Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Needle felting: Nuts and bolts.

I've become so passionate about this art form, that some of my friends are starting to ask me I must know something. Well, I have a long way to go, before I am any kind of an expert, but I am happy to share what I have been learning, so far. If there are any felters out there who would like to add something, please feel free to comment.

Lately, I've been learning about the importance of a light touch. It's easy to get excited and keep jabbing away like Michael in "Halloween"...but that's also a good way to stab yourself, a lot. I'm more of a tapper, now, than a jabber, especially on the flat pieces.

Felting needles are extremely sharp. They are also fragile, in the sense that you should not use them to pull fiber from one place to another. I turn them around and use the handle for this, or I grab a stronger, tapestry needle for that job. The latter is better, so you don't poke yourself. In any event, felting needles can break if you bend them, so it's best to use them, only for poking straight into the fiber.

Another thing to think about is needle sterilization. Since sticking yourself is common, sharing needles is a bad idea. Be sure to have extra needles around, if you want to show friends how to do this, or you want to teach classes. Each person should have their own needles.

Fiber comes from lots of different animals and even plants. Some is great for felting, some is not. I'll post more about that, as I learn more about it. So far, I have found that fiber that is crinkly seems to work better than ultra smooth roving, though you can crinkle some of the smooth stuff in your fingers and it will work better.

Today's pics are of a cat that is a work-in-progress and some tiny, flat "paintings", so to speak. I just keep experimenting.

I hope you will check out some of the other blogs that are listed on the right of this page. Some of them will take you to some awesome needle felters...who know much more than I.

I'm off to poke some more stuff! :)



Debb said...

Your cat is coming along. You should try some of the patterns on for needle felting.

Dianne said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, your welcome anytime. I listen to your music and its wonderful, beautiful voice you have.
Those little felted squares are amazing such tiny work in that little area, and all the animals a very sweet..

Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Thank you both for taking the time to comment!

debb...I saw the Squidoo Lens on owning alpaca. The videos were especially cool! I'll have to check out those patterns, though I rarely use patterns and only used instructions on my first piece. I like to make up my own characters and designs. I'm rebellious that way. :)

Dianne...I'm so glad you are enjoying my music! It's always a nice surprise when people follow my links all the way to my songs. I guess I need to make another YouTube video for my needle felting! :)

Thanks, again, you two...for stopping by!

Charlotte said...

I love your work, and the "inchies" are great!

Lilly*s of London*ish said...

Thanks, I added you, too. Your needle felting is amazing. I haven't tried that yet. I tried to felt a bowl in the washer and got a frisbee. Gina

Izabella said...

oh my... your blog is amazing, your work is amazing!! can't even imagine how you create these beautiful treasures!

Have a wonderful day~


DesigningFairy said...

Bettina, love, love your felt stuffies. They are wonderful. Just need lots of word of mouth. Just passing through...

mousewords said...

Bettina, your precious little kitty looks just like one of ours! He's too sweet!


kturnquist said...

I love Primal Singer Bettina and so glad to be the proud owner of her. You got better pics of her than I put on ABC. You should share them there. Eat your hearts out everyone, she's mine.


Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Thank you, so much, Kat! I'm so glad you like her! I'm stretched so thin, right now, with groups and I'll get back to ABC, as soon as I can! In the mean time, the pics are here! Thanks, again, for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I'm so glad my very, first collage doll went to such a loving home!