Continuing with my quest for more craft knowledge I signed up for a Felt Ball making session with Carols Creative Workshops. Carol is a feltmaker, embroiderer and painter and runs workshops from her beautiful home studio is Streatham. Also in the group were three other lovely crafters and Carol greeted us with wine and biscuits (immediate win for me!). Carol is really friendly and the workshop felt so relaxed – which was great as I didn’t exactly take to the felt balling technique like a duck to water… consider me more a clumsy flamingo, overexcited by the sheer rainbow of coloured felting wool on offer.
The general premise is that you take your felting wool, wet it and add soap and then roll it into a ball. Keep adding water and soap and rolling and the wool will slow begin to felt and join – leaving you with a collection of round felt beads. I found the move between wet soapy felt to rounded ball pretty challenging so, while I created lots of finished balls, about half (I may be being generous to myself here) have grooves and little splits where the wool didn’t quite join.
I’m absolutely going to be trying the technique again and so I’ll save you the step-by-step guide until then – however I found this Martha Stewart Tutorial really helpful in understanding where I went wrong!
Carol reassured me that even slightly wonky felt beads can be made good by adding embroidery so I’ll definitely be giving this a go too to try and make the most of my workshop creations! Have a look at this beautiful embroidered felt necklace that Carol made – my inspiration for my next attempt!
So today I sat myself down to see what I could create with the felt balls I’d already made. and decided that jewellery was the best direction to go in. I selected the best of the bunch in complimentary shades of grey, turquoise and yellow. Here’s a snap of the full collection I created with Carol:
I was able to sew my beads together using embroidery thread, and by adding spacer beads and ribbon I’ve come out with a really lovely summery necklace. For anyone who might attempt this I’ve fastened my necklace (and attached the ribbons) using ribbon clamps and jump rings.
Photography by Hannah Cox. Covered under copyright © creativise 2012
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