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Topic: Giant felt beads?  (Read 1260 times)
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rachelyra
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« on: July 27, 2006 10:25:14 PM »

Have any of you ever made something like a felt bead but bigger, at least 3" in diameter?  I'm planning a standing sculpture that will be like an abacus, and i would like felt beads to slide along stiff rods.  the rods will have to be at least 1" in diameter, though, because they will be supporting other things as well that will be heavy.  I'm worried it will be hard to make something more or less round with such a big bore hole through the middle.
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ptarmic wumpus
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006 11:23:55 PM »

I wet felted over some styrofoam balls before, although I bet you could make the beads with a big hole by felting around a dowel or something.
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rachelyra
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006 12:02:00 PM »

I'm worried it would be hard to make them come out as round as i'd like.  maybe not?
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Velvet Rose
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006 07:16:36 PM »

Maybe you could needlefelt the basic shape over a pool noodle or a thin tube of foam slightly longer than the diameter of the beads.

Then wet felt them with the noodle/foam still inside. When it is felted enough on the outside pull the noddle/foam out, and work on felting the inside hole.

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rachelyra
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006 09:40:30 AM »

that sounds like a great way to start.  I'm sure once I'm doing it everything will change...  it always does.
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Creek
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006 06:13:53 AM »

I agree with the idea re felting over styrofoam balls.  Finish them off in the washing machine inside - push into the toe of a pop sock, knot tight against the ball and wash at a delicate setting.  This will shrink the wool tight against the ball and you will have a perfect sphere.
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Velvet Rose
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006 09:06:50 PM »

It would be difficult to put a large hole in a ball it once it was felted over. Also bits of the styrofoam might keep breaking off from the inside the ball.

I think you would need to bore a hole in the styrofoam ball before felting over it and cover the inside of the ball with wool as well to avoid the styrofoam disintegrating.
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Jane Doe
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2006 08:27:50 PM »

Have you started to felt your balls rachelyra?
I'm curious how your experiments are coming along

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rachelyra
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006 11:47:21 PM »

I haven't yet.  they are for a pair of giant sculptures i am going to make.  I'm working with a nonprofit here called Room to Read that builds libraries and schools in 3rd world countries.  It's for their annual fundraiser - I'm building a pair of abacuses (abaci?)and want to use books as the sliders with felt balls to separate them.  i think i will try to do them entirely wool because of the tactile element - it's a piece that is supposed to be played with.   The event's not till november 9 and i can't even think about anything but my business until September.  I will be sure to keep everyone posted!
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