Last semester I took a Fibers 1 class, and I’m so happy that I did. It was there that I learned how to felt, and boy is it fun- and versatile! You can make pretty much anything out of the stuff. And what did I choose to make? Why, a Warrior Princess breastplate, as seen in the always awesomely campy Xena: Warrior Princess.
Making something that is supposed to be strong, smooth, and durable out of felt was an interesting exercise. It kind of reminded me of Meret Oppenheim’s Breakfast In Fur, in that sense; something unexpected made soft. I’m sure I could say something really deep about making armor out of fuzzy felt, but nah. I was just excited to make something really fun for my final project. Needle felting the “metal” pattern was especially fun.
The assignment was to create something that could cover a body part as part of an alter ego. As a kid, I saw an episode of Xena Warrior Princess and thought Lucy Lawless was just about the most bad-ass person I’d ever seen. And she was a girl! like me! And she actually looked like she could kick some ass. She wasn’t some waif that we had to be convinced was dangerous by heavy doses of suspension of disbelief (I’m looking at you, River Tam.)
So, naturally, I chose Xena as my alter ego, because well, in reality I’m more on the waify side. But I’m a busty, bad-ass warrior woman inside! I’m sure if I was really nerdy, I could totally LARP in this. But LARPing has always seemed to me to be a level of nerd that I’m just not willing to go. You have to be pretty damn secure in your nerdiness to shout LIGHTNING BOLT BLIGHTING BOLT in earnest.
Oh well, I guess I have a Halloween costume! I’ll leave you with Xena’s iconic warcry: