Saturday, June 23, 2012

TAST, Book Review

Good Saturday Morning!
Cloudy here and coolish but we need the rain and I would rather have the cool weather, around 15C so far, than than horrible heat in Ontario so all in all, a good day!

I think I am finally caught up on rest and sleep from my trip to Ontario. I think my eyes are finally focusing enough so I can return to stitching.  My first priority is getting caught up in the TAST project (have I said this before??).  I am not going to learn anything if I can't stitch!   I am really behind now so I will be working on getting my fabric squares cut out and ready to stitch.  Progress will be posted!

I will do a bit of a book review if you don't mind, on "The Art of Felting" by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne.   I think this is two books in one.  I think the artist was trying to relay to us various means of getting inspiration from the simplest of things, the sky, but I also think she wanted it to be an "ART" book.

Art Of Felt

The first disappointing thing is that the lovely blues shown on the cover of the book above, are actually various shades of gray or gray blue on the book I received.  The colours inside the book are brilliant where they are meant to be brilliant.  

If you love the sky, love photos of the sky, you will love this book. But, there are a few too many sky photos for my liking.

If you are a novice felter, I do not think you will like this book.  This book is NOT for the person who needs a series of pictures and step by step instructions on how to do a particular felt procedure as there are none.  Had I to do it all again, I would NOT have purchased this book at this stage in my learning how to felt.

The artist tells you in the Introduction that she uses the sky as inspiration and as motivation to try different techniques.  It doesn't matter where one lives, in the city, in the country or somewhere in between, the sky is a constant and available to all.  As such, something as simple as a sky can be used to inspire you to create various colours, shapes and textures in your felting.  She encourages us to look around us and use everything and anything for inspiration.  For example, puffy clouds could inspire you to add tuffs of wool to your project, or lightning could inspire you to add lines of colourful yarn to your project. 

I initially found this book quite confusing and I have no idea if it has anything at all to do with my lack of  experience in felting?  The artist displays a photo of a sky and then the felt piece that that sky photo inspired though at times I found it difficult to see the resemblance or where and how the inspiration was used.  It can be a bit of a challenge trying to match up instructions to photos.  For example "Weatherworn" and "Holes in the sky" instructions are found on page 124, followed by photos of skies and various felts on pages 125 to 134.  On page 135, "Dark clouds gather", it states that these are the instruction for "(previous pages)", but which of the previous 10 pages?  You finally figure out that pages 126 and 127 are for "Weatherworn" because there is a small entry on those pages noting "Weatherworn", and on page 124 where it talks about "Holes in the sky", it mentions "(pages 128-129)".  So you are always having to go back and forth to see where you are supposed to be looking.   This may sound quite trivial but in fact, you are trying to match photos to descriptions through almost all 300 pages of this book.  It is not a book to be rushed through.  Did I mention having to spend time looking up various terms used in the book like "greaseproof paper" and "two-toned marl" for example.

There are many interesting techniques though, some using water soluble bases, yarn, netting, wire, wet felting after needle felting, etc. in creating the art or item.  One example was to use a gathering stitch around a small piece of felting, gathering it, and then felting the gathered felt onto another piece of felt to create texture.

There are alot of interesting techniques in this book that I would like to try, but the book is not easy to use and a person would be challenged to find what they were looking for if looking for a particular technique.  You would definitely have to keep your sticky note paper handy when going through this book if you wanted to come back to a particular technique later.

If you were thinking of buying it, you may want to check it out at your local library first before spending your money.

The Interweave Store is having a great sale but you better hurry as it ends at midnight on June 24th!   They are home to my favorite magazine, "Quilting Arts". 

Well, going to cut out my TAST squares.  Enjoy your day!

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