Thursday, February 12, 2015

Needle Felting with Wool, Wire and Beads

My first class in needle felting was late 2013.
It was around my friends kitchen table with a talented artist Sara Renzulli of Sarafina Fiber Art.
We made ornaments for Christmas: a gnome, a snowman and a seal.

Fast forward to a year later, Sara has a brick and mortar store where she teaches workshops and sells her fibers (most of the business is online order fulfillment. Wow for technology!)
Insert me into a job helping with orders and inventory a year later in her shop, and you get a new person (me) that gets to put her experience to work, yet learn a ton of new stuff about wool.

At the shop, I have been shown how to use the carding machines to mix up special blends of fibers for projects. On my own time, I wanted to make up some custom colors for myself in larger batches (the smaller batch way is by using large wire bristle dog hair brushes - but meant for wool). And the photo above are some of my first color blends.

And right about the time when I am feeling comfortable with using the machines and wanting to take the next steps creatively, my friend Sasha told me about a cool "Fun a Day" project happening in Wilmington, DE where every day in February you create something small. Then on the First Friday in March, all the participants that signed up will show off their work, all 28 pieces, at the DCCA gallery.

You can check it out via Social Media with #defunaday.
Maybe there is a Fun A Day project in your area too?!

So for me - I finally have a reason to fiddle with needle felting with wire, wool, adding seed beads, and my using my ceramic work to pull it all together. 
Each day I am learning a bit about forms and color blending. 
And how to layer beads and secure them to the wool and wire forms in different ways.

Slowly I am feeling the pull of wanting to create again.
It's hard sometimes dealing with life and a bit of burnout.
I love having a job outside of my creative art business that allows me to tap into my creativity knowledge base without having the pressure on my creativity to pay the bills directly.
We'll see where this goes!

PS - I am also able to teach classes and workshops at Sarafina!
I've got a square stitch bracelet class coming up in March.
Super excited about teaching that one as I love the peace that comes from bead weaving.

Until next time...


Carol Dekle said...

Marsha, I love where your creative journey is taking you! It sounds like so much fun putting together different fiber palettes and making unique creations. I can't wait to see what you come up with, especially with your ceramic beads!

Jill H said...

Just learning needle felting myself and have learned tons from Sarafina fiber arts available through YouTube. Interested in seeing beads incorporated with it. Wish I had known about Sara when I lived in Wilmington. Post pics of what you create!

Mary Harding said...

Wonderful to read about your creative journey Marsha!! It makes me happy to see you excited about this new work!!

Skylar Bre'z said...

I too fell in love with felting. After doing bead embroidery for over 20 years, I needed something new to try. At a local fiber festival about two years ago, a vendor showed me needle felting and I was hooked! I'm having so much fun, combining felting with the bead embroidery! So much fun!

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Thanks for the comments! I just love how taking time to learn about something - a technique or a medium - and not rush it - allows something new to emerge.

Maybe at some point we can have a little gathering link up for some needle felting things we have fiddles with (or fully divulged into).

I am really trying hard to hold off on learning how to spin yarn. I am loving fiddling with the batts and colors (mixing and layering). So amazing!

And You Tube is such a great resource! :)

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