February 22, 2007

Awesome Felt Rocks By Molo Design


More Toys From The Glorious Future. This time, it's Felt Rocks:

In their raw form, they are lumps of felt formed as a by-product in the industrial process of making felt polishing wheels for optical lenses...In the felting process, with steam and pressure, these little hollow [wool fiber] tubes become entangled with each other, forming a strong bond without any glues or binders. Like rocks formed by the tumbling action of a river, each piece takes on a unique shape.
And after some painstaking hand finishing and dyeing, they're done! They call them felt rocks, but they sound like felt pearls, beautiful jewels that began as the anomalous result of some other process.

Discovered and then finished by Molo Design, who are based in Vancouver's felt jewel district [actually they are Vancouver's felt jewel district], these 4-6" rocks come five to a bag. A natural grey wool felt bag, which goes for $240 US.

You might be thinking, "Sheesh, that's a lot for a rock." Here's how I see it: Molo's agents could be crossing the globe as we speak, locking up the supply, signing exclusive, 1,000-year deals with the world's optical polishing wheel manufacturers. At which point the Molo cartel will start a campaign saying that you should spend, as a rule of thumb, about two months salary for your felt rocks. And you'll be glad you to do it. In that case, $240 is an insane bargain, and your great-grandchildren will stare at the rocks on your grandson's mantle, and marvel your stunning prescience.

Of course, in the 19th century, they used to make jewelry out of aluminum, too. So it could really break either way.

Felt Rocks by Molo Design [molodesign.com]


How do we know these felt rocks aren't used to fund a genocide somewhere?

Where's Leo when you need him..?

Hmmm...maybe I could sell my dryer lint as Felt Clouds; $200 a (used, plastic) shopping bag?

[you're aiming too low. An artist whose work we collect--though not this series, I should point out--named Gabriel Orozco showed a whole gallery full of his dryer lint. And he used it to make a book of etchings. I think it was $12-15k when it came out. I'm sure it's more now. -ed]

In Japan you can buy felt and wool fiber that you wet and roll into balls for crafts... it's not cheap but I bet it beats these. If you could find an industrial source on the stuff you could probably make your own low-rent felt rocks.

Molo's stuff is awesome, btw... check out their site for the their expanding paper room dividers... perfect for playrooms! (Assuming you want to drop a grand on a wall that the kid will probably write on with crayons...)

there's also the awesome Mary Kelly piece, an image of the May 68 events in Paris all made out of dryer lint. it was at the Whitney Biennal a few years ago.

Wow, if only I knew that those little felted lumps I make for DD out of leftover fibre after I spin could be worth so much! Look, even martha is doing it http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel172345

And cam, i believe you're in my neck of the woods. you can get felting wool locallt at Birkeland Bros http://www.birkelandwool.net/

Or check out these organic felt balls (for cats, but hey . . .). Nice pattern and natural colors:


Our cats also have a couple in jewel tones that came from a sheep farm somewhere in Maryland, but I forget where, unfortunately. Holding them is a fine tactile experience.

Better yarn shops often sell them on the side, and the colors can be really spectacular.

Much cheaper than "art". Which is not to say that the "rocks" aren't sweet -- but that white felt is going to look awful pretty fast if it's handled much.

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