Sunday, 26 July 2009

Book Reviews

The felting books that I ordered finally arrived. After close inspection, I was very disappointed with the felted bead jewelry book. It was partly my fault for misreading the title, I had expected a book that showed me how to make felt beads not how to attach beads to felt and pass it off for a larger bead. As a felt enthusiast the projects in this book seemed tasteless and gaudy and all in all a crime against felt.

In the spirit of giving it go, I did make a miniature bangle for my 3-year old daughter using the colour scheme of her choice. I wasn't too impressed with the outcome, the bugle and seed beads are not really nice enough to be a main feature.

I then decided to use the technique and apply beads that appeal to my taste to see if this improves the end results. I used turquoise and lapis lazuli beads from two different broken pieces of jewelry and sewed them onto Iceland blue wool (It didn't seem necessary to felt the wool). There are about 400 beads in total. I love the outcome, although you really can't see much felt at all. I have fond memories of the broken bracelets so it is nice to recycle them and wear the beads again.

I have also made some lovely toggles for bags I plan to make using the felt I had made from the wool I collected in Anglesey. Using this wirier felt in its natural colour with a few well chosen wooden beads does look very effective, so I have gained something from this book purchase. I do however feel that this project would be equally successful using off cuts of fabric to sew the beads into and that the felt would be better used elsewhere.

How to make felt - Anne Belgrave

When looking for a general book on felting techniques, the Anne Belgrave book jumped out at me as being an obvious choice. Mainly because Anne Belgrave is the the other half of Bellacouche to Yuli Somme.

The book was not a disappointment. Anne Belgrave explains the history of felt, cultural uses of felt in nomadic tribes, the differences between machine processed wool and hand prepared wool. The book offers photographs of different breed wools and advises on the level of difficulty in felting the different wools. The book is full of beautiful projects and a variety of wet felting techniques. A welcome addition to the library of a felting novice. I have tried one of the techniques already and have a beautiful piece of felt that I am currently making into a bag. It is the best piece of felt I have made so far!

You can see more of Anne Belgrave, Bellacouche and Yuli Somme's work by clicking on the names in the above text or visiting the following web page:


ArtSparker said...

I think both bracelets are good for the recipients for which they were intended. For inspiration you might check out this blog. Just reading her ingredients puts me into a trance state.

Jasmine said...

Just visited Gingasqid. What a lovely blog. There is so much fun to be had with felt!