12 August, 2010

Summer Camp at Textile Center

By Lisa Peck, ASID
I was particularly looking forward to spending an evening at the Minnesota Textile Center. I lover fiber, fabric and wondered what type of project we would do that we could complete in 3 hours! At every center so far we had done two techniques and left with a finished product. Any fiber project I had done in the past took more than a few hours.
When we arrived I got my answer...we would be felting wool and spinning it. I had experience at neither and looked forward to creating my own yarn as I had recently been knitting...creating yarn I could use to knit with sounded like fun.
For our first project we felted wool balls...
We spent about a half-hour creating felted balls. I think we all enjoyed the process and felt we created nice balls but questioned what would we use felted balls for?
Answer...bowl fillers, garland, jewelery, art pieces...Here are a few examples.
Bowls by Betz White. il_fullxfull.118284486
Necklace from jezel @ Etsy.com.
Now that we had the hang of a wet felting process on to the more complicated felted sushi. I had a blast making this felted sushi roll and felt so excited by the process I wonder what I could do with this process.
We select wool roving in great color combinations to make our "sushi".
Then we felted the layers together.
Then we rolled the sushi.
Here are some examples of what true textile artists have done with the sushi rolls. When cut apart you get neat spirals.
After our adventures in felting we moved on to spinning wool yarn from roving using drop spindles. If I needed to perfect this art to win a husband, as women did in the prior to the invention of the spinning wheel, I would have never married. My visions of spinning my own yarn for knitting were dashed as I realized I didn't enjoy spinning enough to learn the skill well enough.
Here are examples of our final products...
Overall, my experience at the textile center and all the other art centers we visited got me excited about being creative, exploring new ideas and mediums and being playful in my approach to creative problems.

Please share a comment!