You can just about see the whitish marks in the photo on the right.
Wanted to try to make flowers that keep their shape so they can be used for house decoration or outside. Ordered some stiffener for fabrics from Hands and tried having a go by following their instructions. Stuff is white and quite thick. When I tried to paint it onto the felted flower, I struggled and was uneven, leaving whitish marks on the felt. But it has become stiff/hardened as you can see below.
You can just about see the whitish marks in the photo on the right.
I intend to try again but using a mixture of school glue one part of glue and one part of water and see if I can use without the marks. Was a little disappointed, will try this stiffener again as well, but using it diluted. Hoping for a better success later.
Once you have plaited the centre whiri, then turn the end of the plait to the left (mid photo below) and weave on a taki tahi way all the way to a triangle, whenu with under side up. First whenu to the right, 2nd whenu to the left but under the first one.
Turn around and do the other side also with the end of the plait facing left (see left photo below).
Fold in a half when done and start weaving the sides in a taki tahi way. (One over and one under).
Once woven to the correct height, make then do a one up, one down and decide how you will finish the top.
An example on the left.
Decided to have a go at kete kumara again after at least two years as I had been so involved in finishing my degree last year. Hard to remember at first as notes were missing one or two details. Anyway went ahead and did it and have made two in the past two days, photos not available yet as I am still trying to get them to dry to my needs.
However I have decided to take photos and enter how to make it in here as my book is a bit covered with coffee. Not guilty.
The photo on the left is one of the kete kumara style kete I have made. Usually kete kumara don't have handles as they are used for storage Below the description on how to start them, further instructions later, this is what it should look like before you start.
This event is now on and it is cash and carry. Organised every year by the Otaki potters and attended by potters from many areas around New Zealand.
At the weekends there are demonstrations and I will be there on Sunday demonstrating my pottery. Most probably coiling as that is what i use most. Visit if you can.
On Saturday I had an exciting day teaching needle felt to two ladies. I thought it was a good day and we had lunch outside as it was a great sunny day. We had a go at needle felting a small flower onto a piece of felt and made balls which can be used in a manner of things, like bunnies, dolls, necklaces, etc.
There were eight people attending the workshop and of the eight, two ladies wanted to make a scarf and the rest a bag, it was hard work but everyone went home with something, which I thought was very good. Age being na barrier as one of the attendees was 80 and completed a lovely scarf.
The feedback was good, as everyone filled a evaluation form and was happy.
On this beautiful day Raewyn and I went to Jane's house so that I can show them how to nuno felt. he word nuno originates from Japan and means fabric, so nuno felting is about felting with fabric and wool.
The fabrics that are most suitable for this are silk and cotton or other natural fabrics. Polyester fibres are too slippery and although you can felt with them it is difficult as the wool slips out of the fibre. When felting with fabric you only need one layer of wool and can be as little or as much as you want, it is about the beautiful textures you get and its lightness.
I usually use merino when nuno felting as it is soft fibre so gives it a richness.
Below are some photos of our day .
On Saturday I taught a workshop on wet felting. The participants could choose if to do traditional felt or nuno and all chose to do nuno. Some great scarves were produced. Some pictures showing their hard work, as mostly said it was a good workout.
The workshop took place in Otaki at the Trinity Farm . I will be teaching further courses on felting in August and later in the year.
Throughout the day we had coffee and biscuits and in the middle we stopped for a great lunch with delicious pavlova made with the eggs from the farm. Thank you Karen.
Check out other pictures below. Click to enlarge.
I decided to have a go at dyeing with madder, i was hoping for nice reds. Anyway purchased some alum for a mordant from Hands store in Christchurch and some madder root. Had some silk tissue and Paj silk, muka and some crochet cotton. Washed these to scour them and then followed the recipe for the mordant. Add fibre to the bath and simmer for an hour.
I was supposed to add soda ash to the bath but did not have any so went ahead without it.
You should not boil silk as it looses its sheen so made sure the temperature stayed at 80 degrees celsius. After the hour was up, I dried the fibre as instructed and when dried washed it.
I used 50g of alum for 250g of fibre. All fibre had a yellowish tint.
Next step was the dyeing. Firstly I tried to break my roots as small as i could, then made a parcel with it using muslin cloth. The recipe said soak this overnight and then bring bath to simmer and steep for an hour. After that it said pour off the liquid which will be orange and then to pour more cold water in the pot and simmer for another hour and pour off liquid but you can save them to use them.
I could not bring myself to throw it so added the fibre and let it simmer for a further 2 hours making sure my bath never went above 80 degrees celsius. When the time was up I let it cool and then dry as it said it helps set the colour. When dried I washed the fibre and the results are below. Fibre on the right below is muka. Picture on the left shows my results of the dye on silk and cotton.
I have saved my roots in the muslin bag as I untend to have a go again and see what further colours will i get. Will report further when I have those findings.
Bodice and skirt completed fully now and on the left you can see jenny Firmin, modelling my garment which I called "Sea Goddess" or "Ariki O Te Moana".
The bodice is muka with beads and organza ribbon and the skirt is nuno felted using silk that was dyed using green tea. For the skirt I used merino wool, silk, muka, and harakeke.
I was pleased with it just would love the bust to be more corset like so find a way to make a structure which keeps it pointy.
Below some more pics of the bodice.
Oh well I passed with 2 Merits and an Excellence. what next?
I am an artist and live on the Kapiti Coast. Presently I am completing a Bachelor of Maori Visual Art (Raranga). I work mainly with textiles (includes Raranga which is weaving with flax), clay and paint in pastels and weatercolours.