Some fashionable hats

November 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Well then. Looks like I have been neglecting this blog, yet again! Shameful.

Here’s a few hats I have made in the last couple of months. I have in fact been very busy felting. I have had lots and lots of felting things to do, and somehow I seem to have been to busy to post anything on here, which is a shame.

Here we have a wolf hat, a porcupine hat and some wolf ears. I have claimed the wolf hat as my own, and the other two are now somewhere in America!

 

And here’s some updates – coming up I will be at the Etsy Made Local Market in Bristol  on Saturday,

And Fabricate in Chepstow on Sunday.

If you happen to be in any of those places at the appropriate time then do come along and say hi.

I think I will try and update this blog weekly, to try and keep up with all the felted stuff I have been doing.

We shall see how that goes.

 

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Playing in the woods

September 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

Well hello…

I have been rubbish at blog. I have always been a bit rubbish at blog, but lately its been shameful. I have been meaning to add a post for months, but somehow I never seem to have the time, which is silly because it really doesn’t take that long.

And its not like I don’t have things to write about. Perhaps the problem is I have so many things to write about that I don’t know which one to do first.

I am determined to update this blog more often, and I’m going to start with something I did in August. A couple of posts ago, I wrote about this rhino. Me and Marcus, my glamorous assistant, took the rhino and some other costumes into the woods at Ashton Court to take some photos.

Because the rhino is supposed to be a ghost, we played around with trying to make it look floaty, by making Marcus stand precariously on some logs, which worked surprisingly well.

Seeing it in the woods, just standing there was actually very creepy, luckily we were out of the way of the path, otherwise we might have terrified unsuspecting passers by!

I have some exciting things coming up to do with this costume and others, but I am not going to mention it yet because I have many more things to update first.

 

 

The tiger has ears!

March 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

Finished today, despite having a cold. I like this one, but I can’t keep every hat I make. It will be appearing on etsy very soon!

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Tiger Tiger

February 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

Ever since I started making hats, I have wanted to make a tiger hat. Tigers are beautiful, striking animals, and I think one would look good in felt

So today I made the base of a tiger hat!

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Still needs ears of course. I managed to take some photos of the process this time too!

Like all my hats, it began with a flat resist made from thin packing foam

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The first thing I did was lay wool around the edge of the resist, so that it overlapped with the edge.

Then I lay down the first layer of wool. The overlapped edges were then folder into the other side of the resist. I then repeated that process until I had built up three layers on each side. Each layer was sprinkled with soapy water and then rubbed with bubble wrap so that the wool lay flat.

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On the third layer of wool on each side I put a layer of tiger colours – all hand dyed with food colouring! I dyed the wool last night in my kitchen.

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The last thing I did was add the stripes, and then I rolled the whole thing in bubble wrap for a long time, removed the resist and then shaped it into a head shape!

It was a lot of hard physical work, and made more work for myself than necessary by using a different breed of wool for the inside layer.

Most of the hat is made from Oxford Down, but I realised I did not have enough to complete the whole thing. So I put a layer of blue texel in the middle. The Oxford Down felted much faster and better than the blue texel, and there was a moment when I thought the whole thing might fall apart.

I managed to save it with a lot of vigorous felting, but I would warn anyone else making hats this way to avoid mixing your wools unless you really know what you are doing! It was very nearly a disaster!

Crisis averted though, it actually turned out very well!

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I will put ears on once it is dry. I am also going to add a button, so it can be buttoned up at the front. I remember to add a button during the wet felting process!

It may actually turn out to be my favourite hat so far!

Warm hats…

February 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

… For cold weather!

It’s February, and February is cold and miserable because everyone is just waiting for spring.

One good thing about cold weather is hats. I’ve made a few simple hoods with animal ears, which are nice and warm for the winter!

I’m trying to only use hand processed fleece for my hats, and I managed it with these two.

The first is made of the blue texel I was washing in my last post.

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It was supposed to be a wolf, but the ears came out a bit big. Still, its fun and warm. I managed to attach the ears entirely with needle felting, which is nice!

The next is made from some charollais and Shetland, and has more manageable ears.

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I don’t usually take photos of myself, but I’m not sure how else to photograph a hat when no one else is around. I suppose one of my cats could wear it!

Both hats are for sale in my etsy shop if you fancy one of your own!

I’m thinking a tiger hat might be fun for my next project.

What’s That Coming Over the Hill?

January 27, 2016 § 1 Comment

Is it a monster?

Ok, so really old song, but its totally relevant, because I have been making monsters!

Not posted in a while because I have been busy with a number of things, including trying to finish my Masters and also working a lot at a National Trust property (in the ticket office, so nothing too exciting, but still fun and a super lovely place to work) I have been making lots of things too, just forgetting to post anything to here.

So here is a couple of things I’ve made in recent months.

The first is this goat-person. Loved making this, the fleece I use was Oxford down, which I washed and carded myself. It felted so beautifully, it was a bit like miracle wool!

He’s a bit scary, but that’s what I like!

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Something else I make just the other day is this monster hat.

I wet felted around a random shaped resist, and then needle felted some detail on where I felt it was appropriate, and this crazy creature emerged. I like to think of him as a shamanistic monster headdress!

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I may well wear it out in public just for fun. It has better visibility than the goat, but vision is still obscured by teeth! I like to think it may catch on in fashion, but somehow I doubt it!

I liked making this – roaming free with organic felty shapes was fun and rewarding. I want to do more of it. I liked not knowing what it was going to look like as I made it. I knew it would have teeth, and that was about it!

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I will take it for a walk soon, take better photos.

I promise…

 

Evolving

October 28, 2015 § 2 Comments

I know what it is I wish to make. I have an image in my head, mostly. Or sometimes I have an idea, and the image is unclear.

I find it fascinating how the work evolves as it is being made. This is something that seems to be true of the medium of felt. Part of the joy of making felt is its unpredictability – the experimentation that is necessary to make anything specific.

Part if the design is up to me, but a lot of it (this is more true for wet felting) is up to the environment, and the material itself. So I make a shape, and from that the rest of the thing is born.

So yes, I can decide to make a hare hat, or a badger, or some wings, but it will always come out slightly different or not as I expected. Often much better than I expected.

This is very true of the project I have been working on today.

I wanted to make a mask. a bird mask.

So I cut out a bird head sort of shaped resist, and wet felted around it with grey.

It came out looking a bit like a knights helmet, which I liked realy, but as I began to put the detail on it changed. somewhere along the line I started adding fur, and before I knew it I was making the whole head furry.

I never consciously decided to this.

Here is the finished mask, photographed with the wings on Troopers Hill, Bristol.

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I think the creature I have created is melancholy because he wishes to fly, only he can’t because his wings are so small.

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