‘Fulling is where the wool gives up it’s secrets. You can never predict exactly how a wool will speak…I enjoy a kind of meditation when i get tot he fulling process. [It is] is a conversation between you and the wool..You may be using the same wool used by thousands of other felters, but it is a new conversation each time. Christine White ~ Uniquely felt.
I’m not the sort of crafter that buys lots of glossy books on felting. In fact I have just one. There isn’t lots of short cuts and 15 minute projects. This book speaks about your relationship with the wool, it’s about understanding the process which is happening under your hands. Diving into it’s pages I feel i’ve got so much to learn but I’m ready for an apprenticeship.
My shoulders and arms sometimes dread the fulling process – throwing out alarm bells in memories of physiotherapist visits from years of bad typing posture. But this time I didn’t want to just throw it in the washing machine to finish it off I wanted to feel what was going on. With the purple towel laid out and the little copper cauldron with soapy water it seemed I was preparing for some sort of ritual. To me feting is a ritual, it’s a little bubble of time outside of time. Time set aside. A time for inner dialogue where thoughts bubble up.
As my hands guide the wool to shrink, I know I’m not really in control. It is a conversation, yet one which always throws up an element of surprise, the unexpected, magic. It’s like life ~ how we deal with outcomes, how much work we put into where we want to go.
And so after much rubbing and pushing, rolling, soaping and soaking … it was as if the as if the vessel was always there it just needed the fibers to take shape.