So day 3 really opened my eyes to what a BEAST my Angler Fish is turning out to be. I know I wanted to make something ambitious, but this is crazy!! So, started wet felting on my foam base yesterday & it made me realize that I don't know that much about wet felting. It started out great, until I got to felting the recesses & inside the mouth. That's when it started to fall apart. I think I got a little impatient, I felted for 2 hours straight, so I tried to speed things along & the wool got all clumpy & thin & uneven. I need to slow down & enjoy the process. I have a long day of felting again today!
So here's the foam base all ready to wet felt. Seems all easy & breezy starting here, just add some felt (I did a small sample of wet felting on top of the foam)....
I started by wrapping some "core" wool around the foam all going in the same direction. I decided to work in sections so I started with the tail cause it was kinda small & manageable.
Next I wrapped some Romney Felting Wool around the tail in the opposite direction. I think the alternating directions helps with creating a solid even piece of felt. I tried to make each layer even... at first... I didn't realize how much wool I would be using!!!
Now I wrapped the wool in some Tulle Fabric that I bought to use as netting. This helps keep the fluffy wool in place while you wet it down & start the felting process. If not, then the wool will get all clumpy & uneven... which I learned later on...
Now it's time to add the hot soapy water. I was working in my sink cause the fish is small enough to contain the mess.
Starting to massage & rub, rub & massage. At this point it is still going really well!! I felted the wool section until it seemed solid enough not to pull apart.
I left the edges of the sections dry so when I add the wool for the next section, then felt together really well. I found with the sample that I made, that the wool felts best over the foam base if it is completely encased in wool, then it will shrink up and tighten around the form. It's still all loosey-goosey at the stage, so I just kept adding sections.
I added more "Core" wool & Romney for the next section, covered it in the netting, and Scrubbed & Rubbed some more...
The top of him was easy to felt, it was when I got to his thinner jaw & inside his mouth where I started running into problems. I think it is just a complicated shape that I didn't really think through.
I did get all of him covered, but if you look closely you can see how the inside of his mouth is all lumpy & he just looks kinda like a melted piece of bubble-gum. Now the fulling starts, which I hear is the longest & hardest part. I'm just used to wet felting small things like soap, so I didn't realize how much felting this MONSTER would take.
I started to get desperate to felt faster (it had been about an 1 1/2 hours by this time) so I tried using the netting as a kind of scrubber. This seemed to work somewhat.
Scrubb & Rub... Scrub & Rub... Scrub & Rub... Scrub & Rub...
So then after 2 hours, I couldn't felt anymore. My back hurt & I was getting frustrated. So I stopped for the night & will start up today. He is still not felted very tight, so I think I'll just need to keep going at it. Lance came up with a great idea when it comes to the Jaw & Mouth problems. He suggested cutting the jaw off & felting it as a separate piece. I think I might do that to help keep the felting manageable. Now I just need to work on the problem of adding wool to an already felted piece. When I tried to add some fluffy wool to the sparse areas, it just felted itself, sat on top, and fell off. If there are any wet felting geniuses out there I could use some advice. I guess I should have done some more practice before I started.
But that's the point of making this kind of process journal. You get to see the mistakes & learning process that I am going through!!!