New girl on the block

I’ve taken time out from writing the next figurative course – I had to as there is tree felling going on and the air loud with buzz saws and chippers = NOT music to recording ears!

So, I finally finished this new girl today! – she’s been lounging around my worktop for ages.

 

Experimented with adding jewellery chain onto the hip – and I like it!

Textured skin for large sculptures

I have only made the Contemplative Figures figures with natural, undyed fibres applied straight onto the form, unlike the Dancers that have a separately made decorative skin

I am playing with ideas for a colourful, textured skin for the larger figures.

Something like this perhaps?

 

Hmmm – an add-on for the Contemplative Figure course I think!

New Figurative sculpture course! April 2020

A 5-week online course April 22nd – May 22nd 2020

– where you will learn how to make a large contemplative sculpture using a wet felt method of sculpting.

These 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 16″/40cm – 20″/50cm in height, dependent on the shape and position.

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

COURSE TIMETABLE

April 22nd – Welcome

April 24th – Week 1 An introduction to Sculpture

May 1st –  Week 2 The Skeleton

May 8th –  Week 3 The Musculature Part 1

May 15th – Week 4 The Musculature Part 2

May 22nd – Week 5 The Skin and Finishing

ABOUT THE ONLINE CLASSROOM.

The Course is hosted by RUZUKU

Each weekly lesson is comprised of a range of activities to show you how to build your sculpture step-by-step. There are video instructions, text and images and downloadable worksheets for each activity.

Online teaching materials and resources are available to students for 6 months from the beginning of the class. The downloadable course material and PDF’s are yours forever.

Online Felt Workshops Molly Williams

There is an online course Discussion Forum where you can chat to me and fellow students, post comments and images and ask questions. I will respond to all comments and questions during the length of the course and while the online classroom is open – I am mindful that there is a lot of work to do and it may take some of you a little longer than the 5 weeks.  As you will have full access to the videos, online class materials and Discussion Forum for 6 months, there will be plenty to time to work at your own pace.

You will learn a truly new and unique process!

Join me to learn how to make your own beautiful sculpture….

 

 

2019 Review

I have been looking back at the year, as I go through my accounts and plans for 2020. It’s been a significant year for my art practice, taking me on a different and very exciting path!

Felt bowl workshop Mayfield School – March

 

Experiment – Raku fired clay and fabric sculptures – April

 

Prism at Hoxton Arches May 29th – 9th June

 

Felt bowl workshop – August

 

Felt sculpture workshop – August

 

Prism at the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham UK – October 8th – 19th

 

Online course – Contemporary Dancer – a new venture! January 17th – 28th February 2020

 

…..and the next course I’m working on

It’s been a fantastic a year and I have met wonderful artists and felters along the way. I am looking forward to 2020 with new courses in mind, sharing a studio during the South East Open Studios, possible exhibition in Kuwait and workshop in the Netherlands and a big family wedding!!

 

 

 

 

Why did I start? Where am I now!

I have been making these figurative wet felted sculptures for over 10 years and people often ask me when, why and how, I started to make them – not the easiest question really!

Several thoughts though –

  • I have worked figuratively since about 2005 and the first sculpture I made was for the final show of  my BA Embroidered Textiles 2008. She is now a feature in my garden and it’s amazing how long she has endured through weather all year round!
  • If I hadn’t discovered wool fibres and felting I would work in clay – I love to mould and sculpt and shape and use the energy of my hands.
  • I had an idea to see if I could mould the wool fibres as I would clay – and it worked!!

I have shown my figures at Prism and SDC exhibitions in London and Birmingham and have sold them in local galleries.

This year I made ceramic and mixed-media figures for the first time!

RBSA Prism 2019

Then, out of the blue…..

I was asked to teach at Felters Fling 2019 – I had a wonderful time and met amazing felters and friends – and I realised that what I am doing, with wet felt sculpture, is very different and of interest as a new technique.

So….I am embarking on another new venture, to teach online! It’s been a huge learning curve for me and I have had a lot of fun finding out and mastering many skills and processes:

  • Studio lighting
  • Filming
  • Talking and making at the same time!!!
  • Editing videos
  • Creating written content and illustrating handouts and worksheets
  • Finding the best course platforms and learning how it all works
  • Classroom discussion forums
  • Selling and marketing

…and I have had a great group off Felter’s Flingers to trial the course with me –  their advice and encouragement has been invaluable! Thank you, thank you xxxx

Maybe you’ll join me?

Contemporary Dancer Online Workshop

My new 5 week online workshop

Contemporary Dancer – A Unique Felt Sculpture

Friday 17th January till Friday 21st February 2020

Registration for the course is open!

 

This is an exciting online workshop where you will make a free standing figure 20″/50cm tall. You will learn a new, energetic wet felted process that has similarities to clay sculpting and can be easily adapted to make any shape or form. 

The course is suitable for intermediate felt makers and will include simple hand sewing techniques. 

The online classroom is hosted on RUZUKU – each lesson contains multiple videos, presentations and downloadable course information and worksheets to show you, step-by-step, exactly what to do in a simple, clear format.

I am so excited to have developed this course and hope you will join me in January!!

Be on the first course……

Head over to my workshop page for more information:

My 30 Day Challenge 2019

A 30 Day creative challenge for myself starting Friday 31st May 2019.

  1. Create a new piece of art every day
  2. 30 minutes minimum
  3. Drawing, painting, sculpture
  4. Try new materials – recycled, acrylic and oil paint, fabrics, wood, metal, concrete, paverpol, plaster, collage, 2D and 3D.
  5. Log daily with images and text
  6. Daily instagram and FB

Day 1- 31 May

Decorative felt for a bag.

Added a lot of fabric and wool and then finished with free machine embroidery – this was for a bag however the felt was too thick to attach to the purse fixing and will use it to make a pouch bag with a clip closure.

Experimental ceramic figures

I have been developing a way of creating sculptures with a clay and textile mix on a wire frame.

The figures (usually felted) are changing in response to the theme of ‘Fragility’ for the Prism Textiles Exhibition at Hoxton Arches gallery, London next month.

 

There is nothing the least fragile about my felt sculptures that go through a very vigorous, wet felt process. By creating a ceramic sculpture I have introduced an element of fragility to the form – or that is my intention!

 

 

The process thus far:

The figures have a twisted wire skeleton – 2mm and 2.5mm to reinforce the standing leg.

I made a paper clay slip with stoneware clay, paper and water and used this to soak ribbons of cut knitted woollen fabric to bind around the wires – then left to dry.

I repeated this process with the same material to shape the arms and the hips and legs. The torso was formed with solid clay to add a textural contrast.

Once dry I polished the torso clay to bring it up to a smooth shine – but only possible in places so not very sucessful!

Firing the figures

I have placed the figures in a foil ‘saggar’ with a range of colouring materials.

Materials:

  • Seaweed powder (spirulaena)
  • wire wool rusted
  • copper wire
  • banana skins
  • salt

I wrapped fine wire wool and banana skins around the figure securing them with copper wire. Spirulaena and salt was sprinkled on last and wrapped the whole in layers of foil.

Figure wrapped in foil

 

Then out to the yard and my steel bin!

I put a good 30cm of sawdust in the bottom of the bin and lined the sides with wood. I then placed two foil parcels of figures onto the sawdust base. Long ribbons of fabric soaked in white spirit were tucked into the this layer and then filled the rest of the bin with smallish pieces of wood. Finally I pushed more spirit-soaked fabric through the four vent holes, into the layer of sawdust, at the bottom of the bin.

I lit the kiln from the base of the bin – lighting the four fabric ribbons.

Once the fire was really going – about 8-10 minutes – I closed the vents with fire proof fabric kept in place with bricks.

Finally, once I was sure the fire was hot and fierce, I put the lid over the flames and there it stayed for 18 hours (over night).

Link to Raku firing

The materials have added plenty of colour to the figure and happily there are no cracks in the clay!

My final task is to find a suitable base in which to set the figures!

Question – do I add a wire head dress? Gold leaf to highlight? Lacquer? Hmmmm……