Wet felting with Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle came to the club to tell us about her work in wet felting, illustrated with slides, sketch books, sample felted pieces and finished pictures.

Valerie has sketch books to record landscapes and subjects from which to create felted pictures. She also works from photographic images.

Valerie explained that she buys wool tops in a wide range of colours and does not dye fabrics. The fibres in the wool tops are already aligned (carded). which is necessary for bonding fibres together or into woven fabric.

As Valerie states on her website – “The process uses wool tops, hot water, soapsuds and friction to interlock loose fibres together to create a stable fabric.”
She slowly lays fine layers of wool fibres onto a plain flat woven fabric, together with linen fibres and silk threads.
The process needs warm water and physical agitation of the mass of fibres to encourage individual wool fibres to bond with each other and intertwine with the silk woven fabrics.
The pieces can be squeezed, pressed, rolled on the table or through a mangle.

The resulting matted wool is bonded, stable and colourful.

Valerie explained how she sews linen and silk threads and fibres into her paintings to make organic forms.

Landscape scenes may be created with subtle or bright colours blending into each other.

Valerie has a website with more details of her vision and methods as well as courses she runs.
There is a short film showing her processes. Go to the following page and click on the image.

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