Hi again! What would people recommend as some of the absolute essential equipment to get going with wet felting! I see some people use all sorts of interesting items bamboo blinds, sanders, mangles etc etc. Any recommended books aswell please. I am hoping to do a few local workshops to. I'm eager to get going!
You can get started just with some bubble-wrap to lay your work on, some net (old net curtain is fine) to put on top, plastic bags to scrunch up & start the rubbing & a couple of old towels - 1 to roll up inside, 1 to wrap round the bundle. Soap or washing up liquid. Oh yes, & some roving. that's all. next on the list would be a swimming pool 'noodle' or similar to wrap your work round, olive oil soap, then you can expand to stiff plastic for resists, a better 'rubbing' tool - I recommend Heartfelt Silk's palm washboard. Oh & firm plastic bumpy shelf liner is good. I used to use a bamboo mat/ blind but don't any more. & I prefer thin builders' plastic once work is wet. But there are many variations!
wool and soap and water is all you need but life is a lot easier if you have something to cover your work and something to roll it around. I use a starburst Tupperware lid for do my rubbing. I like the shelf liner and bamboo blinds or placemats to help with more stubborn shrinkage. I also use a glass washboard at the end to do the final shrinkage. There are lots of ways to do it. some people do not cover their work and put their hand right on the wool. I like think painters plastic now but used shear curtain material for years.
I have tried various tools and techniques over the years and I've found the tools and techniques sometimes vary depending on the project. You dont need fancy or expensive equipment to felt. The most important thing to focus on is felting. You'll find your groove with practice. :-). Have fun!
Ruth's book The Photo Guide to Felting is an excellent resource for both wet and needle felting.
I'd definitely recommend Ruth's book too ( Ahem, Marilyn... The Complete Photo Guide to Felting)
It really is complete too, with very clear info and instructions and no arty farty photos which are just a blur and contribute nothing, just really good clear photos, and it covers stuff you'd need to take quite a lot of courses in.
Absolutely agree with zed and Marilyn, Ruth's book was one of half a dozen I purchaed but is the one I still go back to, it's great for beginners, with dozens of easy to follow projects but also has some useful tables on what breeds to use in different applications. A great all rounder
The only other thing I would say is save your pennies for buying wool and fabric (I can recommend world of wool) and beware of buying wool on eBay, all too often its old and starting to felt already. Almost all the equipment a beginner needs can be found for free or a few pennies. Once you know you're hooked you can start investing in the more expensive toys.
Going on a workshop is a great idea, many of my early pieces weren't fulled enough because I didn't know what they could/should feel like. And of course have lots of fun exploring your new medium!
Yeah, I agree with Teri, I get bubble wrap from the fruit and veg section of supermarkets, the rubber shelf liners from the £1 shop, the microfibre towels from £1 shops; I use cheap washing up sponges, they're about 10 for £1, old margerine tubs for water; netting is Ikea curtains or fabric, but can be old fabric/curtains. I do buy olive oil soap though which isn't as cheap as some soap, but it's worth it.