February 12, 2012
NOTES ON KAREN GROMAN'S
FELTING DEMONSTRATION by Judy Franklin
There was no business meeting, nr was any
introduction needed, since our presenter was a well known member of the
Karen Groman, Art Guild member, has taught art
to all grades in her career. She titled her demonstration and hands-on
workshop, “Felting as Art.” She explained that historically felting was
done, using carded, unspun wool (roving). Now, however, most commercial
felting material is made of acrylic or polyester. She said that the
Mongolian nomads made their tents (yurts) out of felt. She passed around
several felt items she had made – a purse, a potholder, small pumpkins, and
she brought several kits which had all the materials needed for other items.
Karen had brought with her several colorful
skeins of wool roving that she had purchased at Homestead Heritage for
$2.50/ounce. She explained that felting was taking the long fibers in the
roving and locking them together to make the felt fabric. This is done in
several ways which she challenged those present to try. She had materials
spread out on tables so that we could experiment with one or more of the
Felted soap – A bar of soap is covered with
felt roving, soaked in water, and massaged.
Three-dimensional items – Roll the felt roving
into a ball or other shape and use a felting needle to stick into the ball
over and over until the shape stands alone. Smaller amounts of roving and
smaller needles may be used for detail work.
Felted art – Arrange wool roving into a
pleasing design on a piece of plastic netting. (The netting was purchased at
a dollar store in the form of a dish scrubber, cut into rectangles, and
pressed under a cloth with an iron on the wool setting.) Cover the roving
with a second piece of netting and pin the two pieces of netting together
using large safety pints. Wash gently in very hot soapy water. Blot. Massage
to make sure it forms a fabric. Iron under cloth on wool setting.