So far the best gift that has come from working on this dragonfly project is getting to meet and work with fabulous artist Tricia Stackle. I learned about Tricia from my friend Mary who’d taken a felting class from her. After seeing her work, I knew I had to meet her, too.
I got together with Tricia in her West Seattle studio and we went over how I want my dragonfly wings to look and function. Shortly thereafter we were elbow deep in hot suds and roving.
Tricia took me step by step through two wet felting processes. In one process we simply wrapped prepped roving “shingles” around a wire armature and proceeded with the wet felting process. This process looked fantastic, but ended up being too heavy and didn’t have enough tension.We then tried drawing a wing shape on a piece of heavy gauge plastic sheeting. Again we took roving shingles and laid them out to cover the sheeting and proceeded with wet felting. Once the felt started coming together we wrapped the edges of the sheeting and flipped the wing over. We did the same process with the other side. Once the felt became opaque and one solid piece we went a little further and watched the piece begin to shrink snugly around the plastic. Once we were satisfied with the shape and texture, we cut a hole in the wing and removed the plastic.
After drying, I stretched the felt around a wire armature and stitched it to get the perfect tension. I am thrilled with the look and feel.