26. December 2008 14:03
I've made two more felt sculptures (a while ago) and have finally taken some pictures.
Dying wool is really fun and pretty easy to do. Check out this website for some simple instructions: [link]
The website is describing how to dye yarn but the same principles work for dying wool roving. What is so cool about the process is that you use cake icing dye (available at Micheal's) so the process is non-toxic and can be done with your kitchen dishes. Also there is virtually no mess because when the dying is done, nearly all color has been absorbed by the wool.
It takes about 1hr per batch and involves very little monitoring. I didn't bother with using a thermometer, I just kept an eye on it to make sure it didn't boil. Because I planned on using the wool for felting it didn't matter to me if the wool felted a little in the dying process. If I wanted to use the wool for spinning into yarn I would need to be a bit more careful. But even with being not-so-careful, the wool still remained fairly fluffy.
I also bought a pair of hand carders so that I could do some blending of the colors. The phoenix colors are blends of the red, orange, yellow, and brown dye batches. (I'll have to take some pictures of my dyed wool collection).
Construction was off of a wire frame and I wet and needle felted the basic form. Then I wet felted sheets of wool (~4"x8") that laid the colors out in a gradient from white to brown/black. Once the sheets were dry, I folded and needle felted the sheets onto the form.
They are a little top heavy and there isn't really any place to pick them up besides by the beak without crushing the felt. So I picked up some decorative wood blocks from Home Depot today to make them some stands. I think that will look pretty nice. Over all I am really happy with how they turned out.
Next project I want to try to make some little fairy dragons. I've started 4 frames this time so that I will have more to play with. (I was only going to do one phoenix at first but half way through I decided I wanted to do a second... it was a PITA to make a new frame for the second that was just like the first).
Anyway, I am open to more ideas of sculptures to try out. If you think of anything I am eager to hear.