This weekend saw a complete turn-around for me, participating in a workshop instead of holding one! Tim Johnson a basket maker & artist of international reputation, who is based here on the island, came to our S,W & D Guild meeting on Saturday. Tim began the day with an illustrated talk about his work, his influences & inspirations…
... and he bought along some wonderful examples from his own collection of basketry from around the world, lots of practical everyday objects, even a woven spoon!
The parallels with felt were astonishing - the same functional items appear -
slippers, bowls, bags - just made with different materials.
In the afternoon Tim showed us how to twist, roll and ply natural fibres into strings & rope using soft rush, iris & bullrush. It was an inspiring day, which set me thinking about ways of introducing twisted fibres into felt work as functional handles or pure decoration. Certainly some of the basket shapes from his collection lend themselves to felt, especially the beautiful round basket with the simple wood handle.
Today also marks two special anniversaries… First, it's our dear friend Eric Geddes' birthday and, as recently we've been experimenting with some new ideas, we decided to put these into practise by making him a bowl… KC felted it extremely well, making it firm & fuzzy with a wonderful organic feel.
We hope he likes it!
It is also one year to the day since I began this blog. The original intention was purely practical - it seemed a good way to advertise forthcoming workshops & events and to display my work. Considering my intended audience was very specific and local to West Wight I can't believe how it's grown and generated so much interest world-wide! I've had over 11,000 viewings from well over 50 countries.
The felt making workshops continue on a very local level here in Freshwater & Newport, but also slightly further afield in Ventnor in a week's time. I could never have anticipated the 'international' interest in this very localised blog.
Very many thanks to everyone who has logged on in this past year, whether intentionally seeking information about workshops in Freshwater, or by pure chance in some far away corner of the world…
Thank you for looking!