Friday, February 25, 2011

I am still alive and well! Plus repairing and patching holes!

You may have wondered why I was gone for so long.
There is one thing that happens when you start a business, whereby suddenly a lot of people think that there is a lot of money to be made from feltmaking.

Therefore, you would see these people coming to the markets where I sell and trying to sell their fares. It is frustrating, especially when you have been teaching those people for free just for the fun of it and suddenly, they are happy to use your own techniques, are prepared to copy your own designs and are prepared to travel long distances just to sell at the same place where you sell.

Copycating is annoying, as well as it damages your self confidence I believe. It happens to everyone, myself included, and it is a result of laziness, but also lack of ideas what to make and what to do next with the "business". No more ranting then.

Today I have been working for the first time with my Pfaff machine, I used it to repair my customer's jacket.  She had it ripped in front.

Here are the photos from the process.

- I used 1 needle to secure the design lightly

- outcome: the thing is that the fibers move when needle felted in Pfaff, next time have to figure out something different
- the flower shrinks and the design slightly desintegrates, next time I should use more wool on the top of the denim

here is the hole, I patched it up with a square taken from my old jeans, the idea is that there should be the same material underneath the wool so the needlefelted design is of the same consistency and sturdiness
- felt-o-matic, that is the 100 needle felting machine is useless here, because it creates wholes and disturbs the fabric. Better use your old fashioned needle felt tool.

When finishing the flower in Pfaff, I have broken 1 needle only (make sure that you follow the rythm of the machine and do not push your fabric too quickly). To make sure that fiber does not move when you needlefelt the rest of the flower, start from the centre of the flower, and then outline the edges.

The finished flower looked a bit bland so I added some decorative stitching here and there.

 Finished jacket.

the idea of fixing and patching is not new, for instance in netherlands artist Heleen Klopper, is creating fabulous patches for damaged and ripped woolen jumpers using the technique of needlefelt.  more to be found here
design klub

the effect brings moss and lichen patches so often to be found on the west coast of ireland. 


Yvette said...

wow, I came by by accident and what a great blog you have!

FabulousFelt by Kate Ramsey said...

thanks, I am trying to share the insights of working with felt so if you can link my blog further please do! Spread the word!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you talk about copying, Kate. I still remember our discussion on Flickr where you asked how I made my new design and said that "you believe in learing by repetition"! And then you shamelessly copied it and sold on Etsy. Your square necklaces remind me very much of my own felt necklaces and so it goes for your 'butterfly' scarves. The fact that you are able to felt someone else design doesn't mean that it is your own design. I am glad to hear that you experienced on your own skin what it feels like to be copied.

Marika said...

About copying it is an interesting subject and I have experienced it myself but, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. In the east they reckon only by copying a master will you learn and then master something new.
Everybody has their own individual style or will develop it over time.
And don't forget children copy all the time in order to learn.have more confidence in your own talent

Marie said...

Interesting post, Kate. My take is that there is nothing new under the sun - if you or I can think of it, it's probably been done already by someone out there. The problem I have with the proliferation of felters in the marketplace is that there is so much BAD FELT out there now and the buyer doesn't know the difference. It hurts all of us who pride ourselves on our craft and have invested time energy and money in learning how to do it well. I'm beginning to empathize with those teachers who will not teach their signature pieces. It's saddening to see a student try to sell something they made (not very well) for the first time in your class. It's frustrating to have people come to me with things they have bought from other felters and ask me how to repair or restore it. I love your work. Keep going - good felt is still necessary in the marketplace. Marie