Wednesday, 27 July 2011

How To: Draw with a piece of wool!

I've never been much of an illustrator (I remember my uni drawing teacher telling me I couldn't draw, but I'm not bitter...). Over the years I've worked out what styles I am good at and what materials work best for my abilities. I've always loved texture, layering and shadows. With this in mind I've always thought it would be cool to be able to make a drawing with a piece of wool (have it stay in that form) and then use it as a wall hanging or frame it in an open frame.

This week I finally got around to trying it and wanted to share the result with you. I made a gorgeous little tweet tweet (bird) for Malie's bedroom door. As you can see it's quite abstract, so don't worry if you don't think you can draw you can just do swirly shapes, or write a word if you like. 

What you'll need:
• Petroleum jelly
• Wallpaper glue (can also use craft glue, but wallpaper glue is good as it is non-toxic)
• Wool in your choice of colour
• Plastic gloves
• Plastic chopping board (I used an old Ikea one)
• Bowl or vessel in which to mix wallpaper glue
• Wooden spoon or stick to stir glue
(Small bowl pictured was used to measure half a pack of wallpaper glue)
Step 1:
Coat the chopping board in petroleum jelly. This will stop the glue from sticking to the board.
Step 2: 
Measure out a piece of wool depending on what you will 'draw' or what shape you will make. Be generous as it will look best if it is one continuous piece.
Step 3:
Mix the wallpaper glue as per instructions. You will need to stir briskly for a minute and then wait about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until it turns into a runny jelly-like consistency. 
Step 4: 
Immerse your piece of wool in the wallpaper glue. You want it to be covered completely. 

Step 5:
With your chopping board ready, pull the wool from the glue, running it through your fingers so as to get rid of any excess glue. Start 'drawing' with the wool on the chopping board. The wool will adhere only very slightly to the chopping board so you will be able to move it around with plenty of time to perfect your drawing or shapes. There's no need to be scared as you will have time to work with the wool (it's not like super glue - so you can have some fun with it!). You will need to make sure you have the wool overlapping in many places so that it creates a unified shape once you're finished.

Step 6:
Once you're happy with your illustration all you need to do is leave it to dry. Depending on temperature it should take 24-48 hours to dry. Then you simply peel it from the board and hang it where you like!

Please note: 
•If you are not confident of your free hand drawing abilities you can draw on the chopping board with a pencil or maker beforehand and then place the wool over your guidelines.
•The wool will become rigid, but it will still be fragile so you don't want to bend it or leave it for little fingers to play with!

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