Where I began

By Anna Walker
on November 27, 2019
Where I began

Some of you have known me from early on in my felting journey, and you have seen my work transform and evolve slowly over the past ten+ years. Some of you only know me from what I’ve been teaching and doing these past several years, as I’ve honed my teaching skills in local workshops, convention classes, and guild events and meetings. 


But I dare say that very few, if any of you, recall my early work, for which I was, at the time, as a self taught felter, very proud. Now some of these make me cringe:



I show you these pictures to encourage you-we all start somewhere. Some of us hit it out of the park straight away, others of us gather all the information and tools we can to learn in our own personal way, etc. And, while much of my early work I wouldn’t pass my test for displaying these days, at the time, I was thrilled to show this ‘new’ art every chance I could.


More than anything else, though, looking back over my early work allows me to see that I WAS PLAYING with the fibers, LEARNING what they would and wouldn’t do for me, DISCOVERING how I could best use particular fibers for a particular use. ALL of these are vital to exploring a new path, and I wouldn’t change a thing about how I learned to felt. 


My hope is that I can help YOU to PLAY, LEARN & DISCOVER what felting can mean to YOUR creative process. What are you hoping for?

What you don't know...

By Anna Walker
on November 13, 2019
What you don't know...
Of course there are rules, as there are for any art-don’t use any fibers that have been superwash treated to wet felt is a big one! But I hope that you will give yourself permission to say “what if” and then discover for yourself what the end result will be. And, if you feel you need permission from someone other than yourself, then PERMISSION GRANTED!

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How do you paint with wool?

By Anna Walker
on October 30, 2019
1 comment
How do you paint with wool?

 

What you see in the picture above is the first felt ‘painting’ I created shortly after I discovered felting more than a decade ago. I had been looking for more and more ways to create felt and had come across a couple of felt artists online whose work I greatly admired: Jan Waller and Moy Mackay.


Jan’s work is fun and full of life-often featuring a figure at play or her daughter. I love her vibrant colors and the sense of whimsy evident in her work. I was delighted to meet Jan at a workshop in Wisconsin several years ago, and she is just as fun and whimsical as her work! You can see some of her work here:

Click here to view some of Jan's work

 

Moy is, for me, the goddess of felt painting. Her felt paintings of scenic Scotland where she lives and works are incredible for their detail, shading, and artistic interpretation. Moy’s work has helped to elevate felt to an art form because her approach to felting comes from her training as an artist. I am excited to have booked my tickets to Scotland in February 2020 to take a workshop with Moy in her home studio. Take a look at her work and see if you don’t agree:

Click here to view some of Moy's work

Painting with fiber is all about building up layers of fibers-they blend much like watercolors when you felt them together, either through wet felting (my preference) or needle felting. It is possible to create lovely felt paintings with either technique-you just have to play with the fibers until you discover your voice. Luckily, with a reference picture, and many colors of fiber, you can find yourself creating your first felt painting in a single class, like these students of mine have done:


  

 

The difference between Craft Felt & Wool Felt

By Anna Walker
on October 23, 2019
The difference between Craft Felt & Wool Felt

When I am asked if I use craft felt in any of my classes, I like to let my students know what the differences are between craft felt and wool felt. For starters, craft felt is created with manmade fibers, mostly plastic and synthetic fibers, which have been needled and/or heat processed to cause the fibers to adhere to one another. Wool felt is made primarily or entirely from natural animal fibers, mostly, sheep wool. 


Wool felt is more expensive than craft felt, and for good reason: animals require care and feeding in order to produce their wool over and over again throughout the life of the animal. Most wool producing animals (sheep, alpacas, llamas, etc.) are sheared once or twice a year, to keep the animal comfortable and healthy. Wool is a sustainable resource for this reason. 


When it comes to using a felted base for needle felting, I think that wool felt allows for the addition of fibers to be more cohesive, easier to adhere those additions without distortion, and gives a final feel to the project that feels more complete. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use craft felt as a base-it’s merely a preference of mine, your mileage may vary, as it were.


If you have a chance to play with both craft felt and wool felt for an experiment, I suggest you give it a try so that you can decide for yourself which you prefer. Wool felt can be purchased at a number of places, a couple of my favorites are these:


Weir Crafts

National Nonwoves (on amazon)


*Links in this post may contain affiliate links. I only share things I love with you, but I do receive a small commision if your purchase through my links!

Spine Surgery knocked GenCon OUT!

By Anna Walker
on July 10, 2019
1 comment
Spine Surgery knocked GenCon OUT!

I’ll be launching something cool this fall, and if you want to have access to me for felting classes, tips and tricks, special events, etc., then head over to www.stabthingsintoexistence.com and leave your email address. My friends who give me their emails will be the FIRST in line for this new project, The FELTit Experience. 

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WHAT IS FELTING?

By Anna Walker
on April 29, 2019
WHAT IS FELTING?

Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum-based acrylic or acrylonitrile or wood pulp-based rayon.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Clear as mud, right?


Felting is a way to create things of beauty, both fabric and sculptural, through the use of a barbed needle (needle felting) or by changing the pH of the wool and using friction in a soap and water application (wet felting).

Here on Stab Things Into Existence, I’ll teach you how those processes work through photos of the processes, video tutorials, as well as introducing you to felt masters and authors who can help guide your journey into felting.


My own journey began with a 4 ounce hand dyed wool roving which I won in an online giveaway some 10 years ago:

(picture of the first ‘scarf’ I made from that roving)

The roving was beautiful, soft, and I loved petting it, but I knew I had no intention of wanting to learn how to spin yarn out of wool (no offense), and I wondered for a while what I would do with this fiber. That wondering was answered a couple of months after receiving the roving when I saw a $4 teach yourself how to needle felt kit at my local craft store.

For $4 how could I go wrong?

Two months later, every horizontal surface of my home was covered in felted wool and I was hooked! All because I took a chance to if felting was a good fit for me-and I hope that you will take that chance yourself with me here at Stab Things Into Existence!

YOU MIGHT BE A FELTER…

By Anna Walker
on March 25, 2019
YOU MIGHT BE A FELTER…
Not sure if you're a felter... You just might be if you do any of these things...

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NEEDLE FELTING BASICS

By AnnaWalker-Stab-Things-Into-Existence
on September 28, 2014
…or as I like to call it, How to Stab Something into Existence! Come join me for this two part class that will have you stabbing with the best of felters. Two hours, two Tuesday evenings, lots of stabbing! NEEDLE FELTING BASICS Tue, October 7, 6pm – 8pm and Tue., October 14, 6pm-8pm Potwin Presbyterian […]

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FEBRUARY IS BUSTING WITH CLASSES!

By AnnaWalker-Stab-Things-Into-Existence
on February 02, 2014
February brings felting classes once again! EVERYONE can learn how to felt wool and other fibers-not to mention, it’s a wonderful way to shake off the winter blues and let loose with all that pent up energy! Join me and stab something into existence! RSVP by emailing me your contact information: annasplaceofholding@gmail.com WOOL DRYER BALLS […]

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I love stabbing things! No, really! Who could have seen how my life would be changed by winning an online giveaway of a hand painted wool roving ye...

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