I wanted to try making some bowls with felt but wasn’t sure how to make them sufficiently sturdy to hold their shape. So I started off with some semicircular resists hoping to get nice wide shallow open bowl shapes. I didn’t do before and during and after photos, so here are my finished results.
The first one is modelled on a ceramic bowl I saw where white glaze was dribbled down from the edge over a gorgeous deep blue looking like an ocean lagoon or one of those blue lakes you can see from Snowdon. I made the outside slightly marbled with grey to mimic rock. Using pins I formed little pleats which give it a shell-like quality (maybe).
The second bowl I made was inspired by the greek terracotta vessels with geometric shapes around the rim. In this bowl I used the border of a silk sari which had black woven square figurations. I wasn’t sure how well this would felt in as it was fairly thick so I made sure to encase the edges with black wool. Black and brown really isn’t my usual kind of colourway but I was experimenting so wanted to not ‘waste’ the beautiful greens and turquoises I have in my stash! But I like it now as it looks quite rustic. I wasn’t aiming for oval, but that’s what I got, probably because of my inability to convert from a 2D resist shape to an eventual 3D felt shape in my mind.
I also added some squares of scrunched up silk to the sides which unfortunately flattened out rather more than I would have liked. You can just about see them and they do add a bit of texture.
(click on any image to see a larger version)
So then I decided to use the more usual circular resist and made another two bowls.
For the cream one I laid out strands of wool across the resist, then laid alternating strands of purple and sea green mulberry silk. I really like the effect of the sea green silk which make the surface look reminiscent of marble.
I was using polwarth and corriedale wool, so the end result was quite spongy in texture. I fulled it sufficiently for it to hold its shape quite nicely once dry.
Then my last bowl (for now) was made with some corriedale wool I had dyed using food colouring
This wool is really hairy and comes off in long strands. Although there is mulberry silk in magenta and purple it’s hard to see now. The silk laps made a better impression giving an almost pearlescent sheen to the interior. Of course, as with all these bowls, they can be turned inside out and still look just as good, which is something I love!
This bowl might benefit from a quick shave! I do love the way the colours have blended. I was worried because they looked almost garish as roving, but have created a gorgeous soft heathery colour. They make such nice decorative items but I’m not sure what I would really want to keep in them for any length of time as I do tend to let my fruit get bit squishy which could ruin the felt. I don’t know what else I can really use all this dyed hairy wool I have, as it certainly wouldn’t be good for scarves or mittens. Perhaps slippers will be my next challenge – watch this space!