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

Felting Workshop Recap: Making Ruana Shawls in the HeartFelt Silks Studio

As many of you know, the HeartFelt Silks studio hosts a wide range of one-on-one and small group feltmaking and dyeing workshops throughout the year. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a recent Ruana Shawl wet felting workshop. Not only were gorgeous shawls made by all of the participants but a fabulous time was had by all!


To find out about upcoming workshops with Robbin Firth, visit our website, or get in touch with us directly to inquire about private and group classes. We also invite you to join our mailing list to receive updates about future events.

Ruana Shawl designed and made by Robbin Firth – Hand-dyed silk, wet felted.

 

Ruana Shawl designed and made by Robbin Firth – Hand-dyed silk, wet felted

 

My hand-dyed silk fabrics formed the base for the Ruana Shawls.The Ruana Shawl workshop is one of the longest classes I offer — the latest class took place over a 3-day weekend in February.  Several lovely ladies gathered in the cozy HeartFelt Silks studio, and we were off to step #1 — the layout.

Hand-dyed silk by artist Robbin Firth

Each of the students gets to select a color palette for their Ruana Shawl in consultation with me.

Ruana Shawl feltmaking workshop with artist Robbin Firth

Ruana Shawl Feltmaking Workshop with artist Robbin Firth

Now we are ready to create a unique design with more hand-dyed silks (from HeartFelt Silks) and other color-coordinated luxurious embellishing fibers. The layout for this large-scale garment is time-consuming and labor-intensive but the results will be very rewarding!

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

No two shawls will be alike — each student gets to put her own creative touches on their Ruana Shawl, as we talk about color, drape, and texture.

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

Once in a while, we stop to admire our progress, take a break, and catch a little afternoon sun.

We take our time and make our layout as intricate and beautiful as we like. Before long, we’ll roll up our sleeves and move on to felting these beauties!

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

When it’s time to add hot water and soap, our trusty Palm Washboard felting tools come out!

Wet Felting with Palm Washboard felting tools during a Ruana Shawl workshop

The Palm Washboards speed up the felting process and make it easier on our bodies.

Ruana Shawl Felting Workshop — using Palm Washboard Felting tools

Here we are, not far from the finish line, working on our edges, making sure things are even, uniform, and gorgeous.

Feltmaking Workshop – Ruana Shawl – in the HeartfeltSilks Studio

Ta-da! All four Ruana Shawls are finished, and it’s time for a modeling session! A great weekend was had by all, each of these ladies completed a stunning wool & silk garment, strengthening their feltmaking and design skills in the process! Thank you, Linda, Nancy, Silvana, and Susan, for joining me!

Finished Ruana Shawls in feltmaking workshop with instructor Robbin Firth

To find out about upcoming workshops in wet felting, nuno-felting, and textile dyeing, with Robbin Firth, visit our website, or get in touch with us directly to inquire about private and group classes. Palm Washboard felting tools (original, patent-pending designs handcrafted by Harry Firth for HeartFelt Silks) are available HERE.
 
Join the Robbin Firth / HeartFelt Silks MAILING LIST.
 
 

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

 

UPWOLFING Mats are here — let the felting fun begin!

We are delighted to be a USA distributor of select UPWOLFING products! Created by felt artist and inventor Irene Van Der Wolf from the Netherlands, the UPWOLFING felting technique has taken over the felting world by storm! Irene’s innovative tools and methods allow you to get very creative and have a lot of fun with your felting projects. The UPWOLFING mats are best known for allowing you to create unusual texture and nodules on felted objects, garments, and works of art.

Irene Van Der Wolf, felt fiber artist and inventor

We currently carry the Big Hole UPWOLFING mats (24″x24″) as we all s the Long UPWOLFING mats (80″x8″). The mats can be cut into other shapes, as desired. You can find both mats in our Etsy shop and our website shop.

Big Hole UPWOLFING Mat, available in the USA from HeartFelt Silks

 

 
Long UPWOLFING Mat, available in the USA from HeartFelt Silks

 

To see Irene Van Der Wolf’s process when working with the UPWOLFING mats, watch her YouTube video. You can also learn more about her artwork and designs on her Kunstwolf website.

Here is how we have been using the UPWOLFING mats in the HeartFelt Silks studio. Our Palm Washboard felting tools work very well for the UPWOLFING technique too! Oh, what fun!

 

 

 

Felt Art by Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

Note: Our stock of UPWOLFING mats is limited, and all orders are filled on first-come first-served basis. We are only able to ship UPWOLFING products within the USA at this time. For overseas shipping, please contact us for a shipping quote.

Happy Felting!