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.

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.

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

 

New online course: Contemporary Dancer – a Unique Felt Sculpture

My New Online Course coming soon!

Contemporary Dancer – a Unique Felt Sculpture

Watch this space and please contact me if you would like to learn more about it and when, and where, to sign up!

Registration begins on Friday 6th December 2019
The online course goes live on Friday January 24th 2020

molly williams felt sculture online course 2010

This is an exciting 5 week online workshop that teaches you how to create a unique, figurative sculpture using wool fibres on a wire armature.

Each figure stands about 20″ / 50cm tall and is free standing on a small plinth.

Weekly lessons have presentations, videos and downloadable worksheets to show you step-by-step exactly what to do in a simple, clear format.

The process includes wet felting and has similarities to clay sculpting.

Practical lessons include drawing and research tasks that look at the anatomy of the body and movement in dance.

There is a Discussion Forum where you can chat to me and to fellow students and ask questions about the lesson content.

It’s amazing! – join me for the 5 week online week course and learn how to make your own fabulous dancer, full of movement and energy!

I will post more information about the course during the next few weeks!

Please contact me if you would like to join my emailing list to be notified as soon as registration opens.