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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Felt Hats, Slippers and more...

It's been a very busy couple of weeks with the last workshops of the year and the start of the Christmas Fairs. I had some more 'Hats' and 'Slippers' days, plus a wonderful 'Painting with Fibres' workshop, which resulted in these stunning pictures...



































All the workshops produced amazing work, as the photos below show and there will be more workshop photos to follow ...



































 
The 'Slippers' workshops continue to be really popular, together with 'Hats'. They are both ambitious projects and take a lot of hard work to complete in the day...



































The 'Hats' workshops were new for this autumn. Not being a hat wearer myself I did have some reservations so I decided to keep things as simple as possible offering two basic shapes - a beret or cloche. Everyone had made either a bag or bowl previously with me, so the process of working around a resist was understood. It was just a question of sizing templates and thinking about the various design aspects of the hat, colour & shape. Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned that the hats can be reversible… that really did complicated things! 

During the felting process it does help to actually put the hat on to check for fit. The fact that the hats were very wet did not deter my determined feltmakers - plastic bags were worn, hats were massaged in situ and everyone went home with rather flat hair… 

I'm hoping to get some better shots of the finished (DRY) hats and will post them up as soon as I can…

At the moment I'm right in the middle of the Christmas events and I've just had a wonderful weekend at Dimbola's Art & Craft Fair. Thank you to everyone who came along and bought their felt work to show me. It was free entry to the Photographic Museum so lots of people took the opportunity to combine Christmas shopping with seeing the exhibits. I had my usual spot in the Dining Room and was able to display my felt bowls on Julia's mantle piece as last year (see "Connections with the Past...")

This week finds me back at Quarr Abbey and the weather promises to be mild & sunny, so it couldn't be better for some more Christmas shopping...  

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

"TWISTS & TURNS" One Year On...

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!

 
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