About mollywilliams551

Textile artist and designer specialising in 3D felt art - figurative sculptures, vessels and handmade felt accessories. I have an interest in Ottoman history. I create colourful hand drawn designs inspired by the arts and crafts of the Ottoman Empire. I am a Reflexologist MAR practicing locally in the Crowborough, East Sussex area.

Abstract painting course

Coming to the end of Louise Fletcher’s excellent, free, 7 day painting course – ‘Find Your Joy’.

I have have enjoyed it all so much however abstract painter I am not!

The 7 day process has made me work intuitively to plan colour and composition, and given me so many ideas to take into my next felt project.

Day 5 – Make an Ugly Painting!

Then, take three colours plus black and white…..

All great colours that can be translated in wool and silk fibres and fabrics…..

Abstract Art Course – Day 1

Day 1 of Louise Fletcher’s 7 day course ‘ Find Your Joy free taster 2020’

My first ever attempt at abstract painting. I chose my favourite colours – blue, turquoise and gold with black and white and as many brushes and utensils I could find.

So here tis:

The paper was sectioned into 6 with masking tape first and then painted over – quite hard to ignore the tape!

The challenge was to paint with my chosen colours for 30 minutes – I found this a long time and towards the end was sploshing on paint then scraping it off, however this in itself was interesting as I had to try different marks and textures with paint brush, trowel, wood bark and modelling pens.

Wondering whether I could use this technique with textiles and fibres?

Mongolian felt technique experiment – Part 1

I’ve always wanted to try to make a large piece of felt the traditional Mongolian way – by dragging a large roll of wool fibres, behind a horse, around the Steppes:

I love this film!

Anyway yesterday, with the advice of a fellow felter, Beth in New Zealand, I managed to make my prototype work – a roll of wool that rolled behind a ride on mower!

First, using a wool blanket in place of wool roving, I made my roll:

Next a tarpaulin to cover and protect

Attached to the mower with washing line ready to go!

Woohoo it works!!

Part 2 – the next thing is to do it for real, with wool fibres in place of the blanket.

Question: how long do I have to mow up and down till the wool fibres felt well?!

Hmmm….I hope to have the answer before too long.

How to make your own liquid olive oil soap for felt making…

Olive oil soap is brilliant for felt making! It’s low on suds and moisturising for hard working hands.

Soap is alkaline and changes the pH of the wool fibres and this in turn causes the fibres to felt better and quicker.

Materials and Equipment

  • 100g bar of olive oil soap
  • Boiling water
  • Saucepan
  • 2 litre jug
  • Whisk and spoon

The Process

Grate the soap into a saucepan and pour 500ml boiling water over the grated soap

Stir the mixture until the soap has dissolved and then pour into a 2 litre jug

Add enough boiling water to the soap mixture to bring it up to 2 lites and stir well.

Leave to cool – the mixture will thicken as it cools to room temperature.

If it is too thick just add more water. Then store in a container.

You can add the liquid soap to your felting water or apply it directly onto the fibres.

ENJOY !

Processing…
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Concrete figurative sculpture – Experiments Part 1

I am logging my experiments with concrete on a wire armature. The figures are similar in shape to my Contemporary dancers.

Part 1.

Part 1. – The first layer of concrete

Concrete mixture

  • 1 part cement
  • 1 1/2 parts sand
  • 1/4 cup bentonite clay
  • Water with super-plasticiser

Initial thoughts:

  1. I have had to shape the armature before applying the concrete – after which it will literally be set in stone and I won’t be able to adjust the shape in any way.
  2. Concrete is less mouldable than clay – I will have to apply several thin layers to get the shape I want.
  3. The loose concrete mixture blends with the yarns very well – will try a knitted fabric.

Next – Part 2.

New Online Course: Contemplative Figure -A Unique Felt Sculpture

 Molly Williams online course felt sculpture

My New Online Course begins

NEXT WEEK

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

CONTEMPLATIVE FIGURE – A UNIQUE FELT SCULPTURE

£250.00

… A quick look at the course:

Learn how to make a large contemplative sculpture using a wet felt method of sculpting.

The sculptures are inspired by the work of modern sculptors, such as Barbara Hepworth and Sir Henry Moore and others. You will have the opportunity to explore the work of these sculptors and, through a series of drawing exercises, create your own shapes.

The finished figure will measure about 12″/30cm – 18″/45cm in height, dependent on the shape and position.

This is a very energetic process that involves manual shaping and felting, plus a sander and steamer to finish.

There are just a few places left on this small teacher led course

What my students say…..

‘ Thank you soooo much for providing this wonderful opportunity to follow your tutorial!!! Your videos, hand outs, and personal connection has been outstanding! ‘ Tina

 

‘I took a course with you and it was absolutely fantastic to learn these unique new techniques. I am a wet felter and the way that Molly has innovated wet felting techniques to create more sculptural forms (rather than using needle felting) is really interesting and opened up a whole new arena of possibilities for me for creating strong shapes – this is so innovative and exciting, thank you so much for sharing your way of working’   Mia Hartgroves

 

‘I loved the workshop. I am so glad we had the time to start to get to know each other. You have totally inspired me.’  Amy

 

 

Please contact me for more information:

Ottoman kaftan construction – 2 Child’s Kaftans

The Clothworkers Centre in London have several Ottoman kaftans in its archive and I have visited the centre to examine some of their examples. I was interested to see how the kaftans were cut and details of the stitching.

The archive kaftan pieces are typical of work made in the Ottoman court workshops during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Fabric weave were a Lampas  (4:1 satin and 1/3 twill). Fabrics were sumptuously made with silk warps and wefts and included metallic yarn as a brocaded weft. They were woven on looms producing a width of between 66cm and 68.5cm and, because of this width restriction, only the smallest of kaftans could be cut completely within the width – larger body sizes required fabric inserts.

Star design child’s kaftan

The main colours were white/cream and red with some blues and  yellow. Green was seldom used as there were no natural green dyes and the colour had to be made by over dying yellow with blue. The metallic yarns were made by loosely wrapping yellow and white yarns with silver strips – the white yarn enhancing the silver and the yellow coming through the silver creating a gold colour.

This “star” design kaftan illustrates how a small kaftan could be cut from one width of fabric with a separate gore added on the right side to complete the shape. Pattern pieces were cut to fit the fabric with as little wastage as possible.

Linings and stitching

This image shows the back/lining details of the Star kaftan. Bias cut facings (12cm wide) of red/orange silk are stitched around the openings – sleeves, neck, front, and hems. Facings are found in blue, red, orange and rose colours and sometimes match the main colour of the kaftan. The facings are attached to the kaftan by  single seam.

Stitch detail

Simple hem stitch and running stitch to attach the garment pieces at the seams

 

 

Floral design kaftan

The lining, if any, was inserted under the facing and the free edge of the facing was turned under once and stitched into place with whip stitch.

This kaftan had a long narrow pocket on the right hand side, between 6-9.5cm wide and 25-32cm long, and were attached to an opening on the side seam. Pockets were made from the same loosely woven fabric as the linings.

Chemistry in the Kitchen! How to make soap

Making soap at home is easy and a lot of fun!

I have been making soap for years and it is a wonderful, mild, moisturising product – and you can make it too! – especially as we are all washing our hands a lot these days!

Hand made soap

This recipe is designed for the kitchen cabinet – it needs just 3 ingredients:

  • 2 oils – light olive oil and coconut nut oil –  both easy to find in your supermarket
  • Caustic soda  –  find this at a good hardware store.

The materials and equipment are probably already in your kitchen cupboard:

  • Apron
  • Washing up gloves
  • Eye protection
  • A bottle of vinegar
  • Digital scales
  • Stainless steel saucepan
  • 2 plastic jugs – 500ml minimum
  • small glass
  • stainless steel spoons
  • A plastic spatula
  • Stick blender
  • Plastic box with lid

A note of caution

Caustic soda will corrode many materials so it is important to make sure that your utensils and equipment are either plastic and stainless steel.

For your safety wear an apron, gloves and eye protection.

 

The recipe

  • 500g light olive oil
  • 300g solid coconut oil
  • 117g caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
  • 250ml cold water

Please watch the video that will take you step-by-step through the process. It is ‘a must watch’ before you start!

If you have enjoyed the video and would like to learn more about soap making you can join my online course here:

Chemistry in the Kitchen £15.00

Topics covered are:

  • Saponification – the chemistry of soap
  • Choosing oils and fats
  • Essential oils
  • Colouring soap
  • Make a Palm Christie soap
  • Design your own soap recipe and how to use lye calculators
  • Labelling and packaging

The course includes downloadable information pages and worksheets.

 

Contemporary Dancer January Course update

This January 2020 I was joined by 12 talented felt makers, from different parts of the world. Over the next 5 weeks they created a beautiful dancer -and I’m so proud of them all! WELL DONE!!!!

There was lots of great conversation and support on the Discussion Forum and here are some of the images of their dancers…

As a teacher, the success of my students is the most important thing and I am delighted with the results. I hope to have more images soon as figures are finished and ready for their debut!

I also had lovely, very encouraging reviews of the course and these are just  few – thank you all xx

Molly – thank you for such a wonderful course. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning along with you and the other class participants. I greatly appreciated the research and design aspects of this course – it goes beyond the making of just one object , into how to think about gathering inspiration, researching , planning through drawing and observation and using wool fibres as a sculpture. You have provided quick responses to questions , positive feedback and encouragement as well as added additional material. I am excited to work on my second dancer.

Cheryl

 

I want to say how much I love and enjoyed this course. 

Mainly because you have encouraged us to research at the beginning of each of the chapters, I had used Pinterest before but never had realized how easy it is to do the boards as a way to brainstorm and come up with new ideas.  Because of all the exercises that you encouraged us to do before we made our dancer, I am now more aware of people’s musculature in 3D. I must say that I have learned a lot.  I am in a dance/aerobics class now and I can’t help looking at how people’s muscles move.

I have enjoyed your class because you showed us how to approach each of the new challenges in the chapters in a straight forward and easy way.

You have taught us the process. Thank you!

Kathy

 

…I had great fun doing your workshop. Since the advent of online workshops I’ve been taking them voraciously; they are such a fabulous learning platform in so many ways. They allow you to learn from amazing teachers all over the world, build a community of fellow learners across continents and time zones and provide you with ample time to play with new material in your own time, in your own workspace with your own stash at your fingertips.

I would like to thank you for sharing your technique and many years of experience with us so generously. Your technique is unique and opens so many new avenues for play and exploration. I would happily recommend your workshop to anyone.

Tanja

 

How to make an Art or Craft online course …the things they don’t teach you!!

£25.00 – Open access

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This is the course I wish I had found before I started making my first online course. 

It is for creatives like me – artists, designers and crafts people who would like to teach their practical skills to the world through video demonstrations. 

When making my first course I spent a lot of time finding out about equipment, lighting, filming and editing. 

In this course I have tried to highlight and answer some of the practical problems I encountered on my course building journey, so that you can get on with making your course. 

However, it is not a ‘how to design, plan, make and sell’ course! There are plenty of those out there and all the online course platforms provide their teachers with excellent, free ‘How to’ courses. 

This course includes information video, images and text and downloadable worksheets. 

The course is hosted on Ruzuku.

So if you would like some useful setup advice – signup! 

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