Updated 6 June 2009
I made this in mind as a gift for my greatest fan of my craft photostream – my dearest sister. She does needle felting of animals occasionally but is not so crazy over making crafts like me.
Concept : The concept of wet felting a purse using resist method of Styrofoam ball has been embedded in my mind for some time, the origin of the idea comes from browsing a Japanese craft book on wet felting. I did not buy the book as there are so many other Japanese craft books I hope to collect this lifetime I have to practice restraint and limit to what my wallet could support.
These wool roving are my existing stocks, I did not specially buy new roving or have any colour theme in mind since the purpose is to try the resist method. I did however purchase a lovely metal purse handle.
Design Variation and Colour Theme : The design of using bunches of flowers are adapted from the original Japanese craft book; wet felted flowers were used. I like my creations bright coloured but most wool roving comes in natural colours; I picked orange as the outer layer and yellow as the inner layer. The purse design in the Japanese craft book look like ‘marble’, the effect is achieved using very thin layer of darker-coloured wool roving as the last layer. Because I work on whatever wool roving I had; once I wet the yellow coloured roving I knew the layer was not thick enough for a purse unless I want to sew a inner cloth lining. So I had to add my orange coloured roving to thicken the layer. I also added wool bits as final layer but it did not felt during the process. My assumption is the orange coloured wool roving does not wet-felt well, probably the scale of the hair has been damaged by the colour dye or maybe it is not suitable for wet felting.
Alternative to colours for felting craft : If you are very particular on your taste for bright colours in wool roving and like me face limited access to wool rovings supplies maybe you like to consider colour dye the finished felt project. One ‘master crafter’ in the flickr community by the name of ‘FeltedChicken’ has tried and tested the concept using Kool-aid colour dyes.
Design and Methodology Influence: I find all things related to crafting by Japanese very unique in methodology and aesthetically pleasing maybe because growing up and being in Asia. My favourite pastime is browsing Japanese craft books in bookstore, I cannot read Japanese but the photos and diagrams breaks any lanuage barriers.
If you have any Japanese book on crafting relating to wet felting please drop a comment and share information like a snapshot of the cover of the book, some inside pages would be nice and most importantly the ISBN number of the book. I would be most grateful and I am sure some reader out there share a smiliar interest to learn from the Japanese even though not able to read Japanese.