Hinging Clasps

photo-38photo-36I get excited about felt hinges and their dual purpose as clasps…this airy wool fiber that has qualities of softness and vulnerability felting tight into a mechanism that has a strong industrial nature.  When I felt wool fiber into solid forms, I begin by systematically preparing the general forms by bundling or wrapping crosshatched fibers with ample airspace (think something between cotton candy and a cotton ball) so that the wool fibers have space to intertwine as the mass of wool shrinks into an integrous felt fabric (think Q-tip or suede). The more the fibers intertwine the less vulnerable the surface fibers of the form are to abrasion and pilling, important considering the wear a clasp will endure.  Pictured are the dry prepped forms for the 4 hinges that will connected the two black dry prepped cords with hoops on the ends to the hoops on the chest and back pieces already made for the DHG Charity Project.



The tightly fulled/shrunk and much smaller hinges are pictured here soaking in hot water to make sure the soap has dissipated out of the form and into the water before a final rinse and drying. You can see a variety of clasp styles in my jewelry work on the www.strongfelt.com website under the NECKLACES category from single clasps to more complex systems as well as clasping systems used on a vessel. Now that all the components of the piece, Reparation, have been felted/fulled, the stitching can begin…

For context of this project please read my first posting and those that followed about the DHG Charity Project in STRONGFELT’s Blog, INTRIGUE.