Posted by: bschutzgruber | October 28, 2015

Felting Thin, Thick, and Deja Vu

Over the summer I had three very different experiences with felt making.

Felting Thin
Summer began with the Michigan League of Handweavers biennial conference and workshops.  I took Illuminating Ideas in Felt with Sharon Costello.  A noted felt artist and teacher, Sharon’s art, books and DVDs are well-known and her idea of wet felting a 3 dimensional illuminated shape immediately caught my interest.

Sharon deftly demonstrated laying out the wool in 2 fine layers…

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and set us to making samples…. samples… and more samples as we practiced the finesse needed to create a woolen skin thin enough to be translucent yet strong enough to hold the shape.

My inspiration was the office window just outside our classroom.

IMG_7007

IMG_7018

IMG_7046  IMG_7050

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Felting Thick
Summer ended with a workshop in September with Gladys Paulus making felt masks of fantasy creatures. The workshop was organized by Dawn Edwards near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

My inspirations were a Steller’s Sea Eagle and a Griffin.

Stellers sea eagle  griffin

We made patterns and resists,

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and laid out courser wool in 6 thicker layers to create a firm, solid shape.

IMG_7927  IMG_7964

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Felting Deja Vu
The 2015 AGWSD‘s Summer School was held at Moreton Morrel Agricultural College in Warwickshire, England. (blog post On the Road and Across the Sea)  As I walked around the campus and grounds I was filled with deja vu moments because I had been there before….. at the 2003 Summer School.

weavebioThe 2003 summer school was memorable for a variety of reasons.
–It was my first real experience with fine felting techniques.  (The Silk Route, taught by felt-maker and author Sheila Smith, focused on dyeing and felting with wool and silk fibers.)
–It was held in the most memorable room assignment I’ve ever had – the Post Mortem Lab (a.k.a. the morgue = Do not open the chest freezers!)
–It was one of the hottest summers in UK history with temperatures in the upper 30’sC (90’s F) and reaching 40C (104F) by the end of the week.

 

The 2015 felting course was held in the same location.  Stepping into the PM room during the ‘Walk About’ brought back a flood of memories of “Felting in the sauna with Sheila…”

2015room  2003room

The back corner that had been my work station.  

2015corner  2003corner

And how we creatively displayed our work back in 2003.

2003 display

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Some felt projects call for a light hand and gentleness
while others may take 4 days of hard work
but Thin or Thick…… I like to felt!!

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Responses

  1. And with spectacular results!

  2. Wow! That’s some cool stuff you did Barbara – on each occasion.


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