Wet Felted Spheres

This week I start teaching a weekly class at The Minnetonka Center for the Arts about Wet and Dry Felting and wanted to let you in on a little bit of it too.
This step by step tutorial teaches you how to make felted balls that will be a component in a necklace which I will show later on.

Start with 1/2 oz. corriedale wool. I get mine at one of two places, The Textile Center shop and The Fibers Studio. You can also pick it up on Etsy. This time I am using this variegated dyed one purchased at The Textile Center. The corriedale at The Fiber Studio is a better quality wool but it only comes in solid colors. Trade off, I suppose. The soap is from Kiss My Face, a pure olive oil soap.

Fill a bowl with water and place the soap in it and mush it around. I like to do it this way until the soapy water opaque and slightly yellow then I take the bar of soap out. When wet felting if you fill your bowl with warm or hot water it speeds up the process. I want beginners to use room temp water (so your hands don't get cold) then you'll have more time to make the balls the way you want. You will also need a bowl of clean water.

Here I'm finger carding the wool. Holding taught in one hand the other fingers pull the wool.

And you get fine fibers. If you get a larger chunk then needed, finger card again. Wispy wool is what you want.

Gather the wisps into a ball shape taking care that it is not lopsided or holey.

Dipping your fingers in the soapy water, dribble the water onto the ball. If you heavily drop water on the ball it will "dent" it.

Start working with it like your making meatballs. It will "stick" to your hands to begin with but keep working with it evenly.

keep working it...

...until it is solid but not rock hard. Making a perfect ball is hard at first. You might have fissures or a crazy lumpy one but the keys are kneading it nice and smooth, keeping the ball slightly soapy and patience.

Dunk the finished ball in the clean water and squeeze out the excess.

Let dry overnight! Stay tuned for a tutorial on what to do with the finished balls.

I will also be doing a tutorial on felted coasters soon.