Friday, February 4, 2011

Thanks Girls!


Right after I have an intense, frenzied art making session, I’m usually wrung out and hungry for Mexican food with a cold beer. This time after welding the trumpet sculpture and fast & furiously slinging steel, I was amped up, ready for some more art making! I’ve been wanting to use the Churro Sheep wool that my friend Marjorie sent me courtesy of her "girls." My recent felting class inspired me because I was able to compare how beautiful the Churro wool is and was inspired to learn how to wash and dry it for felting. Gus wasn’t so convinced –he thought the washed wool drying in the laundry room looked like an “old persons hair!” The washing process is not too difficult but it was intimidating because I read that too much handling or agitation tightens the

wool fibers right up. I picked out the natural debris that was in the wool before I washed it and fortunately, Daddy-O had installed a nice mop sink in the laundry room that used to be for my work in clay, just off of my studio area. The sink was perfect for the two hot water washes and clean water soaks. After the first wash the water was muddy, dark brown, so much so that I thought I would never be able to get the wool clean on my own,

but the wool washed up amazingly fast thanks to Dawn dishwater dete

rgent. The water was completely clear in the rinse after the second hot, soapy soak. I already know the miracles of Dawn from my greasy hand clean-up after welding days. Dawn really works –they even use it for cleaning up oil-soaked animals after environmental disasters. I had to keep from wanting to scrub, squeeze and wring out the wool, especially since I didn’t have any of the net laundry bags that is recommended. I gently flat-hand squished out all of the excess water and let dry in the warm laundry room and the wool would be fine to use as

soon as it dried. I finished up my little Boston Terrier (he's got little black, glass bead eyes sewn on too -it's just hard to see in the photo) I started in the felting class and with the left over black C-1 Black wool I made a sheep body to to felt the washed Churro wool to. I really like the natural ends of the sheep wool, they are beautiful for embellishment detail on a felted critter. Definitely more felting practice (including taking pictures!) is in order and I want to make some more sheep after I get some more base materials. So many mediums, so little time!

My friend Marjorie's Navajo Churro Sheep, West, Bonnie, Vera & Patsy

9 comments:

Judy Shreve said...

Just WOW -- Cindy these critters are fabulous! I was at a clay workshop one summer with some felters down the hall -- really loved watching them work.

You have so many fun projects going -- what fun!

Tracey Broome said...

that is about the cutest thing I have ever seen! You and I could just start our own sheep business!

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

Love that sheep! My friend gave me polypay wool...I wonder how it compares to churro. I'm taking Navajo weaving classes even though I haven't yet mastered spinning! I am going to try Dawn on some of my fleece, it didn't even occur to me to try that instead of the expensive wool wash!

cookingwithgas said...

really Cindy! You put us all to shame- these are wonderful! When many people just think of what they want to do you just do.
Thank you for the card- meant worlds to me.
You are a special person in many,many ways.
M

Anna said...

You are definitely multi-talented! Tell me...is there anything you DON'T want to do??? Love the sheep.

cindy shake said...

Awwww! Thanks everyone for reading AND commenting :o) I LOVE the support -it always makes my day.

Cowgirl Goods said...

WOW My girls are famous in Alaska! There will be a ton of wool in May when they get sheared this year. Shall we start a list?

susan christensen said...

Great post, Cindy. It's really a pleasure to add your blog to the Alaska Region Studio Art Quilt Associates blog list. Welcome!

cindy shake said...

thank you Susan! SAQA has been SOOO welcoming! What a GREAT group of talented artists! So glad my friend and fellow SAQA member Ann encouraged me to join.