The Walla Walla Felters Guild is participating in a Pop-Up First Friday show and sale on Sept. 7 at ArtWalla Gallery, in the ArtEscape Studios, 3 W. Poplar St.
Ten of the guild’s enthusiastic felters have created items for the show, said Walla Walla felting artist and instructor Linnea Jean Keatts.
She has studied the art of felting for the past 35 years, learning such techniques as needle felting/dry felting animal and people sculptures, nuno-felting/wet felting scarves, clothing, and vessels, watercolor felting for landscapes, and 3D felting for purses, slippers, clothing and vessels.
Her interest and passion for felting led to teaching all types of felting techniques at Walla Walla Community College through the Quest continuing education program.
In more than two years, she has introduced more than 40 students to the craft.
The Felters Guild was started in January 2018 and about 10-12 members meet monthly to share ideas and advice.
Keatts said felting is an ancient craft used for making sturdy clothing, hats, boots, coats, rugs, yurts and items heavy enough for daily use.
The transition to lighter-weight felted articles came into fashion in the early 1980s. Felt artists wanted more flexible fabrics and began using very fine Merino fleece, silk and other open fabrics, she said.
Needlefelting also was introduced in the ’70s, using fine barbed shafts/needles that came directly from industry and were adapted to sculpt fibers using wool coarser than fine Merino.
Dry Felting, using a felting needle or barbed thin shaft to poke wool fleece and create sculptures of all kinds, is one method of felting and interesting sculptures can be created such as animals, people, etc. Landscapes can also be needle felted, then wet felted to create interesting landscapes.
Nuno-felting/wet felting is another method of felting.
Using very soft merino fleece in small amounts, one can make lightweight scarves and clothing.
That method uses fleece, soap, water and agitation to carefully blend the fibers together.
When combined with light fabrics of cotton, silk and some polyesters, the fleece and fabric can be attached through a laminating process to create beautiful results.
3 D felting/wet felting allows felters to create a pod or vessel without seams, by using a resist, or lightweight foam or plastic, in the middle.
Purses, bowls, slippers and articles of clothing like tops or dresses are a few of the items that can be made using a resist.
The guild is sponsoring felting classes in October with Beverly Ash Gilbert from Seattle to learn about color and felting.
For more details, contact Keatts at firstname.lastname@example.org.