Wednesday, June 27, 2012

About.

Felt it?
               Me too..


Home
where felts are born..

        

My name is Nelly. I am a self taught fiber artist and felt maker. I started learning felt making after visiting exhibit of one of my Tango friends at the state art and crafts show in October 2011. Walking along booths and rows filled with all possibly imaginable art and craft works I suddenly stopped at the corner of a row mesmerized by incredibly gentle things of soft colors. 
It was felt, lovely, comforting, smooth, and airy.
It was love on a first sight, instant connection. I could not wait to return home to do research and learn all about felt making.That's how it started. I can't stop now, I keep making different things, from mittens to scarves, wall art hangings, garments, objects, etc. 
I stay up late at night. It certainly makes me happy.
Ever since I never stopped.

What is felt?
"A fabric of matted, compressed animal fibers, such as wool or fur, sometimes mixed with vegetable or synthetic fibers"/ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/felt
The origin of felt is unknown, there are number of places claiming to be the first, one of them Nomads from Altaic Region http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_7.html.
At Pazyryk in Southern Siberia archeological evidence of felt was found inside a frozen tomb of a nomadic tribal chief that dates from the fifth century B.C.
The oldest archaeological finds containing evidence of the use of felt are in Turkey.
The earliest felt found in Scandinavia dates back to the Iron Age. Felt sheets believed to be from about 500 A.D. were found covering a body in a tomb in Hordaland, Norway.

Felt is a non-woven fabric formed when sheep's wool or animal fur is subjected to heat, moisture and pressure or agitation. An alkaline environment such as soap, helps the felting process. Heat and moisture cause the outer scales along the fiber to open, and the soap allows the fibers to slide easily over one another thereby causing them to become entangled. The wool fibers are made up of a protein called keratin. The keratin in the fibers becomes chemically bound to the protein of the other fibers thereby resulting in a permanent bond between the fibers, making the felting process irreversible.
Felting is a simple technique requiring very little equipment. The main advantage felting has over other textile techniques is producing a finished product in much less time. No one knows for certain how humans first discovered the felting properties of wool and animal fur, but several ideas suggest how early humans may have become interested in making felt. Matted wool may have been noticed on sheep. Wool shed from wild sheep may have been found formed into a mass of fibers as a result of the elements. Perhaps they stuffed their foot ware, presumably animal hide, with wool to keep their feet warm. After walking on the wool for a while they found that it became stiff and formed a kind of fabric (http://www.feltcrafts.com/history.html).

Kalmyk Yurt House.(http://eng.ethnomuseum.ru/section69/27/110/230.htm 


Today felt making is experiencing revival, old and new techniques are used, it is becoming more and more popular in the West.
More about felt:

What fibers I use for felt making?

Most of the time - Merino wool, Alpaca.
Merino wool comes from the Merino sheep breed, it is the finest and softest sheep's wool.
Merino wool fibers are water resistant but at the same time highly absorbent inside.
The Merino wool fibers are only a fraction of the diameter of regular wool. That's why normal wool itches and Merino does not.
Merino wool is able to absorb and release the moisture, to cool or heat the body.
The fabric made of Merino wool is incredibly breathable, fire resistant and UV protective.
Merino wool roving
Inspiration

Experimenting with wool fibers I did have questions on my way. I did some research and came across to learn about the inventor of Nuno Felt - Polly Stirling http://www.wildturkeyfeltmakers.com/PollyStirling.html
and her co-inventor Sachiko Kotaka http://www.sachikokotaka.com/.
They became great inspiration in my work and gave me courage to learn more.

Mastering..
in nuno technique, I took workshop with an excellent teacher and felt guru
Robin Blackney-Carlson at her studion in Glens Falls, NY.
http://luckystonestudio.com.
Needless to say it was wonderful experience, I got so inspired to do and learn more.

More to learn..

Still searching for new visual effects and new felt forms I found stunning designer 
Tatiana Sheverda 
http://moodychameleon.blogspot.com/
who became my inspiration in learning and mastering nuno felt & shibori technique.
I wrote her a letter and took master class via Skype ( thank you, inventors!).
Her class is available at
https://www.etsy.com/listing/116844978/one-on-one-2-hours-customised-online
Wonderful, very informative and detailed.

Intention

My intention is to bring positive energy to your body, mind and soul by creating beautiful accessories and decorative  items.

My designs are inspired by nature -  leaves, grass, flowers, the true colors of seasons.
Each piece is unique, one of a kind. I design items that match personality to bring the very best in people (and pets).
                                                                               Inspired by Spring..


My early works


"Magnolia" Mantilla / Nuno Felt
Merino wool, silk.
No longer available.





"Daffodil".Muffler/Nuno felt.
Silk, merino wool.

No longer available.