Monday, May 3, 2010

The first project in Day 1 was to create a tight cane using the skewer technique. The cane was felted and fulled until it became dense and firm felt. Knowing the color composition beneath the surface, Mary Jane carved the felt, creating surface design through deconstruction. She embellished it with beads and, sharing my love of hidden magnetic closures, I showed her how to embed the magnets in the ends and add a safety chain.

Lyn, an accomplished needle-felter, seemed to thrive on these wet feltmaking techniques. Her emphasis was on hair adornments. She intends to attach a comb to the coil (on right in photo) to wear in her hair. Can't recall what she said of her intentions for the flower. Knowing what her interests were, I brought up the topic of fascinators. She was familiar with them, and we won't be surprised to see this flower on her head.

Ever since I taught in Australia (April before last), when I first heard the term fascinator, I have been working on these wonderful headpieces that are bigger than a barrette and smaller than a hat and utterly fabulous! They can range from delicate and feminine to bold and dramatic to whimsical and spritely. Expect to read right here soon, the description of this new workshop I expect to start offering by summer.

Marilyn made a wonderful rope by simply felting a length of this exquisitely dyed, fine Australian merino roving. (Last year I began stocking this same line of Aussie fibers. Its fine micron size yeilds a velvety soft felt with a smooth finish that is unrivaled for jewelry and neckwear.) Today she finished it with a couple inches of gold plated chain at the back closure. She embellished the center with acid green artistic wire and wrapped the dichroic glass pendant with the same wire.

Mary Jane decorated her felted rope with Swarovski sequins and bead fringe. End caps join the gold plate chain to the felt for an elegant finish.
In just two weeks I will offer this workshop at Jubili Yarns and Beads in Collingswood NJ (outside Philly). If we don't get to share in the felty beady goodness there, perhaps you can join me on at Creative Castle in Newbury CA. May 22 and 23 I'll teach 2 days of Felted Component Jewelry workshop, right after offering these popular beading workshops: A Bevy of Bezels (innovative use of polygon stitch to create quick and textured beaded bezels for rivolis, cabochons and Swarovski stones), Advanced Elements of Beadwork (second generation of a technique packed workshop that results in a finished necklace.) Register with them right away to reserve your place.