I recently took part in the International Feltmakers Association Felt Swap for 2022.
Every year the organisation matches up felt makers across the world and provides a theme. Each feltmaker creates something and sends it off to their partner.
This year the subject was structure.
Obviously as an anatomist there are so many things I could do about structure but I was limited by the feltmakers being mainly wet felters as opposed to needle felting which is how I produce most of my items.
I have been experimenting with a wet felted skull but it is still in its embryonic stages (ironically something else I am also experimenting with) and even with a wet felted cranium a lot of the facial bones have to be needle felted.
I decided on trying to make a model of the structure of a cell.
This is the finished structure of my cell.
The external membrane was made by wet felting around a balloon using different colours of wool to try and show the lipid bilayer.
The nucleus was my first attempt at wet felting a ball and I was very pleased with how hard the final version was until I remembered I had to get a needle through it to hold everything in place!
The nuclear envelope is essentially a small wet felted bowl. I have been trying since to recreate it in a more useful size and failing miserably.
The organelles are various wet felted shapes with the stripes of the endoplasmic reticulum (one of my favourite words mainly because my lecturer was a Geordie and it sounds even better than CurlyWurly with that accent) being a cut strip of wet felted purple wool.
The cytoplasm was my first attempt at Nuno felting. This is where wool is felted on to a thin piece of silk and the contraction of the wool as it felts pulls the material into this puckered appearance. I am thinking it might be a good way to produce a greater omentum for a project next year.
The finished project was boxed up and sent off to Switzerland where it was received with much joy.
It’s interesting to have to come up with something based on a theme and this has certainly given me lots of ideas for projects that will hopefully appear n 2023