt and navigating around objects in your felt while you stitch);
- extra needles (70/10), bobbins and sewing thread (50 wt recommended)
Each participant will be given a small group of materials to start with, including fabric for studies and Moroccan Olive Oil Soap (total of about $15 as class fee).