Teaching a most marvelous experience! It invites to teacher to share their skills and provides wonderful opportunities to refine our techniques both before the classes in preparation, but also during….

The spring class of Surface Design Online is in session, and it is just so much fun…It is amazing to see so much beautiful work, and to see connections building between feltmakers from all over the world.   One of the techniques in this class is using Inkjet Transfer Paper for adding text and images to your feltmaking. I started playing with this a few years ago with my Storytelling Bags series.   I’ve always wanted to explore this in a different way and the opportunity presented itself this afternoon.   

I’ve been wanting to see how different drawing tools could be used directly on the transfer paper…and what results the different mediums would give… So we tried some crayons for fabric, sharpie markers for fabrics, regular sharpie markers (permanent), and ink and paintbrush.  We tried pencil crayons and pens as well, but their points were too sharp and tore up the transfer paper. (“We”: I even got my two teenagers excited about this and playing with textiles with me! Excited may be too strong a word, but I’m sticking with it!)

With this method, text can be easily mirrored. Write your desired words on a sheet of ordinary copy paper, hold it up backwards in a window. Place the transfer paper up to the lettering, making sure you are drawing on the correct side of your transfer paper for transferring, and copy using your desired drawing medium.

Cut out your drawing and iron them onto your silk fabrics as per the paper instructions. In this case we ironed each section for 2 minutes or so, on the highest setting, with no steam. Remove the paper from the silk fabrics, and cut out around the image, allowing at least an inch of non-printed silk for the wool fibres to migrate through during felting.
 

Felt as usual…
 

and….taadaa…..hand drawn images and text on your nuno felting! How incredible is that!  This has a different effect than just using fabric markers on your silk directly, as you can use many drawing mediums, plus you get interesting surface reliefs from the transfer paper.

In our experiments, anything with a brush tip worked equally well. The regular sharpies were a little too pointed and tended to gum up with the polymers from the paper, but did give very refined lines and brightly coloured images. The crayons are one of my favourites… I like their folk art qualities..the slight transparency in the drawing strokes combined with good strong colours.

This is what it is all about….exploration, experimentation and sharing….We are always students…even when we are teachers!

We explore this technique in much more depth in class, but I thought you all might enjoy seeing this, as it’s so simple and beautiful! 

In this sampling we used Lesley Riley’s TAP as our transfer medium.

Happy felting, 
Fiona