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

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

HeartFelt Silks comes to the UK and Ireland Summer 2015!

Yes, it’s true, HeartFelt Silks will be hopping across the pond and visiting beautiful United Kingdom and Ireland this summer!

Robbin will be teaching several feltmaking workshops throughout the UK, and a one-day intensive in Ireland. Kirsten will be coming along to help and see the sights. Harry and all our furry studio assistants are staying home in Minnesota to mind the shop.

We are all very excited for this adventure, and to have the opportunity to meet fans in England, and to make new friends! There will be lots of felting, lots of laughing, and lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing over wool and silk! A visit to a big sheep & wool festival is on the itinerary (baaaah!).

Thanks to a very special invitation from Iris Brunton and the International Feltmakers Assocation, a month-long teaching tour around the UK has been planned, and registrations for workshops are in full swing. By popular demand, Robbin will be teaching beginner and advanced classes on several crowd-favorites, including the Felted Locks Shawl and the Ruana Shawl workshops.


 
Feltmaking in the UK and Ireland with 
Felt Artist Robbin Firth
Summer 2015
Please contact Iris Brunton directly to make all inquiries and to register for UK classes.
 
Please contact Anita Marnell directly to make all inquiries and to register for the Ireland class.
 
Felt Artist Robbin Firth — 2015 Workshops in the United Kingdom and Ireland


Schedule / Itinerary (subject to change)
 
United Kingdom
 
(Please contact Iris Brunton — irisbrunton@hotmail.com/tel 07717295792) for details of all UK workshops, class descriptions, and to book a class.)
 
June 6, 2015 : 1 day workshop in Kendal
June 10 – June 12, 2015: 3 day workshop in Knayton
June 15 – June 16, 2015 : 2 day workshop in Ipswich
June 18 – June 19, 2015: 2 day workshop at Skeeby Old Mill Centre (near Richmond)
June 21, 2015: 1 day workshop at Terrington
June 24, 2015: 1 day workshop in Knayton
July 1 – July 2, 2015: 2 day workshop in Hereford
Special appearances / visits

June 13, 2015: IFA Region10 Meeting
June 26 – June 27, 2015: Woolfest!
Ireland
July 5, 2015: 1 day workshop in Kilkenny, Ireland (Contact Anita Marnell for details and to book a class. Anita’s studio is at Ballybur, Cuffes Grange, L5134, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. Tel. 0866004489)

Did you know that we have a United Kingdom distributor for select HeartFelt Silks products, including the PALM WASHBOARDS? Adelaide Walker store is our exclusive UK distributor. Its owner and our friend Angela Barrow will be joining us for a couple of workshops in the UK — we are very excited!

See you in England and Ireland in a few weeks, friends!

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

 

Winter and Spring 2015 Felting Classes with HeartFelt Silks

It’s a new year and a new season of felting classes at the HeartFelt Silks Studio at SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery! Find the list of Winter and Spring 2015 classes below. 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 Vessels with Resist

Create a one-of-a-kind vessel with 3D effects and learn the technique of wet felting using wool roving, UPWOLFING cutouts. These unique vessels make bold decorative and functional objects of home decor.  Robbin will teach you a faster way to felt using the Palm Washboards and the new Wedge Palm Washboards felting tools. Felting experience required. 2 day workshop.

Material & class fee: 
$160.00                     
Saturday & Sunday, January 17th-18th 12pm-5:30pm

Felted Cross Hatch Scarf

Create your own lattice-style scarf or wrap. This technique makes a beautiful scarf that looks complicated, but is easy to learn. Use merino wool roving of various colors, silk embellishing threads, and your own scrap yarn bits to create the design, and then wet felt with Robbin’s Palm Washboard felting tool, and her innovative non-rolling technique. Felting experience required.

Material & class fee: 
$65.00       

Saturday, February 7th 1pm-4pm  

Felted Raw Locks Scarf

A superfine merino wool will start as your luxurious base fiber; then, layer in raw Blue Faced Leicester sheep locks onto the merino base. Just a small amount of rolling and use of a custom designed felting tool, and your 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. Felting experience required.

Material & class fee: 

$70.00
                                                         
 Saturday, February 28th 1pm-4:30pm

upw col.jpg
Intro to UPWOLFING

Discover the creative and unusual UPWOLFING felting technique! Learn the basics of UPWOLFING invented in Eruope 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.

Material & class fee: 
$65.00 

Friday, April 10th 6pm-9pm

Saturday, April 18th 1pm-4pm

Felted Flowers and Vines
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 tools. Robbin will show you an easy technique to create the stems and then a way to connect them to the flowers for fashionable accessories. Felting experience is required.

Material and class fee: 
$65.00

Saturday, May 2nd 1pm-4:30pm

Friday, May 29th 5:30pm-9pm

Please bring a couple of towels to the class/es you attend.


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

Robbin Firth is a Guest on Fiber Art Now magazine’s FAN Fare Online Show – September 14, 2014

Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks will be a guest on the premier episode of Fiber Art Now magazine’s FAN Fare online video show — Sunday, September 14, 2014, 3:00PM EST. Tune in to chat with us!

About the FAN Fare show: FAN Fare is a free, online, interactive, web show devoted to inspiring and connecting the fiber arts community. Every month, FAN Fare will give viewers the opportunity to actively participate in the program and ask questions while watching the live show.  Hosted by Cami Smith.

About the GUEST: Robbin Firth, felt artist & teacher at HeartFelt Silks studio in Hudson, WI, and host of Fabulous Fibre Feltmaking Workshops 2014, has been working in the fiber arts for over 20 years. Robbin’s artwork can be seen at fine boutiques in the region. She also teaches at The Textile Center (a nationally recognized organization for fiber & textile arts), Phipps Center for the Arts, and offers private lessons.

Felt Artist Robbin Firth

Robbin and her husband Harry Firth are inventors and makers of the handcrafted Palm Washboard line of felting tools. The Palm Washboard eliminates the need for rolling, which lets you explore new design ideas and removes tedious labor from the process of wet felting.

Tune in for the live show to ask Robbin any questions, from technique and creativity to teaching, selling your work, and running a fiber business!

Take felting workshops with Robbin and talented guest felt artists from around the United States, in October 2014 at Seasons on St. Croix Gallery in Hudson, WI. Here are our Top 10 Reasons to come to Hudson, WI for Fabulous Fibre Month!

Contact Robbin at robbin@heartfeltsilks.com with inquiries.

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

 

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!

A warm spring welcome to our new blog!

A warm welcome from Robbin and Harry Firth to HeartFelt Silks‘ new blog! Here, we will bring you news from our fiber arts & woodworking studio and share exciting wet felting and nuno felting projects. We will let you know about events we participate in, including Robbin’s fun and beginner-friendly felting classes. We will offer felting tips and discoveries, and share felt works made by other artists. We are going to have such a great time, and we hope you will join us on this journey! Please add our blog to your browser’s bookmarks or your favorite blog feed reader. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The full line of Palm Washboard felting tools, exclusively from HeartFelt Silks.

We also want to share some VERY EXCITING NEWS!  After years of working on HeartFelt Silks from our home studio in Stillwater, Minnesota, we are opening a small RETAIL and TEACHING STUDIO of our own in beautiful Hudson, Wisconsin! Located on the main floor of the magnificent and award-winning Seasons at St. Croix Gallery, the new HeartFelt Silks studio will be open to the public, and will carry a full selection of our hand-crafted tools and supplies for feltmakers and fiber artists. When you visit our studio, you will find  our line of Palm Washboard wet felting tools (hand-made one at a time by Harry, as always), along with Robbin’s hand-dyed silks, and a full line of luxury wool supplies. We will also carry our hand-crafted wood accessories, including shawl pins, buttons, and more. AND, we will offer in-studio FELTING CLASSES for groups and individuals on a variety of topics. We are so excited to open the doors to our own studio and bring the beauty and the magic of felting to you! Please stay tuned for news of our grand opening, tentatively scheduled for June 2013!

Of course, our website and online shop will remain open for all of our national and international fans and customers!

And here is what’s new from HeartFelt Silks this month:

The EDGE Palm Washboard from HeartFelt Silks.

 

We introduced our newest felting tool, the EDGE Palm Washboard, designed specifically for areas that need fine and detailed felting manipulation, as well as for working on ruffles and seams.  Note: the first batch sold out almost overnight, and more EDGE Palm Washboard are being made. Contact us to reserve yours.

Hand-dyed Fabrics and Scarf Kits from HeartFelt Silks.

We made many new hand-dyed silks and gauze fabrics — they are available individually, as fabric, and also as part of our unique Scarf Felting Kits.

We are also delighted to make our very special, one-of-a-kind Inlaid Wood Shawl Pins available for sale online for the first time. Visit our shop to see more.
Don’t forget to bookmark our new blog — we will be back soon with more posts and news!