What can you make with wool? If you visit Kay Dudek’s studio in Fort Collins, you might believe the answer is — just about everything.
Purses, jewelry, lampshades, hair ornaments, vessels, sculpture, toys, flowers, and art to frame and hang. Kay makes all of these plus shawls, mittens, and fabric without spinning, crocheting, knitting, or weaving.
The tiny scales along the surface of wool fibers catch on each other permanently when the fibers are rubbed together mechanically. Add a little soapy water, and the scales join even more strongly. The process is called felting — needle felting if the wool is dry, or wet felting if soap and water are used.
When Kay works at the felting process long enough, she can turn fluffy wool fibers into dense objects that have almost no give to them, like the orange beads in the necklace pictured above. Continue reading