three years ago i started to experiment sculpting with wool and it was truly a magnetic attraction, a flow moment in which the wool and i were one… and what did i make? a cone. but damn, i was proud of that thing, not because of what it was, but because of the possibilities it contained… as soon as i understood the method i felt like i could conquer the world, just me & my fibres. i had definitely found my medium.
the process of sculpting with wool is so deeply satisfying. it requires no tools (only a few common household items – soap, hot water, towels), and it is a fully manual process, making felting so accessible, uncomplicated, while providing such rich results. all you have to do to turn those wonderful wool fibres into a strong, resilient & sculptable fabric is pull small thin tuffs from the roving (clean wool fibres prepared into long strips), layer them in desired form, apply hot water to open the teeny barbs in the fibre, add dish soap to make them slippery, and agitate. and agitate. and agitate. while agitating, the thin fibres curl around their neighbours and the barbs hold them in place – the more you agitate (how many time can i say agitate?!), the more they tighten, and the fabric as a whole shrinks & strengthens. what an awesome method, eh? so tactile. no machines required.
back to that cone! it was wholly unimpressive, and somewhat offensive (in that cone shaped hats are only acceptable at birthday parties, no where else), but i was determined to give it a purpose. so i manipulated that thing: rubbed & shrunk it, pinched the point, added a curl, embellished with some leaves… and *inspirational music* there it was. my first elf hood. honestly, i love discoveries like that! the process, the wool, the desire to create all led me there – i was one of the contributing factors, but it was a group effort.
at first i thought that my hats might appeal to cute-crazed mommies with little living dolls to dress (ahem, like me), but to my great delight & surprise, i got orders for adult sizes! and that’s when the fairy world was revealed to me. an international world where lovely people gather, dress up in creative, beautiful, whimsical clothing, and enjoy the magic and wonder revealed in our world.
since then i have uncovered something about myself, something that has been living in the depths of my character, lurking but never exposed, contained for fear that my softer side might be revealed… my girlie side. it’s true, i tried my best to deny it in my youth – i wanted to be tough and atypical, but there it is… i love making beautiful, whimsical garments… and more so, i want to wear them : ) now i get to go to fairy conventions and elf gatherings where i can fly free with this creative process and, bonus, zach (my hubby) can finally be accepted for the elf ranger he is!
these days i am overflowing with ideas of things i want to make and i am truly in my happy place. who knew life would lead me in this direction?! i am very thankful : )