Friday, April 19, 2013

Fleece storage and management

Below are samples of 2 more fleeces that I scoured this week, in an effort to get caught up on all of the fleece that I have been purchasing in the past 10 or so years! They are now clean, packed into plastic storage tubs, labelled, and ready for future fiber spinning and felting! These two are a gray Karakul x Jacob x Coopworth blend on the left, and a fabulous creamy white alpaca. I am in fiber art heaven! All of the tubs are labelled by breed and color. Some tubs have processed fiber in them, and are labelled accordingly. I made up a master list for all tubs and their contents, and I keep this in my studio, so that I know what is in my inventory at a glance. No more wondering, no more searching the property for that "fleece in question"-- so much easier. And, I no longer have to worry that the dirty fleeces are attracting pests, or that the suint is solidifying on the fibers rendering them useless. Happy day! I will be visiting the CT Sheep Breeders Fiber Festival April 27, in Rockville CT, and the NH State Sheep and Wool Festival in Deerfield, NH on May 11. Would like to find some Blue Faced Leicester and some Teesewater fleece. Polwarth top is on the list as well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Silk Fusion

These photos show the results of a day spent creating silk paper, also known as silk fusion. Our spinning guild, the Nutmeg Spinners Guild, hosted Robin Russo, a fiber artist and spinner from Vermont, for a day long workshop this past month. The number of inspiring color combinations from our members was astonishing! We used silk roving dyed in many colors, as well as silk mawata (also called silk hankies) and a myriad of embellishments ranging from dyed moth cocoons to hydrangea leaves to glitter. The silk roving was laid out on nylon netting (the cheap kind from the craft store, used for bridal veiling) in layers. Next, embellishments were placed on top (see photos). The top was covered with netting. You then brush on either textile medium, for a softer hand, or clear acrylic varnish for a stiffer end result (depending on your intended use for the paper). The medium is diluted about 1:1 with water. Mod Podge can also be used, but may not be as permanent. Work the medium through all the layers of the netting/silk sandwich with a brush, being careful to insure that it is worked in thoroughly, on both sides. It should be wet but not dripping wet. Lay out to dry completely before carefully removing the netting, which can be used several times. You can also see a photo of my silk paper used in a paper weaving with some metallic paper! Lots of possibilities. Origami, basket making, papercrafting, ornaments, bookmaking--the list is endless!