Saturday, 27 July 2013

Felting at Cottenham and more


These are the results of 5 days felting at Cottenham Village Collage Summer School on their Felt, Line and Stitch course. It was the first time I had been to Cottenham summer school, but hopefully it won't be the last! The weather meant that the tutor, Lisa Fretwell, had to rearrange the order of work as the predicted thunderstorms meant that we would not be able to dry our felt outside at the times we needed to, so the purse that had been intended as our final project was brought forward to earlier in the week. 

First we made some large pieces of felt to be used later in the week for shirdak work. This is a type of felting from Kazakhstan, used for making rugs. I used a turtle motif taken from Maori Designs by Penny Brown which was cut out from two pieces of fulled felt then swapped over and stitched with a twisted cord. You can see here that I've only finished one piece. These pieces are traditionally made into large rugs by villagers working together. I intend to embellish them further with stitch and beads. 

I did find it difficult to make thin felt! The purse is a case in point. It looked more like a slipper before I folded the flap over. Need more practice!

I had problems again with the prefelts we made for our repeat pattern piece. Again, too thick, and I think I felted the background too much - the prefelt pattern took its time to felt to the background and didn't at all in some places. I'll rectify that with my embellisher though!

I also made another prefelt including Angelina and Wensleydale wool. I really liked this piece and will be taking this further.

All in all, a great weekend. If you want to see the results, Barleylands Summer Festival is on tomorrow, and I will be demonstrating feltmaking at 11 am , 1 pm and 3 pm - at the very least I will get more practice with those prefelts!

Back to work with a bang today! Lots of emails to go through, and some new stock to add.

My book of the week is Making Fantasy Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox. Make fairies, mermaids, witches and other dolls using Jan's easy to follow techniques. Some lovely ideas in here - I may even finish the doll I started!

I've been out of stock of Evolon for a while, but it is now back in. This non-woven fabric by Vilene is great for using with transfer paint, ink, fabric paint etc., and can be stitched, distressed with a soldering iron and embellished in all sorts of ways.

Some updates on what's on:

Today is the last day of our sale and tomorrow is the last day of Basildon Embroiderers' Guild exhibition, and of course the Barleylands Summer Festival. Friday August 2nd is the start of the Barleylands Art Trail which features lots of artists showing in studios around the village. Gallery 50 will be hosting some special artists, and will be telling you more about them later in the week.