Yesterday evening I was teaching a wet-felting workshop in the Bike Shed, home of the Merkinch Summer Arts Festival which runs for two weeks every July. We had seven students, some of whom had attended my class at last year's festival. With just two and a half hours we got to work quickly and I set everyone the task of making a seamless felt purse.
Everyone chose two or three different colours of fleece and started laying it out in preparation for felting. It took people a while to get their heads around the idea of working "inside-out" but we got there and soon everyone was happily creating lots of soapy bubbles under their bubble-wrap.
Then the hard work began and we started the milling. Because these were small pieces we were able to use small cane placemats rather than big roller blinds and everyone was able to work on their own piece.
Finally came the rinsing - shortage of kettles and space at the sink meant this was a communal effort but as you can see from the photograph below, each purse was so different that there was no danger of muddling them up. I seem to have forgotten to photograph one person's purse - sorry! - and my own which I made as a demonstration is sitting waiting for me to finish milling it before it gets rinsed and hung up to dry.
We over-ran our allotted time by about 15 minutes, but everyone was happy with their achievements and a good time was had be all.
P.S. I will be taking a few months off from felt-making because I am about to have some surgery on my wrist. However, if you are interested in tuition at a later date either one-to-one, small groups or for large groups please do email me to discuss what you want. My plan is to use the down-time that is an inevitable consequence of the surgery to catch up on some computer projects that have been sitting on the back-burner for a long time. (I can use the computer left-handed) One of these is to get to grips with designing a website to promote my work as a textile artist - www.ruth-black.co.uk At the moment it is simply a holding page which directs you to either my Ecclesiastical Embroidery site or to my main business site - Anna Macneil.