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They say that long letters are less readable today. They say this is because people don’t always want to share, or simply don’t have anything to say. But I always have something to talk about, and how could it be otherwise, because I share my most beloved and secret thing – felt! You can talk about your favorite activity for a very long time…

Of course, you can only look at the photos and that will be enough, or you can – while reading the text – go the whole way with the master. Well, are you ready? Then forward… or back?

Looking back at the path I’ve traveled is like flipping through a favorite book that I’ve just finished, but I’m not ready to let go of yet… But six months ago, I didn’t know what exactly I had to go through.

Where did it all begin…
At the beginning of last year, I took a course with a wonderful person and master Maria Friese in Geometry, it was called Sacred Geometry…

My task is to tell you about the work itself, so about geometry very briefly. We drew circles synchronously with compasses, the intersection points of the circles were also synchronously connected, extended, they crossed… which created some kind of ornament, each with its own. This is what I had (I attach a photo of the drawing). While creating it, I caught myself thinking that this is no less exciting than felting… I have a lot of drawings accumulated… but the teacher’s task was to inspire us to create felt work. Of all the sketches, I settled on one of them. I began to hatch the idea of translating geometry into felt. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted yet, but I knew what I DON’T want – I DID NOT want “flat” felt.

I know that many masters start a project when every step is thought out… even the color of the buttons… Most often I also have this approach, but it happens that an obsession with an idea rushes to start… if you start to hesitate and think, then the excitement and adrenaline can simply “wither”. I am already familiar with this feeling inside myself; I turn on what I call a “step-by-step” solution to the situation (I don’t like the word “problem”).
So, step one. From all the drawings, choose the one that, in my opinion, will “make friends” with the felt.
Step two is to decide which element in the work will be “leading”. (For me it was an 8-pointed pink star). I made a sample… From it I calculated the coefficient of gain. (There is a photo of a sample star).

Step three is to enlarge the drawing according to the CG. The asterisk settled at 2.0, but the shrinkage of a separate element and the same element in the amount of 36 pieces in a common mosaic is a completely different story. Understanding the “history”, I set myself up for a shrinkage of approximately 1.4.

The next step – I didn’t yet know which elements would require a blocker, but just in case I did it for everyone (if you look at the picture, then): 36 pink stars, 13 stars inside gray shapes, 12 “pyramids” inside blue shapes, 52 shapes gray, 48 blue figures, 288 “rays” around pink stars. Have you calculated how many elements there are? I didn’t count either!

The next step – I understood that with such a volume, my vigilance would at some point become dull (unfortunately, I must admit, especially since I worked with carding), and only prefelt could save the situation, guarantee the uniformity of the layout, shrinkage, uniformity of the surface felt At this point, I have already calculated – the layout will be 1.50 by 1.50 (one and a half by one and a half meters). Just in case, I made a prefelt 2×2 meters, 4 thin layers (Are you gradually understanding the scale of the “disaster”?) And I was not mistaken, all the prefelt was gone, I later used it to build up “pyramids” (12 pieces) and compacted the flagella on pink stars (36 pieces, 8 flagella on each).
Next, I prepared a prefelt for each element (according to the same scheme as the blockers – 36+13+12+48+52+288).
This was all a preparation stage. You know, it happens like this: you finished a project and there was an emptiness inside you… you carried the baby for nine months and then gave birth to him… It’s empty inside… This stage of preparation took a lot of time… it’s like a project within a project… I didn’t particularly go into detail about geometry, but you need to decide exactly how to connect the intersections of the circles… You see the finished drawing, and everything seems logical. I liked to draw, but I thought: if drawing takes so much time, how long will it take to felt… After such thorough preparation, I could not continue working… It was as if someone had erected a wall in front of me. I found any excuse not to start…

No matter how much I put off work, I still understood that sooner or later (preferably sooner) she would call me; otherwise everything is in vain? It’s like shooting with a slingshot: the further you pull, the more painful the blow. “It hurts more” in my case – it’s a “bugger”.

Are you tired yet? Then let’s move on…
It’s time to think about color… I planned – pink stars, white pyramids, dark gray flowers, light brown around dark gray flowers, light gray around the pyramids… Don’t even try to concentrate… When everything was laid out, I categorically didn’t like how what appeared before my eyes; It was too late to retreat, and I decided to cover everything with white wool (and it was the right decision). Some colors still made their way through or showed up in the carving; The overall color resembles that of faded stone with flecks.
Everything is laid out… A one and a half by one and a half meter project is not very scary, but buzzing? – useless (thickness: coarse wool, prefelt, blockers, wool again – just useless), roll? – everything will move and my “sacred geometry” will disappear… There is no massager that could squeeze in “through the nooks and crannies”… Only with your hands… for a long time, with love and faith that everything will work out, stroking, passing, crushing, rubbing, highlighting, emphasizing each element (36+12+13+48+52+288 – you already memorized it yourself).

When the wool had stabilized, I took the risk of rolling it, exclusively with short rolling sessions, 50 times – north-south, west-east, let’s say – this is one cycle; did only 4 cycles; after each one again with your hands – stroking, rubbing, pressing, highlighting each element…

The amount of water made the work too heavy to lift and impossible to turn over; There could be no talk of rubbing the “back” over the relief surface… at any stage… but for now, excess water must be removed urgently. I cleaned it with a towel, at some point it seemed that I had “twisted” more water with the towel than I had poured into it. Such a thickness did not even want to be screwed onto the pipe, the elements began to break, but what do we care, we have hands that have long forgotten how to spell the word “manicure”, because they are always ready to stroke, rub, press, massage, highlight each element… (36+12+13+48+52+288… wake me up at night – and it will bounce off my teeth – 36+12…

As the felt strengthened, so did my confidence. The pink stars seemed to me to be the most important moment, they were the “highlight of the program” for me, so I started forming them first. She took out the blocker and marked the flagella (36 stars of 8 flagella each, thick felt, a total of 288 flagella 5 cm long).
A small digression. I gave myself a year in advance for this work… time for breaks, without haste, rest, other projects… We also know that after drying the process goes faster (it always seems to me that felt can also get tired of us; so during drying it is taking a break from us). And when I was forming these 288 flagella, I thought – this is the felt that will “take a break from me, dry out.” Nevermind (sorry, for God’s sake) it hasn’t dried out; and do you know why? thickness above and below the blockers, and the blockers are “airtight”… you can imagine… I decided not to stretch out the “pleasure” for a whole year.

In general, I must say that only these pink stars turned out the way I planned; if you remember, I made a sample. The remaining elements were transformed along the way. The “pyramids,” for example, completely flattened after skating, I had to build them up (and my prefelt is ready here and there), then constantly shape them with a needle. Dark gray stars – I wanted to show only carving in them; it seemed successful, but after the “opening” I was missing something… I piled up balls – white, pink, dark gray – and distributed them geometrically in the same way, look closely they are arranged in a square.
A concavity was planned around the pink stars (those 288 rays), which is not very visible, but due to it the convexity of the elements around the pyramids and dark gray stars is visible…

What else… All the work (with a short “creative” break) took me six months. I am unlikely to repeat this kind of work, although it was a very exciting and exciting time.

Wool. Despite the smooth surface of the felt, coarse wool fibers took part in the work – mainly Bergschaff (31-33 mic.) and Corriedale (27-29 mic.). Both of these types of wool hold their shape well and feel well. The big disadvantage is that it is very fleecy, and if you don’t feel it or feel it aggressively, it can turn out to be loose. Therefore, pay attention once again to the surface of the felt.

People in the comments ask me to show my hands after this work. You know, this work did not spoil my hands (they had already lost their “marketable” appearance before it).
People in the comments are also surprised at how they managed to cut out all the elements evenly. It didn’t work out at all. The most even drawing was made with a compass and ruler. The prefelt and backing parts were far from ideal. This alarmed me a little, but did not stop me; and when I laid it all out (36+12+13…), all the elements held each other tightly and held together, a puzzle effect…
Shrinkage. As you already remember, the layout was 1.50 to 1.50; finished work 1.11 to 1.11 (still wet, too late to form the dry one). Now – 1.07 to 1.07, several cm have gone into volume and shrunk.
Returning to geometry – the basis of this work is 5×5 circles; I initially wanted to do 3×3, then I thought: there will be a lot of work… where there are three circles, there will be room for five, and I did not regret making such a decision.

Did you actually read this far? Thank you so much for walking this whole journey with me once again! Thank you for sharing my feelings – excitement, doubt, joy… You see, I had something to tell, but do you have something to ask?
Write, I will be glad to answer.

Article by Emilia Ponomarev Americas (18)