Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's in the post ... or saved by a scouring pad

Yes, one more deadline met.

This is my entry for the members exhibition at the forthcoming ACJ (Association for Contemporary Jewellery) conference in London. With a need to get this to High Wycombe early this week I have thought of little else for a while.

But that was the problem, I was thinking how to achieve this result.

Angora mix yarn from Silkwood (in the plum wine clouring) was my starting point together with one of my handmade porcelain beads. My first attempts to needle felt the angora yarn just left me with a floppy mess that had a great aura.

I needed a way to stabilise it all. After several experiments, I knitted a ring from similar coloured merino wool yarn. I already knew that I could successfully needle felt this.

For a week I tried to think of what core I could use for felting the angora onto the wool.

I experimented with free-form felting onto a dense foam block, but this didn't hold the shape.

I tried to work it around an offcut of copper plumbing pipe. That wasn't any good.

I wrapped foam pipe insulation round a thin wooden dowel, but that was too large a diameter.

Eventually, walking through the kitchen I came across the answer.

I took a green scouring pad, cut it down and rolled it tightly, securing the ends with string.

This was the ideal core.

Using cotton sewing threads I was able to make near invisible stitches to hold the extension in the correct shape. Small amounts of deconstructed yarn were needled over the stitching.


Blogger Leigh said...

Mary, your ring is very clever. Do let us know what happens with the ACJ.

12:54 pm  

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