Sunday, September 18, 2011

Felt Workshops in August. PART TWO

The student exhibition at the Felter's Fling was wonderful. It was nice to be able actually see and touch some of the work of artists that I have only known through the Internet. The quality of the work was so high and it was great to see such diversity in how we all use this wonderful medium. So much inspiration! Here is a sampling...(unfortunately I do not have the artists name for all the pieces shown here).

 This piece is by Diane Gonthier. I wish I could remember the title. It was something poetic about the beauty of getting older.

 An Elynn Bernstein garment.

 Piece by Piroska Toth. Sadly the photo does not show the face emerging as well as it could. I loved this piece.

 Another Elynn Bernstein, this one uses marbled silk.

A Pam MacGregor vessel.

I loved the way this lace doily felted in.
In between sharing laughs, stories, wine, food, and wonderful felt with other feltmakers, I was working my hands/arms/legs to the bone working to make a rug that was felted hard enough to pass inspection by Rod and Karoliina. Whenever I asked Karoliina if I was done with each step in the fulling process she would say "Little bit more".  I am not a very patient person so this was a difficult thing for me. That and using so much wool for one project. $150 dollars worth of Finn wool! Look at this pile.
That is my table mate Diane Gonthier in the photo.

Of course before we could layout all that wool we had to make a sample. The sample was supposed to have some of the more difficult parts of our design.
Here is my design...
 and the layout of my sample.

The photo below gives an idea of the size of the samples. My piece flanked by Cher Benda's and Linda Veilleux's.
Here are photos of my rug in progress.

 And the finished rug. We named the rooster 'Oscar' because he looks wilde and flamboyant.

The last two days at the Fling were made even more interesting by the approach of hurricane Irene. Folks were trying to make alternate arrangements to get home, many leaving early since the storm was supposed to hit the area right when we were going to leave on Sunday. My friend Joei and I were supposed to meet at my house on Sunday as well, to travel to a workshop with Liz Clay in western New York.  We all worked like mad to finish our rugs so we could leave early. It was amusing to see some of the ladies rinsing out their rugs in the rain from the approaching storm.

I left the Fling just before dinner on Saturday thinking that Joei was not going to be able to make it to our workshop with Liz because she was having car trouble, plus we were having bad weather. I begged her to get to my house somehow...and when I mentioned that it was my fiftieth birthday no less, her husband Bill drove her all the way to my house! It was a wonderful birthday gift to be surprised with and thankfully Irene was not so bad here and we were able to drive on Sunday so we got to Canandaigua in time for class on Monday morning. I didn't take many photos there but it was a great workshop. Liz is a great teacher and such a sweet person. I learned a few new techniques that I am really wanting to explore more. Things like how to embed fragile objects like leaves...
 how to make a heavily textured felt by pleating a prefelt and then fulling it....

making holes, overlapping fabrics, carving designs into the felt, etc. We were to make books and learn some bindings but I got caught up in making the samples and had to rush to do my book. It is about trees. That is part of the bark page above. The book is not done...and may never be...but here is one page spread.
And here is the sample that I made embedding stones and shells. I liked it so much I did some beading and stitching on it too.
I can't wait to get back to some serious felting so I can really explore all the things I learned late in August 2011.


  1. Wonderful post Diane...I hadn't seen any photos of the rain at Snow Farm. Heather and I so hated to depart early but just wasn't sure what the hurricane might bring. Very dedicated rug makers working out in that weather;-)

    Thanks so much for your fantastic sharing of the rest of the weekend. Oh, and happy belated birthday!


    P.S. I am very intrigued with the felting in of the leaves...Really beautiful. If there's a trick that you could share, I'd love to give it a go sometime. I'll have plenty of leaves to experiment with shortly;-)