Thursday, 9 December 2010

Felt making workshop

In the summer I did a felt workshop for the Merkinch Arts Festival and one of the people at the workshop was so delighted with the techniques I taught that he asked to come and do a one to one session with me.
Alistair - a retired farmer - particularly wanted to make a felt picture of a Highland cow. Normally I would have held the session in my studio in the garden (a wooden shed) but the weather was so cold that we couldn't have worked there for more than about two minutes without hypothermia setting in. Added to which, the water supply to the shed is by way of a garden hose connected to an outside tap - all frozen solid for the last two weeks.
So, knowing the theme for the felting session, I brought in the colours of fibres that I thought we would need along with the various pieces of equipment and we worked at the kitchen table. It was warmer and more spacious and the only drawbacks were that I had to clear things off the table (in our house, nature abhors a horizontal surface!) and we didn't have the benefit of the height adjustable table that I have in the studio.

Alistair came with a photograph that he wanted to work from and we set about making his picture. He went home delighted with the results, and I have to say I was pleased too. He has a little work to do with adding some fine detail using needle-felting, but I think for a novice he made a pretty good job of it.

The sky and the foreground were achieved by traditional wet-felting, with the cow being made using an inlay method combined with some needle-felting that was put in before we did the rolling. The finished picutre had a nice feel of summer for such a cold winter evening. Alistair has taken the picture off with him to Norway to show his daughter.

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