New from HeartFelt Silks – Felting Tools, Silk Supplies, and More

It’s a beautiful spring day here at HeartFelt Silks, and with spring come new inspiration, new plans, new ideas. We have been busy creating new artwork, felting tools, and all kinds of fiber art supplies to use in our studio, and to share with HeartFelt Silks friends and fans around the world. We also have been hard at work on something exciting — new video felting tutorials! The first one, the project many of you have been asking for, is coming very soon! In the meantime, here are just some of items new to our Online Shop:

Hand Dyed Silk Hankies for Felting, Spinning, Knitting - from artist Robbin Firt

Hand Dyed Silk Hankies for Felting, Spinning, Knitting – from artist Robbin Firt

Hand Dyed Silk Hankies for Felting, Spinning, Knitting - from artist Robbin Firt

Hand Dyed Silk Hankies for Felting, Spinning, Knitting – from artist Robbin Firt

Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Scarf by Artist Robbin FirthHand-Dyed Silk Hankies — Dyed in small batches, with acid dyes, by fiber artist Robbin Firth, in vibrant and unusual colors. This is 100% Silk Fiber known as Mawata. Silk hankies are silkworm cocoons that have been stretched over a frame into a square, ‘hankie’ shape. They are beautiful to work with, and can be felted, spun, or knitted or woven as they are.

Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Scarf by Artist Robbin Firth

Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Scarf (Detail) by Artist Robbin Firth

Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Scarf (Detail) by Artist Robbin Firth

Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Scarf (Detail) by Artist Robbin Firth


Eco-Printed and Eco-Dyed Silk Accessories and Garments
— the studio has been filled with the scent of eucalyptus and other earthy scents, as I eco-dyed and eco-printed a storm of scarves, tunics, shirts, ties. They sell quickly at our HeartFelt Silks studio at Seasons on St. Croix Gallery, and usually we don’t have a chance to put them up online, but after a few requests from overseas clients, a small selection of Eco-Printed Scarves is now in our online shop.

 

DEEP Palm Washboard Felting Tools (patent-pending), designed & handcrafted by HeartFelt Silks

DEEP Palm Washboard Felting Tools (patent-pending), designed & handcrafted by HeartFelt Silks

Felting Wool Locks and Merino with DEEP Palm Washboard Felting tools (Patent-Pending) from HeartFelt Silks

Felting Wool Locks and Merino with DEEP Palm Washboard Felting tools (Patent-Pending) from HeartFelt Silks

Deep Palm Washboard Felting Tools — an important and very useful addition to the Palm Washboard family of felting tools, we began offering the Deep Palm Washboards to our customers a few months ago but have not had a chance to highlight them on the blog yet. The Deep Palm Washboard has deep grooves, and it is designed specifically for the purpose of combining wool locks with a merino base but can be used for your other feltmaking needs too.

With love from HeartFelt Silks -- Special Edition Heart Palm Washboard Felting Tools

With love from HeartFelt Silks — Special Edition Heart Palm Washboard Felting Tools

We offer a wide range of felting tools, for all your varied felting needs. The Round Palm Washboards are great for hats and vessels, the Edge Palm Washboards are especially useful for working ruffles and seams, the Mini Palm Washboard is great for small objects (and small/children’s hands). Throughout the year, we also release some special edition Palm Washboards, like these lovely heart-shaped Palm Washboards.

Original Scarf Felting Kits from HeartFelt Silks featuring hand-dyed fabric

Original Scarf Felting Kits from HeartFelt Silks featuring hand-dyed fabric

Original Scarf Felting Kits from HeartFelt Silks featuring hand-dyed fabric

Original Scarf Felting Kits from HeartFelt Silks featuring hand-dyed fabric

Scarf Felting Kits — each season brings a crop of new felting kits to the HeartFelt Silks Shop. Each of our kits is unique — I hand-dye the fabric (silk or cotton gauze) to include in the kit and then hand-select fine wool and embellishing fibers to add to the mix. If you follow my work and enjoy my color palettes, you will love the felting kits I put together. Don’t these colors just sing spring and summer?

Inlaid Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Inlaid Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Inlaid Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Inlaid Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Wood Buttons handcrafted by Harry Firth and Al Firth for HeartFelt Silks

Handcrafted Wood Buttons — the HeartFelt Silks wood-shop is as busy as our retail & teaching felt studio, with my husband Harry Firth, and father-in-law Al Firth, making limited edition creations out of sustainably harvested local woods. The latest series of beautiful wood buttons is perfect for your next felted, knitted, crocheted project, or for switching out the buttons on your favorite jacket or cardigan, for a fresh look.

Innovative sculpting tools for wet felting exclusively from HeartFeltSilks

Innovative sculpting tools for wet felting exclusively from HeartFeltSilks

Innovative sculpting tools for wet felting exclusively from HeartFeltSilks

Innovative sculpting tools for wet felting exclusively from HeartFeltSilks

NEW Sculpting Tools for Wet Felting — these are brand-new and each is one-of-a-kind. These innovative tools are great for working very fine detail and texture on your felted objects, including garments, accessories, and sculptural felted objects. Each of these sculpting tools is unique, some feature inlay elements, and these tools are currently available via special order only, so please get in touch via email if you would like to reserve one or more for yourself.

Much more is in the works, so stay tuned for our news in the weeks and months ahead! Follow HeartFelt Silks on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates, wet felting and fabric dyeing adventures, and felting tips and tricks. We’d love to hear what’s new with you — share your felting news with us in the comments below or tag us on FB and Instagram.

 

Our favorite model, our daughter Kirsten Firth, modeling a Robbin Firth one-of-a-kind merino wool & silk felted cape

Our favorite model, our daughter Kirsten Firth, modeling a Robbin Firth one-of-a-kind merino wool & silk felted cape

Photo Report from the HeartFelt Silks UK and Ireland Workshop Tour

As many of you know, HeartFelt Silks made a very special appearance in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Here are a few photos from the many feltmaking workshops Robbin taught, with assistance from the lovely Kirsten, while abroad. Lots of woolly entertainment was had by all, with busy classes in beautiful locations, and many happy students learning new felting skills. We shared many more details on our Facebook page, follow us there for more on these and future adventures. We are grateful to the International Feltmakers Association for hosting our UK workshops.

This fall, after a week of workshops in Florida, Robbin, Harry, and Kirsten are staying close to home, with a busy season of workshops at our home studio in Hudson, WI, guest-teaching at The Textile Center, and, of course, busy times of making and shipping our Palm Washboard feltmaking tools, and other felting supplies all over the world. We are now working on our 2016 schedule, so if you would like to have Robbin Firth teach in your part of the world or have a suggestion for where Robbin might like to teach, get in touch!

Now, on with the show! The HeartFelt Silks in the UK & Ireland photo show!

Gorgeous Felted Ruffle Wraps on a beautiful summer afternoon. Love the color palettes chosen by each workshop participant — so different and unique.

The hat feltmaking workshops were a crowd favorite! It was truly great to welcome felters of all ages and levels experience to the classes.

There were lots of technique demos, hands-on practice, and note taking. We worked with resists, perfected 3D shaping, and so much more.

 

Ruffle wraps taking shape on the felting tables. Each class is a rich experience in group, collaborative learning, with each student receiving individual attention and help from Robbin as well.

Busy hands, lots of colors, beautiful wool, hand-dyed silks — taking time with your project layout is a very important step in the process. Being patient at this stage in the felting process pays off later. The Palm Washboards are at the ready to take you through to the next step.

Here, a beautiful merino wool & silk hat is taking shape, literally, in Robbin’s hands.
It was great to have large, roomy spaces to work in. The best part was having so many friendly, fun, and creative students!

In Robbin’s workshop in Ireland, hosted by Anita Marnell, working on a seamless cowl design.

 

And, after all that hard work, comes the modeling! Love seeing results and love seeing happy students with their new felted garments and accessories.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our Ireland workshop! Just beautiful!

 

Our Palm Washboards got a lot of use at the workshops! It is very rewarding to introduce new feltmakers to these marvelous felting tools we developed and continue to hand-make, one at a time, in our Minnesota woodworking studio.

While in the UK, we got to visit with Angela Barrow and her family (Simon and Charlotte) at Woolfest. The Barrows run Adelaide Walker storeour exclusive Palm Washboard distributor in the UK.

Woolfest was amazing! Wool and beautiful sheep everywhere, what could be better!

It was back to work as soon as we got back to the US — here is a new wool locks wrap in progress on the table, using gorgeous wool acquired at Woolfest!

Follow Robbin Firth and HeartFelt Silks on Facebook for daily updates from our studio, special announcements, and felting tips! See you soon!

Fall 2015 Felting Classes with Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

It’s time for a new season of feltmaking workshops at the HeartFelt Silks studio! This fall, you will have an opportunity to make elegant felted hats and cowl scarves, experiment with the unique Upwolfing felting technique, and try your hand at making a felted boa with merino wool and beautiful wool locks. Ready to felt? Get the details below. Classes fill quickly, please remember to register early.

 All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid.

Follow us on Facebook to see photos from previous classes!

Take a felting class with fiber artist Robbin Firth at HeartFelt Silks® Studio   Let your creativity flourish and create unique fashion accessories and home decor objects!
Location: 401 Second Street, Hudson, WI 54016  at SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery

phone: 651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com        www.HeartFeltSilks.com 
cowl.jpg
Felted Cowl
Create an original merino cowl with silk fiber embellishments as your design elements. Then we will use felting techniques with the unique Palm Washboard felting tool and very little rolling to create a lovely seamless cowl. Palm Washboards will be provided for your use. Please bring a few large towels. Some felting experience required.  

 

Material & Class Fee: $70.00
Tuesday, October 6th 1pm-5pm

 

intro to upwolfing.jpgIntro to UPWOLFING
Discover the creative and unusual UPWOLFING felting technique! Learn the basics of UPWOLFING invented in Europe by Irene Van Der Wolf. In this class we will experiment with a small UPWOLFING mat and Merino Wool Prefelt. You will create patterns and designs that you can later use in other felting projects. This class will go over advanced UPWOLFING techniques and products. Please bring a few large towels. No felting experience necessary.
Material & Class Fee: $55.00      
Sunday, November 8th 1pm-4:30pm  
                          
 
 
 
 
hat can.jpgFelted Hat with Silk Hankies Using Resists
Learn the technique of wet felting using wool roving, silk hankies & resists. We will be creating a one-of-a-kind hat. You will be able to recreate this project on your own again and again. Looking for a fun project to do with friends or family? This stylish and easy-to-make hat is made using the Palm Washboard felting technique and requires very minimal rolling. Palm Washboards will be available for use. Please bring a few large towels. Some felting experience required.
Material & Class Fee: $70.00                                   
Saturday, November 28th 1pm-5pm
boa textile.jpgFelted Boa
A superfine merino wool will start as your luxurious base fiber; then layer in a raw variety of sheep locks onto the merino wool base. There will be no rolling, only use of the new Deep Palm Washboard felting tool. This wet felting adventure will produce a scarf with a soft texture, but a curly and chunky appearance. Please note: raw locks do have a slight odor. Please bring a few large towels. The new Deep Palm Washboard will be available for use. Some felting experience required.
Material & Class Fee: $70.00                                 
Saturday, December 19th 1pm-5pm

Other felting classes can be arranged by appointment. Private and group instruction available. Contact Robbin at 651-263-7275 for details. If you cancel 2 or more weeks prior to class date, there will be a 10% cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks from class date, there will be a 50% cancellation fee. If you cancel the day before or day of class, there will be no refunds. A full refund will be made if a class is canceled by the instructor.

All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid.

                            651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com

Shop for unique felting tools, supplies, and kits: www.heartfeltsilks.com

Early 2015 Happenings at HeartFelt Silks Studio

Can you believe that it’s already April? Early 2015 has been a very busy time at our HeartFelt Silks studio! There have been group felting classes and private lessons at our retail/teaching space in Hudson, WI, and workshops at The Textile Center. Lots of new projects on the work table, from new styles of felted garments, to experimenting with new techniques, to eco-dyeing. Many uniquely dyed scarves and felted accessories went home to collectors of Robbin Firth originals this season. Plus, lots of new Palm Washboard felting tools are being made by Harry in the woodshop, to be shipped all over the world.

And if that’s not busy enough, I have been incredibly busy with preparations for a month+ of traveling and teaching all around the United Kingdom, and Ireland too!  And, for those who have been waiting — announcement of upcoming workshops in Florida and Canada is coming soon!

If you are in the area, come see us at Shepherd’s Harvest Festival, May 15-17, 2015, in Lake Elmo, MN. We will be doing felting demos, and the entire lineup of Palm Washboards will be for sale at the festival.

Here’s what we have been up to recently. Follow us on Facebook for daily updates from the studio, as well as felting tips and techniques.

Some of the most popular classes lately are the Felted Raw Wool Locks Wrap workshops. What could be better than playing with gorgeous wool locks and watching them transform into dramatic and organic-looking showstopper wraps!

Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth

 

Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth
Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth

Interested in a group or a private class with Robbin Firth at the HeartFelt Silks Studio? Get in touch!

When I am not teaching, you will find me in the studio, creating luxurious garments and accessories out of the finest silks and wools. I love combining silk I hand-dye myself with beautiful merino wool to make stunning fiber art pieces for beautiful women.

Select hand-dyed silks and felting kits are available from the HeartFelt Silks online shop.

Felted garments in the making in Robbin Firth’s HeartFelt Silks Studio

 

Wearable fiber art by Robbin Firth

 

Wearable fiber art by Robbin Firth

Here are just a few of the gorgeous women modeling their new HeartFelt Silks garments.

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

 

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

 

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

Interested in owning a HeartFelt Silks original? Please get in touch to inquire about current inventory or to order a custom piece.

This season, I am offering classes on the UPWOLFING felting technique for the first time. If you haven’t experimented with this technique yet, you are in for a real treat. Just look at all the fun possibilities, from adding extraordinary detail to handbags, vessels, or other felt objects, to creating felted jewelry, UPWOLFING takes your felting pursuits to a new level. HeartFelt Silks is proud to be a US distributor of select UPWOLFING products, and you can find them in our online shops.

Fun with UPWOLFING felting materials – in the HeartFelt Silks Studio

 

Fun with UPWOLFING felting materials – in the HeartFelt Silks Studio

 

Using Palm Washboard felting tools to create vessels that incorporate UPWOLFING elements

 

Felted rings made with UPWOLFING supplies by Robbin Firth

Every day, there is something new happening at the HeartFelt Silks Studio. My eco-dyed scarves have been in high demand this season, and the studio has been frequently infused with the beautiful scent of eucalyptus (used in my eco-dyeing!) Unwrapping the bundles to reveal the beauty within is always magical!

Eco-dyeing with Felt Artist Robbin Firth

 

Original Eco-dyed designs on Silk by Fiber Artist Robbin Firth

I also hosted a pop-up eco-dyeing class that was a great success with my fantastic students.

Eco-dyeing class in progress at HeartFelt Silks Studio

In the meantime, Harry has been busy making not only Palm Washboards but also custom hat blocks. The hat blocks Harry creates are always made-to-order. Each one is lovingly and carefully handcrafted out of a combination of beautiful woods. Not only are the hat blocks of great use to beginner and advanced millinery artists and feltmakers, but on their own they are sculptural art objects.

Wood Artisan Harry Firth in his woodshop

Let us know if you are interested in custom-ordering a handcrafted wood hat block by Harry Firth.

Handcrafted bespoke hat blocks by wood artisan Harry Firth
And no day is complete in the HeartFelt Silks adventure without a visit and some help from one of our many beloved animals! Here’s Mr. Moose doing quality control while I work.
Mr. Moose helping in the felting studio

 

Spring happenings, adventures, and fiber fun from HeartFelt Silks

We have had a busy few weeks at the HeartFelt Silks Studio! From felting classes, to felting kit prep, to creating new garment and wall art designs, to participating in two major fiber festivals, here are some highlights from spring 2014 with HeartFelt Silks, Robbin and Harry Firth.

In April, we took a long road trip to South Dakota for the Black Hills Fiber Arts Fair, where Robbin was an invited teacher, and Harry manned the HeartFelt Silks marketplace booth and entertained fair fiber fans with Palm Washboard demonstrations. The Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, SD, was a great venue for this exciting weekend of workshops, connections, and lots of beautiful fiber. Many Palm Washboard felting tools went home to happy owners. And Robbin didn’t come back empty-handed either — she brought home an arm-load of bison fiber from Chinook Winds Bison Yarn and Fiber and Icelandic sheep fiber from The Creeks Edge. Below are just a few photos from Robbin’s felting classes and demos at Black Hills Fiber Arts Fair 2014.

Robbin Firth’s felting classes at Black Hills Fiber Arts Fair 2014

 

Robbin Firth demonstrating felting with Palm Washboard felting tools at Black Hills Fiber Arts Fair 2014

Earlier in April, The Textile Center again invited Robbin to demonstrate her felting techniques at the American Craft Council Show in St. Paul, MN. While at the show, Robbin stopped by for a visit and a photo op with feltmaker Barbara Poole.

Felt Artists Robbin Firth and Barbara Poole in Barbara’s booth at ACC St. Paul show 2014

In early May, we were on the road once again, for a very short trip to the Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival in nearby Lake Elmo, MN. There were demos, chats, and lots of giggles with Robbin, Harry, the entire line of HeartFelt Silks felting tools, supplies, good times, and, of course, Robbin’s newest Wool Lock Shawls, which were a big hit with the visitors.

Robbin Firth demonstrating felting with Palm Washboards at Shepherd’s Harvest 2014

 

Happy visitors to the HeartFelt Silks booth modeling Robbin Firth’s wool lock shawls

Between travels, Robbin has been busy in the studio making lightweight summer scarves for her retail space at the SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery.

Lightweight summer scarves by felt artist Robbin Firth
Lightweight summer scarves by felt artist Robbin Firth

One of Robbin’s side (or pet) projects this spring included this plaid-patterned pet bed made out of different color fleeces Robbin has collected over a period of 20+ years. Not surprisingly, the bed was too small for Mick (just about everything is a little too small for Mick!), but it was the perfect size for sweet Tinker.

 

 

Join us again soon for more felting adventures with HeartFelt Silks!

Harry Firth, Robbin’s husband and Palm Washboard maker-extraordinaire, in his woodshop

 

Upcoming Felting Classes with Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

It’s a new season of felting classes at the HeartFelt Silks Studio at SEASON on St. Croix Gallery! See the list of select classes before. Other felting classes (including private and group instruction) can be arranged by appointment.
 
All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid. 
Follow us on Facebook to see photos from previous classes!
 
Take a felting class with fiber artist Robbin Firth at HeartFelt Silks® Studio
Let your creativity flourish and create unique fashion accessories and home decor objects!
Location: 401 Second Street, Hudson, WI 54016  at SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery
phone: 651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com        www.HeartFeltSilks.com


Felted Flowers, Vines, Necklaces and Belts
 
Create beautiful and delicate flowers with stems to make belts and necklaces. This class will take you through the basics of making the flowers with the Palm Washboard felting tool. Robbin will show you an easy technique to create the stems and then a way to connect them to the flowers for making your own fashionable accessories. (Bring a couple of towels) 
 
                                             
 Material & class fee $55.00                                
 
Friday, May 9th 6:00pm-9:00pm
new flower.jpg
Wrapped In Seasons Shawl (Knitting Class by guest teacher Diane L. Augustin)
 
Learn to knit a luxurious Merino Wool shawl to enjoy through the seasons. Quick and rewarding to knit, each pattern version uses 2 hanks of fabulous Malabrigo Mecha. You will begin your shawl in class and finish it on your own. Custom-made shawl pins by Harry Firth of HeartFelt Silks will be available to purchase for your shawl. Age/level: adults, beginners & beyond. For materials list and additional details, contact Diane at 651-398-5319 or dianelaugustin@mac.com
 
Class fee: $30.00                                                             
 
Friday, May 30th 6:00pm-8:00pm
diane pic.PNG
Lightweight Summer Scarf
 
Felting and experimenting with hand-dyed cotton gauze is the starter for this lightweight summer scarf. Fabric, merino fiber and various silk fibers go into this unique and classy summer creation. Never felted before? No problem, we will teach you the convenient non-rolling technique with the Heartfelt Silks patent-pending Palm Washboard tool. Materials provided. (Bring a couple of towels.)
 
Material & class fee: $65.00 
 
Saturday, June 14th 1:00pm-4:00pm
                                                                                   
Saturday, July 12th 1:00pm-4:00pm
cotton gauze scarf.jpg
Silk Ruffle Scarf
 
Create an original silk scarf and learn the basics of three crafts (needle-felting, wet-felting, silk dyeing). First, we will needle-felt and wet-felt using merino wool & silk blend roving. This creates great ruffles! Then we will dye the whole thing with bright beautiful dyes. Supplies needed: Five prong clover needle-felting tool and large clover needle-felting mat (available through Robbin). (Bring a couple of towels)
 
Material & class fee: $55.00                                             
Friday, July 18th 6:00pm-9:00pm
                                                                                   
Friday, August 15th 6:00pm-9:00pm
3 silk ruffle.jpg
Nuno Felted Scarf
 
Have you been waiting for this one? Nuno-Felting with the Palm Washboard! We will be taking hand-dyed Habotai Silk, adding Merino Wool roving, and then felting with the Palm Washboard felting tool, and very little rolling. You create the design for your own unique original scarf. No experience needed. Materials provided. (Bring a couple of towels.)
 
Material & class fee:  $60.00                                    
Saturday, August 30th 1:00pm-4:30pm
new nuno 3.png
 
Policy on Cancellations and Refunds: If you cancel a class 2 or more weeks ahead of class, there will be a 10% cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before class, there will be a 50% cancellation fee. If you cancel the day before or day of class there will be no refunds. A full refund will be made if a class is canceled by the instructor.

Sandra Struck-Germann and her magnificent felt art

We are excited to welcome a very special guest to the blog — the talented felt artist extraordinaire, Sandra Struck-Germann. One of the earliest fans of HeartFelt Silks and one of the earliest Palm Washboard users, Sandra has become our dear friend. We are thankful to her for her support, and we are grateful to know her as well as her truly extraordinary felt art.

Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, Sandra teaches workshops on the craft of felting, and she also exhibits her work widely. She is well known for her magnificent 3D artworks and for her large scale felted canvases too. Sandra was kind to share the following words and stories with us, and to tell us how she uses the Palm Washboard felting tools in her daily work. We are pleased to share Sandra’s impressive work with you, along with her words.

“Portraits have fascinated me since my childhood. For years, my three children determined my life, and it was inevitable that I expressed myself in my felt art with children’s faces, their portraits. I love to work in large format because it gives me freedom and space in which to create.

“As is the case for many feltmakers, my hands suffer from the constant contact with soapy water. On my large scale pieces, I often work with rough-textured gauze and rough and rugged mountain sheep’s wool, and rubbing these materials with my hands for long periods of time is hard on my hands and skin. Working with gloves is uncomfortable for me. Some time ago, through Facebook, I discovered HeartFelt Silks and the Palm Washboard felting tools. When I ordered one for myself and held the Palm Washboard in my hands a short time later, I was amazed. The Palm Washboard was so very different from other conventional felting tools that I had previously used! It has a smooth and flat, yet textured, surface, ideal for gliding across the delicate felt surface and creating friction. 

This photo illustrates the enormous scale of Sandra’s large format pieces. Note how small Sandra’s Palm Washboard is!
A Blues Brothers wall-hanging by Sandra Struck-Germann

“I have used the Palm Washboard directly on wool in large format artworks. It hardens the surface much more quickly and consistently than I was able to accomplish with my hands. Even my elaborate layout arrangements and embellishments do not move or shift while working them with the Palm Washboard. Thanks to the large knob handle, the Palm Washboard fits comfortably in my hand, and I have the sense that I can feel the wool surface underneath the Palm Washboard through my hand and fingers.

Work in progress — a multi-layered felted piece being worked with a Palm Washboard from HeartFelt Silks.
Sandra’s work on the felted portraits of Gandhi.

 

And now the portraits are complete!

“Another great passion of mine is the felting of faces with three-dimensional elements. Most of these are animals portraits with parts of the animals’ bodies protruding from the flat surface. The making of the transition from the flat surface to the 3D element is particularly tricky, delicate, and important. The transition must be smooth, firm, solid, and strong. For this task, I especially like to work with the EDGE Palm Washboard. This felting tool has a smooth surface and a convenient shape that creates good felting results when working 3D elements.

An example of Sandra’s fascinating 3D animal portraits in felt.

 

Here, Sandra is working the 3D face of the fox with the EDGE Palm Washboard. The fox’s body comes alive in Sandra’s skilled hands!
Sandra utilizes the entire family of Palm Washboard tools in her work – clockwise from the bottom: Jumbo Palm Washboard, Regular Palm Washboard, Rounded Palm Washboard, Edge Palm Washboard.
Another stunning 3D animal wall hanging by Sandra Struck-Germann

 

You can see the donkey’s head  so well at this angle.

“I regularly work with seniors with dementia. Many are also limited in their motor skills. Knowing how comfortable the large handle of the Palm Washboard feels in your hands gave me the idea that this tool would be great for use by seniors. Indeed, it was a great success! During a felting lesson, the seniors enjoyed using their Palm Washboards to felt — they got quick results, which gave them a great sense of accomplishment and boosted their self-esteem and mood.


Sandra teaches felting to seniors. The Palm Washboards help to make the felting process enjoyable and quick.

“I recently felted with a sander. I had heard people talk about felting with sanders so much that I wanted to give it a try myself. In fact, the sander felted the wool very quickly. But it also felted so quickly and powerfully that my fine and elaborate details all but disappeared! With the Palm Washboard, this has never happened to me. For me, using the Palm Washboard is a gentler, more controlled method of producing strong and solid felt. I’ll stay with the Palm Washboard!

The Rounded Palm Washboard at work on a pair of adorable felted booties.

 

Sandra finds so many different uses for the Palm Washboards — here, she’s making a handful of felted balls.
Kids love using the Palm Washboards too, and Sandra loves the help!

 

Sandra Struck-Germann wearing one of her felted creations

For more of Sandra’s beautiful felt art, visit her website and see our earlier blogpost featuring her work. Thank you for dropping by for a virtual visit, Sandra!