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Monday, January 11, 2010

As Promised - Felting using a Sander

Very little time this weekend - Birthday celebrations kept us busy - on both Saturday and Sunday (I'm very lucky, thank you for everything Mom, Pamela, Gordon, Andi and girls as well as for all the gifts and cards in the mail) but I did manage to squeeze in (just a little) time to play with my new toy.

This piece is very thick and is several layers of wool with various fabrics on top - love my sander :-) great texture that would have taken me hours to achieve just by rolling - it still needs some stitching and beads when there is more time.

My thoughts on this: I wondered "what if" I machine-needled wool through silk dupioni and then used the sander to felt it - turned out to be a great idea and one worth exploring further. I had painted some pieces with dye and color coordinated the wool with the colors on the silk - this would really be magnificent for crazy quilt squares; this piece still needs some more stitching by hand and some beads.



This is a different area of the same piece.


The photo just can't capture the areas with the soft subtle colors of this very soft and flowing piece - oh, and I also pulled threads from the edge and used them in the felting.



My cordless sander: I used two layers of rubber shelf lining under my piece to help cushion the vibrarion and when I kept the sander moving, the vibrations were manageable; still needed earplugs though. A good thing is that the charge doesn't last forever - maybe a good hour? so the temptation to overdo and do nerve damage is probaby helped by this since I worked for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. I purchased the battery charger that takes one hour to charge the 18 volt battery. Drawback is that the bottom of the sander is velcro so no way to attach anything to the plate to keep it catching from the wool; but that little point is very handy to get into small areas. Solution was to use heavy plastic over the top of the piece. I began using bubble wrap but a tiny area got a hole and it began "grabbing" the wool through the hole - scary moment - Yikes!
Bottom line is that I love it, expecially for those times when you want to speed up the nuno process. I just can't wait to use it again!


22 comments:

  1. Margo Dear,
    I use a sander for all of my nuno/laminate felting. Love it, love it, love it! I also use a sander to prep my wool before I begin the rolling for my hats. I think it makes the process a bit faster. Pat Spark turned me on to that little time saver. God bless Pat!
    You piece is wonderful!
    Suzanne Higgs

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  2. This all looks really intersting. The outcome is lovely - I hever thought of using a sander. (I wonder how my husband will take to that idea if get hold of his and give it try. Perhaphs I should have a go the great out whilst he is out swimming. (In a nice warm pool - not the great outdoors)!!!

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  3. Suzanne - thanks :-) the more I learn, the more I want to do and I completely understand the satisfaction of "sharing" with others who love it too!

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  4. Ann, my husband gave me two of his (he even covered the pad with rubberized shelf liner for me) and I must say I was a little frightened of using something electric with so much soap and water so that's why I switched. Also, his were really too heavy for me so the B&D is just what the Dr. ordered - I love, love, love it!

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  5. I have a small sander that I ordered felting shoes for from hatshapers.com Email them with the dimensions to see if they'll fit yours. Mine is a Ryobi Corner Cat, but the shoes velcro onto the bottom. Works great!

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  6. Margo -- Your work is wonderful! Thanks for being an explorer out there and showing us new ways to do things.

    Suzanne Morgan

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  7. Oh Holly! thanks for the tip! I will do that.

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  8. Suzanne - thanks! I just added your blog link to mine - never knew how to do that before! easy, peasy - now I'll add more when I get the chance. You are living my dream . . . . . when I get to SC.

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  9. As a stopgap solution to prevent the Velcro grabbing your work, could you cut a piece of felt to size to cover the Velcro? Just a thought. Love your piece btw!

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  10. Amanda, thanks for your suggestions. I've found that working over plastic sheeting works really well although I did read that is is faster when you sand directly on top of the fiber - not possible with anything that will "grab" - has to be able to easily glide/slide over the the surface.

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  11. Margo - what a great idea - another thing I have to have - Dale

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  12. Dale - you'll love it! we can never have enough - hahahaha - I'm sure something else will pop up too that we simply MUST have!!! (love reading about all your ventures too :-)

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  13. What a dreamy textile creation! thanks for sharing.

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  14. I got crazy from the vibrations in my neck..but it is beautiful!(I enjoy blogs more than facebook)
    love
    yvette

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  15. Hi Margo,
    I got your blog infos from opulent fiber class.
    Nice to know your blog and all the wisdom words about felting...
    Thanks for the tips and knowledge about felting..most of all thanks for sharing your valuable experienes..
    Blessing,
    Loias
    www.etsy.com/shop/momoish

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  16. Loias - will you be coming to Opulent for the workshop? I sure hope so! thanks for your kind words :-)

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  17. how does this work...sander on wool?

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  18. Hi Ruth - it works great but I don't really use it that much because of the noise - I prefer to listen to music and feel the wool change in my hands. Try it though and see for yourself!


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  19. Hi Just bought myself a small electric sander today haven't tried it yet. never thought of it not been safe

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  20. Hello Kathleen! I haven't used mine for a while because I prefer to felt listening to music and having it more tranquil - lots of people use it and love it though! Good luck!

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  21. Hi Margo love your blog. I think I,m on my third sander Just love it.I do use a safety plug on mine, saves so much rolling

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  22. Hello Margo - I am a fan and I just wanted to ask about the sander thing - do you know if there is a problem using an orbital sander? I know an oscillating one that goes in circles can be a problem (although I did see a video where a woman made a nuno scarf using a big spinning car buffer thing?!)

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