Wednesday, October 4, 2017


hand dyed wool rovings, hot water, soap, washing machine, perle cottons,
buttons, feathers, beads, leather, & needle felting SUPPLIES

This assignment is always a massive undertaking,
 in the preparation of gathering and ordering materials,
but so worth the effort involved
It also creates a big soapy mess,
so not for the weak of heart.
Weeks before I begin this project
 I place an order at The Woolery for washed and carded wool batts in all their neutral colorways.
They come to me in huge pieces that I gently pull not cut apart
 to make student sized pieces for their foundation
(approximately 13" by 18").
I also order dyed wool roving from Gleason Ranch
and Capistrano Fiber Arts so I have a wonderful,
 colorful selection for the children. 
And then there are the leftover bags of wool scrap roving
and pre-felted wool cut-off pieces
 that I've saved from previous years that the kids can use as well.
Since they are pre-felted,
they can cut out specific shapes to place a top their foundations.
And believe it or not
 I have another bag of fiber goodies that I collect off the floor;
things like bits of laces, ribbons, yarns, old doilies
 that are also available for their use
 to add small bits of texture and bas-relief to their colored foundations.

So let's take a peek at their work.
These two pixs above and below are a take on Starry Night 
and were done by junior Jillian Morris.
The pix above was just after she had finished pre-felting it in my classroom 
with lots of hot soapy water and a lot of elbow grease.
Below is it's shrunken fulled self after I bullied it in my washing machine.
(too much lighting below, true color above)
Bullied refers to how hard I washed it in my machine.
Hot soapy water on wildest speed with old shoes and towels thrown in for good measure.

And here it is in it's finished 3-D form 
along with junior Britney Hong's gorgeous clutch above.
Jillian turned hers into a pillow with terrific embellishment
which really enhanced her Starry Night.
And Britney's clutch had the most glorious movement in color from light to dark.

These next two cuties were designed and made by junior Samantha Tan.
Adorable but difficult to pull off in this 3-dimensional state.

And not to be outdone by Sam is 8th grader James Lara.
He has truly remarkable critical thinking skills,
and designed his own pattern for this hat,
cut up his one slab of felt into all the necessary parts,
and needle felted it together.
And James being James,
the cherry on top is the cute little bear he needle felted below.
The older kids were awed by this remarkable construction,
as was I.


Junior Rachel Kannampuzha pulled off an epic work with this purse.
Everyone loved her pre-felt and couldn't wait to see what she was going to create.
 the critical skills needed to pull this off are incredible because of it's dimensional form.

These children have no experience with pattern making,
but they truly give me their all as they push themselves into scary terrain.

And then were did she find the leather?
Too expensive for me to afford to give the kids.
Although now that I think about it,
perhaps I should thrift some old purses that the kids can break down for parts next year.

I'm really loving the use of feathers on the top piece above by senior Hannah Park.
My neighbor friend and I collect feathers all year long up on the mountain 
so I can share them with my students.

And what a beautifully crafted clutch senior Crystal Lai-Ton-Nu has made above.
Those 3 strands of boucle' yarn really add a nice linear element to the elongated form.

And then we have overachiever,
English teacher Donna Hall.
Only kidding Donna, 
we are all just so jealous of the time and effort you are able to give each of your pieces.
Above is her pre-felt,
before it went into the washing machine.
Amazing right?
Below is her 3-D opened journal cover she made her felt piece into.
Donna's attention to detail is remarkable,
veins embroidered into every leaf, 
as well as the layering of all the fall colorways into her landscape.

And do you see the sweet little bird she sewed on,
and it's nest with blue egg she needle felted on?
A brilliant art piece Donna!
We are so proud of you and this remarkable work!

Next we have super star junior Lynette Lee.
I have shown off her work for almost every assignment.
She truly has so much innate design skill going on inside her,
and it's always a treat to she what she will create next.
Above is the backside of her 3-D felted journal.
She needled felted the deer head onto her foundation after I ran her felt piece thru the washer.
Everyone was astounded by the amount of effort she put into this journal.
Then check out the front side below.
She cut up a pair of recycled jeans and lined her journal with the fabric,
then allowed a bit of it to peek out.
The first time I saw the finished piece,
 I was flabbergasted with the critical thinking used to pull this lining off.

The gorgeous color scheme used in this next one by junior Juliana Oliveira had us all swooning.
So very sensory.
The prefelt above and the washed fulled piece below. 
And what did she make with it?
This artful purse below.
Love how she used the cut off edge bits and pieces as bas relief elements.
It adds even more interest as she spirals them around the backside below.

This is her front with the blanketed perle cotton edging and the braided strap.
Wonderful Juliana!

Another super star,
8th grader Loren Kim,
 created this next clutch purse.
She needle felted all the edging and the leaf.
The contrast she achieved between the lighter marbled foundation and the leaf is breathtaking.

Senior SarahWoo thought of a clever way to pull extra color into her construction.  
She used up several different scrap pieces and did a bit of quilting with the felt.
Almost feels like she is log cabining around her foundation.
She turned her felt into a wallet that had several compartments.
I wish I had thought to take a pix of the inside.

We end with senior Vicky Hur's pencil case she built.
The form was really cool.
She curved the side pieces so that the top rounded as she pulled the cover overtop.
And if you look closely she found some fun embellishments to either sew or pin on.

I am so proud to share all these amazing pieces.
Have I told you lately how much I love, love, love my job?
ha ha

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine throwing these into a washing machine ... such faith in process!

    And I didn't think anything could match Jillian's starry night clutch ... until I got to Sarah's patchwork felting.

    Along the way I greatly enjoyed seeing the ingenuity in construction techniques, veined leaves, found feathers and thoughtfully stitched embellishments.

    For sure some thrifted bags with leather and/or metal fittings would make for similarly stunning results. Love how you're always looking forward!