A template is a guide to help you lay the wool and keep the shape your require. There are other templates for felting that are involved in three dimensional felt – like bags, coats, hats etc – they will be discussed in later projects. For this project it is to keep the shape of the coral.
As you can see in the pictures I have covered my kitchen bench in bubble wrap. On the underside – without the bubbles – it is easy to draw with a texta then lay the bubble wrap, bubble side up ready to lay the wool. You can see the design through the bubble wrap for you to follow. Remember to reverse the design when you draw it on the back of the bubbble wrap.
I made the trunk of the coral first – getting it to a prefelt stage – then laid the rest. Follow the design and make it quite thick. I wet down in between layers so I can see how thick it is.
Next I kneaded and rolled the wet wool like you would plasticine to make sausages. Be gentle though, at this stage it can just fall apart. Slightly prefelt the trunk – not too much as we want it to grab the next layers. I covered the wet and prefelted trunk and left it over night. This allows the scales on the wool to open completely and will make it easier to compete the second stage. Just make sure that the piece is covered and can not drain or dry out. See you next post.