Blistering (felt) barnacles!

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday so ESP and I headed off to the Salvo Fair at Knebworth House to see if we could find some iron railings for the front garden. I’ve never been to Knebworth – open-air rock concerts aren’t really my thing – but in non-music-festival mode it seemed pretty similar to many other stately homes and grounds.

We had no luck with railings, but there were a couple of exhibitors with some lovely shell collections. Those of you who remember my ill-fated attempts to felt a nautilus shell will know what’s coming – ESP certainly rolled his eyes when I spent more time photographing and buying shells than looking at railings! 😉

But with all the new ideas from Lisa Klakulak’s classes still buzzing round my head, I thought that some of these techniques could bring a new angle to my seashell obsession.

Here’s an example of a barnacle cluster.

shell cluster

And here’s a small test sample in felt.

felt shell cluster felt cluster2

I haven’t shaved, steamed or stuffed the piece yet, but I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.

One thing I am finding with this technique is that the felt be quite bumpy in places – you can see this on the photos. It’s not that I particularly mind this, as it adds more texture, but if I wanted to do a piece with very smooth felt I need to find out why. It’s not happened to me before – any experienced felters out there have any idea why this is?

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

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