Felt Happy

A new book just released this month shows just how colourful and funky felt can be. Colour and texture abound in this stunning work by Elizabeth Armstrong.
Felt Happy contains loads of useful information as well as full page images so you can see the finer details.

by Mindy Cook

Front page

Felt Happy by Elizabeth Armstrong, self-published. 212 pages, rrp $45.00

Step by step instructions with photos of each step ensure the projects are easy to follow. Beginners and more experienced felters will all enjoy this book.

 

Elizabeth is a full time felter and mixed media artist. She has taught throughout Australia as well as in the UK, USA and in South Korea where she staged a solo exhibition of her work in Seoul. Working as an Artist in Residence for the last twelve years, she has taught at both primary and secondary levels and loves the challenge of creating large scale pieces. Elizabeth also hold small classes and workshops in her studio, where the kettle is always on and making a mess is highly encouraged!

 
 
 

We asked Elizabeth about her felting work:
“I started felting by getting a book out of the library about 18 years ago. It was fairly uninspiring with only black and white images displayed.
This was before the internet and I had to write to woollen mills for carded wool in order to get my supplies. I never seemed able to find bright gorgeous colours to work with. At a market one day I saw some felt slippers and discovered that the lady had dyed her own colours. And so it began!”

“My studio time is divided fairly equally between laying out a new project, felting a different piece and completing another by adding stitching or decorative elements – by hand and/or machine.”

“I move from piece to piece so that my interest level remains high and I give myself time to consider each step. Whilst working on one I plan something else on another. The rest of my creative time is spent sketching and painting.”

“I find the most joy in simply playing with colour – according to Mum I have never been any different!”

Read more on Elizabeth at her blog.

 

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7 thoughts on “Felt Happy”

  1. your work is amazing and so inspiring, I wish I could meet you at Melbourne but live in northern nsw. I am just starting out as a textile artist and wondered if you had any tips to help me or anyone else about how to get started. I have to many ideas and techniques I would like to use and find it hard to find a starting point. can you help?

    1. Hi Marie!
      Thankyou for your lovely words! I often travel to teach and will be in East Kempsey in May and Berry in August next year. As a beginning textile artst it can be very overwhelming to know where to start. Everything looks so intriguing and it is so easy want to do it all!

      I think that if I was you, I would start with the discipline that intrigues you the most – you will very often find that many textile practises can be incorporated into one another.
      For example: If you like the look of felt making it is an easy step to include embroidery or appliqque or sewing.
      If you like to knit you can add this to felt as well.

      Start by collecting materials/ingredients in your favourite colourways.Buy the best you can afford – super cheap things often let you down. If you like the colours before the article is made, you will love them when it is completed. Get inspriation for colours from art books and things around you – anything from lolly papers to the colour of leaves.

      Draw your ideas out first – get all those thoughts out of your head. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw and it doesn’t matter if they don’t all get made. Just getting a visual in front of you is a great beginning. After that select your colours that will suit your drawing the best. Work out what technqiues could put it into action and then go from there.

      Don’t worry if the first few tries don’t work – you will gain in your understanding of a technique and what you do and don’t like doing. This is very valuable study in itself. Try the same thing in several colourways – it will never be the same anyway.

      I wish you every success and feel free to contact me again.
      Every best wish
      Elizabeth
      elizaclaire@optusnet.com.au

  2. I am in NZ and love working with felt. I would love to come over next year to the Melbourne show which I think is Julyish. Will you be there please

    1. Hello Robynne, The Melbourne Craft & Quilt Fair will be on in July 23 to 26, 2015. As yet we have not confirmed all the features but we’ll send out information closer to the event.

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