Monday, October 23, 2017

A couple of "works in progress"

So I finally got around to cutting up a collage I shared previously and felting it into a couple of "bags-to-be".

I kind of hate sharing the unfinished things, but since it's been a while since I posted and since it will be a while before I get the buttons made and all the leather work done......

My intentions are to finish the bags with some black camel leather I got in Morocco. So the photos are of unfinished bags- they still need to be stretched and blocked and then I'll add all the leather lacings and trim. So you will see from the photos that they are clearly unfinished at this stage!

This first bag has 3 front pockets that angle their way up the bag. I felted it in one flat piece (so front and backs together) and I plan to use a wide piece of leather  to form the bottom and gusset on one side (the fold between the front and back of the felt will become the "other") side of the bag and then I will braid from the same leather an over the shoulder length strap using 4  or 6 strands for a round braid (depending on which scale looks best with the dimensions of the bag).  This bag, once folded and gusseted will measure approx. 8" by 10" with about a 1.5-2" gusset. It looks rather awkward at this stage because the gusset is not built in yet and the button keeping the flap down is not yet done.

I also think I will end up doing some sort of stitching along the angled front pocket edges to make them more pronounced. The pieces of silk fabric I placed on each angle intending them to delineate the edge, got too muted so I feel like they need some sort of emphasis.

I added a very thin layer of black karakul lamb between 3 thick merino layers on each side thinking that the inner strength of the karakul would add structure but the 3 layers of merino on either side would keep the karakul "invisible". But the karakul worked its way to the surface, so the colors of the collage are not so vibrant as I planned on. I did get the structure I wanted, but the muting of the collage was an unanticipated consequence of that fiber layout decision.


upper pocket
 
 with flap down
 
And here is the second, work in progress. I used the same piece of collaged felt, but kept this bag simpler and larger. It will be a shoulder bag (not cross chest) and after blocking it I will work a leather edging and handles. On this bag, I worked the gusset into the felt so will not use leather for that purpose - just for braiding and trimming. I used just black merino as the base for this bag.
The back (or front - since I haven't decided which is which, yet) is similar but different and I forgot to snap photos of this. This bag is approx. 15" x 12" and has a 2" gusset.
 here is the original piece of collage I did -
 
 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Wendy's first collage....and a new addict created!

I had a "play weekend" here at the shop last week. My sister Wendy came to join us. She's a felter, but has a bad history with sewing machines, so I was a bit nervous about showing her the felt collage technique!
But Jules was here too, so there were two of us who do felt collage and so I figured we could help Wendy thru it. And those of you who know Jules know that she can make anything light and fun!
So Wendy made it thru those initial frustrations of hitting pins, breaking needles, the bobbin jamming and made a beautiful piece of collage. She hasn't cut it up and felted in into anything yet, but she's ruminating about what it will become as we speak.
I also did a piece, but I can't find that photo on this computer, so I'll have to share that another day!
I do have a photo of one of Jule's collages, but will let her post that.
What we thought was particularly effective in Wendy's collage were the pieces of lace that added texture (which you probably can't see from the photo) and the stark motifs from a piece of indigo batik fabric I did (white flowers and swirls).  And I love the combination of the gold/orange with the blue. Wendy put a lot of "glitzy" stuff in it which I didn't realize while it was still wet but she said yesterday on the phone that she is recommending people wear sunglasses when they look at it because she thinks she went a little overboard!
I reminded her that once she cuts the collage up and felts it into a bag or wrap or whatever she is going to do with it, the "glitz" will be toned down. Not sure she believes me.....