Return to Darkness VIII

art, recent work

Reino’s honeycot under construction; photo by Reino Koivula

Back at Barker by Aura river; Reiska is welding the bottom part of the honeycot, and making a level wooden floor for further construction.
The rug we felted last week was still wet on my return, but dried by sun and wind yesterday.

another sunny day; photo by Reino Koivula

The wool I use comes from a local sheepbreed of Western Sweden – värmlandsfår – kept by Kerstin Danielson and her husband Bo, who live and work in Stockholm. Most of the year, this flock is grazing in a large park-like meadow in the outskirts of Stockholm, but for their summer holidays Kerstin and Bo bring them to the countryside.
The wool comes in colours which Kerstin describes as “black, graphite-grey, chocolate brown, chestnut brown and silvery”, and is extremely apt for felting. Furthermore, Kerstin cleans and combs her sheep before cutting the wool. The hides are packed separately, with the name of the individual sheep written on a slip of paper. So, we choose and mix between pitch-black, silver-tipped “Mats”, whose hair is coarse like the mane of a horse, greyish fluffy “Johanna” or silky coffee-and-milk brown “Karin”…
From Sweden I brought a hand-driven combing machine, kindly lent to me by Lena Hansjons – thanks, Lena! Now Josefiina and I take turns with it, and I start laying out the second rug.

Lena’s combing machine; photos by Reino Koivula

Return to Darkness VII

art, recent work

Wednesday: felting with Josefiina, Nina watching; photo by Reino Koivula

On Wednesday, we felted the first piece for the Terrastella before I got on the night ferry to Sweden. Meanwhile, Sören had collected the iron material so we spent the next three days in his boatyard; now the lower parts of the iron frame are set in position and level, as is the top ring. Next step will be to bend and fit together the upper parts – but first, I will be back to Åbo/Turku for a couple of weeks to continue felting.

raising the iron framework in Sören’s boatyard

Return to Darkness VI

art, recent work

samples of polyester; photo by Reino Koivula

Polyester on my mind… moulding these two small samples raises a lot of questions, so this morning I had to visit Terpol once more. Matti of course has answers to them all, and also helps out with material.

Next, I stop by at Åbo Akademi to catch up with some work for the Nomadic University, before returning to Barker. During the afternoon, Josefiina and I work hard laying out wool for a long piece of felt. Simo Helenius also comes by, and Reiska begins welding.

laying out wool with Josefiina; photo by Reino Koivula

Return to Darkness V

art, recent work

At Terpol company; photo by Reino Koivula

The round rug is drying, and I have prepared for the next.
On Friday, we visited Matti Suominen at Terpol company, who kindly provided us with good advice, polyester liquid and glassfibre fabric… I never tried these materials before. This may be just what we have been looking for.

Below is material laid out for Reino’s cot.

photo by Reino Koivula

Return to Darkness III

art, recent work

Arrived in Åbo/Turku night before yesterday, car packed with sacks of wool, electric heater and other items for felt-making.
Didn’t get the iron material in time, though – I’ll have to go back later to fetch it.

Unpacked and got installed yesterday. The working place is really good!

Today I started by felting a Flag of Darkness for Reiska’s miniature flagpole. We’re kind of stylish here…

photo by Reino Koivula