Sunday, 6 February 2011

Workshop News... Soft Pots & Bags

The last two workshops held in Freshwater were a great leap forward from the previous sessions, both for myself and for all the participants. Making 3-D shapes is quite a challenge! It does take much, much longer than perhaps one imagines and for those who have only just mastered the basic techniques of making flat felt there is the whole concept of working around a 'resist'… 

For me these 3-D workshops were also a first, planning them (do we have enough time and space to work, are there enough materials & equipment...?) then putting them into practise. So it's been an interesting couple of Saturdays with impressive results that have really delighted me, as you can see. Admittedly by the end of the day the light had gone and some of the photos were a bit shaky (you can click on them to enlarge) but I shall try to get everything back to photograph again. Some of bowls and bags need finishing & decorating - but look at those amazing shapes!  

The days have their high and low points! Some struggle with the concept, I hear cries of "Is this the inside or outside of my bowl/pot/bag? Which layer/fringe/side is this ?" It is difficult to grasp the idea of shaping a 3-D form around a flat 2-D resist and it is a complicated technique. After making countless bowls & bags I still need my notes by my side. 

But it has been a great learning experience for me too. Not being teacher trained I'm trying to put across my own knowledge, in ways that I would expect from a workshop. Am I getting the message across…? I can see puzzled faces, but then at the end of the day there's big smiles and a wonderful atmosphere of proud achievement. Watching the clock as time ticks by "Is there enough time…? Fortunately that's not a huge worry at Maderia House and we are able to stay on for some extra time to finish off.

And everyone wants to come back for more felt making... So there will be another series of workshops planned for May, with similar themes, such as the soft pots & bowls and felt jewellery, but I'd like to try making felt slippers and I think many of you are keen. Also more workshops for Beginners and I'm thinking about a FELT CLUB. Just an informal gathering held a couple of times a year - an opportuntity for everyone to get together, bring along what you've been doing and exchange ideas... So let me know what you think.

Finally, Pam made this piece of felt last week. It’s a cover for her piano stool (I understand the cat's not allowed anywhere near it)... Hasn't it really got the wow factor!

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