05 July, 2011

Wet Felting with a Salad Spinner!

On a recent hiking trip to Ireland, my friends and I decided it would be fun to leave our mark in a few places along the way.  We created temporary art, cairns, using beautiful stones we found along the Dingle Way.  We liked the idea that someone might come along one day after we had left, and notice them. They were great fun to create, especially since we found such beautifully colored stones!





We wanted to bring some stones with us as souvenirs, so we could create cairns at home too.  However, the stones were heavy and packing them up in our suitcases seemed a vastly impractical idea.  Once I arrived home, I consoled myself by making some stones (and a cairn) for my friend Sharon. Of course, I used my favorite material, felt!  I did this using the wet felt technique and  . . . a salad spinner!  Yep, a salad spinner!

Here's how I did it:



First I chose the wool, in the colors of the stones we had seen in Ireland. I rolled the wool into a ball, using side to side and up and down winding motions.  (For some stones, I used multiple colors of wool.)


Then I stuffed the ball into some of my daughter's old ballet tights.  
(I think thinner stockings might have worked even better, but I used what I had handy.)


I knotted the stockings with slip knots so they would be easy to untie at the end of the felting process.


I filled up the salad spinner about 1/3 to 1/2 full with hot 
water and about 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap . . . 


and dropped in the stones


I put the top onto the spinner and pulled away.  I discovered I had to pull pretty hard to get the spinner to work.  If yours is too difficult to pull, empty some of the water until it is a bit easier.  Lots of water and suds will sop out of the top of the spinner, and you may need to add some hot water and more soap about half way through your spinning time.  I spun the stones for between 10 and 15 minutes.


After removing the stockings, I rinsed them with cold water, and wrung them out.  I took the stones out of the stockings, rinsed them in cold water, and squeezed them out with a clean, dry dish towel.  

I have to say, I think the stones turned out very well!  Don't you?


After they dried overnight, I sewed the stones together in a cairn formation.  The stack is a little wobbly as it doesn't have much weight, but it is much lighter than bringing a cairn home from Ireland!



Happy wet felting, and Slainte!











4 comments:

  1. Oh!!! How neat! I am finding this amazing in how similar these cairns are to the Inuit's Inukshuk stone markers. They're really quite beautiful and you've given me an idea for the Tribes Swap with the wet felting!

    I really would have had to bring back some rocks, but I'm odd and collect them ;) They're simply lovely large,flat rocks. I TOTALLY see how oat cakes were made off a rock now!
    ...and what does "Slainte" mean?

    Honey

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  2. Well, I did bring back a few, but not as many as I would have liked!

    And Slainte is used as a toast and means - more or less - Cheers! : )

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  3. i love that you used your salad spinner! that's brilliant!

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  4. Momma Rae stole my comment :)

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Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )