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Soap Felting Tutorial for Free Kit

Sheep grazing on Devon moorlands

Expressive Landscapes Workshop with Judi Binks will hopefully run again when it is safe to do so. Here’s a look at what used to happen.

Felting Landscapes in wools and silks Workshop with Judi Binks

Experienced fibre and felting artist will show you her technique for designing and creating unique and expressive landscapes in wools and silks.

Shape of the day …

I want you to feel inspired to create your unique landscape ideas using the wet felting technique to transform wool fibres and silks with soap, water and plenty of rolling into a memorable picture for you to frame or use as a wall hanging.
Discover a range of ways to depict an expressive landscape inspired by the beautiful surroundings of rural mid Devon in a small intimate workshop where the craft of felting evolves into an art form of its own. Feel free to bring along your own favourite photograph as inspiration!

Reveal your inner creativity and picture making skills through the gentle laying down of fine Merino wool fibres and silk and allow the magical transformation of your handling of wool, water and soap to gradually take place. As your tutor I will help you take your skills to a new level, however great or small your previous experience. Absolute beginners also welcome as you arrive with an open mind, freed up and ready to learn!

Group Size

Group size is limited to a maximum of three people in my studio. I like to teach small groups and am happy to work in a one-to-one setting, so that I can give you my undivided attention.
Wet felting is often described as ‘painting with wool’ because it allows for the artistic freedom of working with the different colours of wool which allows for an element of surprise, similar to water colour painting.
First steps…
Relax – we’ll start with a coffee and getting to know each other while I’ll introduce the session.
First steps – if necessary for beginners
I’ll show you how to make the basic felt or pre-felt using layers of natural wool fibres before moving on to the gradual laying down of wools and silks, followed by its manipulation and rolling using warm water and olive oil soap until you achieve your desired result.
Inspiration and Images
You may bring along some photographs or pictures of landscapes that reflect your interest. We’ll briefly analyse what makes them work visually: rule of thirds, receding colours and sizes of perspective, use of white space as you would in a panting or drawing.

Felting technique …

You will design and lay out the wool fibres like an artist would compose a picture using brush strokes and colours of the palette. I’ll show you how to ‘draw out’ your picture first so that you can have more control over the wool fibres and stick with your vision. It might seem counter-intuitive, but it works at this stage. Creativity and expression will be reflected in your choice of colours and positioning of the wools and silks. My felting process involves laying down several layers so that successive layers do not disturb and obscure the detail of the picture.
But, don’t worry please as it will make sense as you work through the process with me and it will produce individual and unique pieces of felted art for you to display.

Finally, put your name to your art felts. There are different ways to name your work. I make porcelain molds with my initials which hang from the work by a thread. I can arrange for your work to be mounted and framed ready for exhibition. Contact me for more details at judibinks@live.com or text me at 07837 436395.

Booking

Please book as soon as possible as spaces on these workshops are limited to 3 people.

Payment methods. Bank transfer 30-93-14 Account 03390910 reference Your Name.

Cheque made payable to Judi Binks.

Please pay in full at least 7 days before start of course.

Cancellations

Full Refund If notice of cancellation is received 7 days before start of course..

50% Refund in other cases.

I run these workshop every few weeks, so check back in again for latest courses.




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Landscapes inspired by Corn Harvest in Charente, Stormy sunsets over water and Sunflowers and Pineaud vines of Charente.

Les tournasols et vignobles près de Cherbonnieres.

About free kits and Caraboo Arts Therapy in Rural Devon

Caraboo Arts Therapy was set up in 2015 by Judi Binks to help overcome rural isolation in Devon villages by supporting community arts, crafts and singing groups.

“I also ran Felting workshops at my studio in Kennerleigh. When all this had to stop in March 2020, I started making free rainbow Felting kits and posting online tutorials on my blog http://www.feltingindevon.com.
I felt I could do even more to help those groups who are now even more isolated by Covid 19 restrictions. Although I was impacted, too – it was nothing compared to individuals battling loneliness, facing bereavement, managing on a reduced income or parents trying to juggle work and home schooling their young children.
I know from personal experience that creative activity is beneficial to people with emotional health and well being issues.
Using beautiful wool fibres, I can create lots of simple yet lovely wet felting projects in kit form for these target groups. I chose wet felting because it is relatively cheap and doesn’t require expensive or complicated back up.
Basically, you can create pictures, jewellery, scarves, rainbows by combining warm soapy water with drafts of colourful wool fibres to create a great effect.”
In addition, I also send out needle Felting packs prepared by the Makerss which include all materials – and supported by their online streaming tutorials.
I have just started making sari silk wrap bangles kits with the recycled ribbons I buy from a village collective in India. This helps provide employment for women and prevent silk sari remnants going to landfill

My target groups in Rural Devon include people of all ages, families with young children, carers, Crediton Hospital community patients, vulnerable and isolated elderly people (including care home settings), people with disabilities and those suffering from depression and anxiety brought on by pandemic.
I am grateful to the support of League of Friends, Devon County Council Covid 19 fund and to Simon and Jane Hallett for making it possible for me to distribute over 100 kits already in January.
If you know of someone who’s had a tough year and might be cheered by a gift of a crafting or Felting kit, let me know at Caraboo.arts@gmail.com.
If you’re reading this from outside Devon, and you think there is a need for this project in your local area, send me details and address of your local Hospital League of Friends and county council fund and I’ll write to them. Or, you might feel inspired to do something, too!
Good luck and I’m here to help.
Judi Binks
Sheraton House
Kennerleigh,
Crediton
Devon
EX174RS
Caraboo.arts@gmail.com
07837 436 395

How to make a Sari Silk Wrap Bangle with free kit from Caraboo Arts Therapy in Rural Devon.

Sari Silk Wrapped Bangle Bracelet Kit

Convert an inexpensive wire bangle into a soft, comfortable, chic bit of Indian flair.

Free Sari Silk Wrap Bangle kit made by Judi Binks for lock down.

Your free kit contains:

Aquamarine, Teal and Purple sari silk ribbon lengths in this kit.

1. Two thin wire bangles.

2. Two lengths of sari silk ribbons in contrasting colours.

Indian Brocade with designs interwoven in gold and silver.

3. Optional. Indian brocade ribbon with gold and silver threads for embellishment.

You will need:

1. PVA or fabric glue, scissors and needle and thread.

2. Optional. Copper wire, beads and charms and jewellery pliers. You can embellish with contrasting colour or brocade or add beads and charms.

Preparation


Step One Preparation of your ribbons. They arrive unpressed and crinkly, which gives a great texture, but you can gently steam iron them to press them flat. One yard or 80 cms of ribbon is plenty to wrap the first base round.

Step Two Sanitise the bangles and dry them.


Step Three Add a drop of PVA or fabric glue to the end of the silk ribbon and pinch it to the wire bangle.


Step Four Begin wrapping the bangle with the ribbon taking care to keep the ribbon wide and flat against the bangle. Continue all the way around. Keep the tension as tight as possible to avoid bulky lumps.

Step Five If you want to decorate it more with a second layer, add twists of contrasting colour and bands of brocade

Step Six At the end, you can either:- a) secure it with a stitch or b) tie the silk into a tight knot. If desired, leave a bit of ribbon as a dangle or make it into a tassel by shredding the ribbon.


Embellishing with wire and beads.

Super special creation on Pinterest.

1. Thread 4-6 crystal beads onto the wire.

2. Begin tightly wrapping the wire 3 or 4 wraps close together and then begin moving around the bangle, spacing the beads at equal distances.

3. For security, add an extra wrap of wire to each side of each bead to hold it in place.

4. At the end, again use 3-4 tight wraps of wire to finish the wrap. Snug each end with jewellery pliers to secure wire and tuck in any sharp ends.


5. If desired add a handmade ‘ charm dangle ‘ or tivoli, using extra crystal beads and wire.

Exercise 3. First draft of design.

Although I love art deco and nouveau, it can become a cliché if followed too closely. I opted for an expressive approach. I also had to confine myself to existing materials – 5 colours of silk slivers and an assortment of sari silk ribbons.

I had selected a palette from my limited ribbon stock for each of the seasons. Here they are.

Winter.  Steel Grey, Mauve, white, dark green, ice blue.

Spring. Yellow, orange, fresh green, pink, spot of blue.

Summer. Stronger pinks, reds, purple, Turquoise, Royal Blue, grass green, gold.

Ocean view. Bright blue, Aqua, jade, teal, yellow, white, brown.

Autumn. I just looked at my brocades and thought I could do something… I decided it was time to create a background using my sari silk slivers. Naturally, I chose the Autumn mix! I loosely arranged some remnants of ribbons and sari wrap bangles on top.

Spring. I used Fiesta as a backdrop and scattered the Spring palette of ribbons around.

Summer. Unfurled Cobalt blue mix, then Red Jewel and Purple Jewel and intertwined with Emerald River. Scattered some of the ribbons around.

Winter. Purple Jewel slivers as background with grey, white and mauve.

Ocean. Background of Turquoise and Teal with Yellow merino wool, aqua, Turquoise, white, gold Brocade and jade.

A design is evolving. Lace, brocade, prefelts, silk paper insets, beads and organza overlays and free machine embroidery can be introduced next.

Exercise 2. Expressing yourself through choice of colour.

Let’s think about your colours and make them the focus. Add in foreground later with applique, free machine embroidery, sari silk paper insets, pre- felts, sari silk ribbons etc…

Look at these expressive pieces with strong emphasis on colour. How do you respond emotionally to this approach?

Could you live with this freer colour based style. Or, do you prefer the stylised designs of Exercise 2? Could this designs start to look like wallpaper after a while? Does the expressive, freer use of colour appeal to you?

Exercise 1. Starting a new project. Wall panels depicting the seasons in recycled sari silks.

Do you like stylised design motifs like Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Steam punk, Japanese etc?

Try this exercise. Choose a design flower or tree for each of the four seasons. For example, for winter, choose Snowdrop; for spring, a Tulip or Iris, summer Rose or Poppy, autumn Chrysanthemum etc.

Sketch design or stick photo on A4 paper for each of the season.

Identify 3 or 4 colours that represent each season for you and attach a colour swatch to your page.

Art nouveau Iris
Art Déco rose
Art Nouveau Chrysanthemum
Art Nouveau Snowdrop
Tulip
Tulip

A little test. Don’t overthink this. Scroll through pictures…

  • Scroll through pictures and answer:
  • 1) yes I like it, no I don’t!
  • 2) What season is it?
  • 3) Afterwards, ask yourself what style is more you – representative or expressive.
  • 4) what are the 3 main colours of each season?
Yes to colours and loose style.
I love the colours
Pretty but too detailed?
Conveys ocean scene
Colours and shapes of Autumn.
Very muted Autumn colours.
Summertime walk.
Sunrise or sunset over moors. Strong colours. Would work well with textiles.
Lovely late summer background with overlaid detail. Suits textiles.
A tryptich of panels showing harmony and continuity of theme.
Like use of opened book panels.
Use of stitched lines to create interesting background.
So wintry and bleak. Expressive.
Valérie Wartelle’sexpresdive landscapes always appeal. Timeless quality.
Overlays of colour conveying landscape. Could use sari silk ribbons in this way.
Three colours is enough to convey a season.
Embellishing overlays on undulating lines in simple palette.
Stained glass effects.

Excepts from Crediton Courier press release on free felting kits.


Free Needle Felting and Felting Soap kits are available from Caraboo Arts Therapy near Crediton.
Back in 2015, Judi Binks of Kennerleigh was struck by widespread rural isolation which many residents felt and which adversely affected their sense of health and well-being.
Because of this, she set up a support group called “Caraboo Arts Therapy in Rural Devon” in order to run free community arts and crafts workshops to get people mixing together creatively in the villages……..
Workshops stopped in March 2020, so instead she tarted making free crafting kits to give out with online tutorials, including the popular Felting a Rainbow and Felted Soaps kits.”
In December 2020, CATRD applied to Crediton Hospital League of Friends for a grant towards providing needle felting kits and soap felting kits to people affected in one way or another by Covid-19 in rural Crediton.
“I have also made 50 felting soap kits for people who enjoy crafting, but prefer wet felting to needle felting………..

“Contact me if you know someone who likes crafting and needs cheering up in these dark and anxious times. I will send them a kit. Please note that I will need to know their age or age range (child or adult), name and address for posting the kits. All information will treated in confidence and not exchanged with others.  These kits are meant for any age group from 5+, family settings, lonely, bereaved, rurally and socially isolated individuals and those in care home settings.
“Email me in complete confidence at: caraboo.arts@gmail.com with details.
“Each kit contains all the materials and instructions needed.”

Caraboo Arts Therapy in Rural Devon is a small community project, set up in 2015,  to reduce rural isolation through arts and crafts activities.

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