Is it fall yet?

I need this summer to be over.  I am tired…

I have so much to blog about, and absolutely no time to sit down and write.  And that’s frustrating me.  I spent the weekend volunteering for two days at Millbrook Village, an old 1850’s farming village on the Delaware river, demonstrating weaving and spinning, dressed in period costume, with my daughter.  We had a great time, and I’ve got pictures to share, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

For now, I would like to finish up with the Felter’s Fling, I took some shots of some of the work from  the other classes, before I left last Tuesday to come home.  The conference continued for another four days, ending this morning.  Since I was only teaching the first three days, I opted to leave after my class.  I would have loved to have stayed to play, and see what the students made, but I needed to be home.



Karoliina Arvilommi and Roderick Welch, from Finland, taught a class in Scandinavian Feltmaking/Color, Design and Form.  The rugs were beautiful, so well made, and the imagery fresh and interesting.


Liz Clay, from the UK, taught a class in Elemental Rhythms/ Felt and Photograph.  I loved the work that came from this class, especially two of the pieces that Sharon Costello did.  The top photo was made from a photograph (on the right) juxtaposed with a piece of felt that was manipulated, stitched, and embellished to recreate the same feel as the photograph.  I posted a shot of Sharon working on the piece on my blog from a couple of days ago.  The photo below, of the fungus, is also by Sharon Costello, the large fungus in the front is in dimensional felt, and the smaller one behind, is a photograph.  Everything the class did, was interesting and sensitive.  And lucky me, Liz Clay was dropped off at my house tonight, and is staying with me for a couple of days while she plays in NYC.  I’ll take her to the airport Wednesday night before I head off to my guild meeting.


Myfanwy Stirling from Australia, taught a workshop called Feature Texture, Felt Vests or Smocks.  While learning to add surface texture to the felt fabric, students created interesting vests that fitted the body and celebrated the wearer.


Jeanette Sendler, also from the UK, taught a class making Collars, Cuffs, and Mantles, some of the work was displayed on the folding screen, so I could get a group shot.  Beautiful surfaces.



Jean Hicks, from Seattle, WA taught a class called Millinery Questions for Feltmakers.  She is wearing one of the hats in the top photo, and some of the other hats made during the class were lined up across the table.  There were such amazing shapes, and styles.  All were wearable!

I had a great time at the Fling.  Sharon Costello, who organizes this event every two years, does a wonderful job, and I’m really loving the felting community.  And I’m looking forward to having Liz Clay in my studio/home for a few days.

Tomorrow I’ll blog about my Demonstration days at Millbrook Village.

Felter’s Fling

OK, I know I’ve been a bit lax in my postings.  Overload wouldn’t even begin to cover it.  But I’m having a great time up here in MA, at a craft center called Snow Farm where Sharon Costello, felter extraordinaire, has organized the fourth Felter’s Fling, which is a gathering of international felter’s, who spend a week doing, well, felting.  The instructors come from all over the world, and so do the felters.  I feel positively local coming from NJ.  Though I’ve only dabbled in felt, I am here as an instructor teaching the felters how to make jackets from their felt.

The first night I arrived at the “Fling”, I judged the Felted Hat contest, where all the conference attendees wore their newest headpieces and millinery creations, and the instructors all got together as judges.  What an amazing parade of creativity.  We all came up with our favorites, and awarded prizes to the most “amphibious”, the most “green” (made from scraps), the most “likely to crawl away”, the awards were as fun as the hats!


I have to say, I adore working with felters.  Not that I want to become a full time felter, I am a weaver at heart, but there is such a different approach to creativity in the felting community than in the weaving community, it is fun to be here, immersed in wool, for a change of scenery after four weaving conferences in a row.

The biggest difference is the spontaneity of process, with some soap and hot water, and some wool, the most amazing things can be formed, shaped, and invented.  Yes, it takes some skill to be really good at this, but the process couldn’t be simpler.  And there is no huge investment in equipment, and no HUGE learning curve, no threading the loom, no mathematical calculations, (except in how much wool you need), just seeing where the wool takes you.  The felt itself, when cut, doesn’t ravel, doesn’t have a grainline, and has this gorgeous organic edge that can be used in all sorts of decorative ways in a garment, instead of seam finishes, hems, and edges.  So the standard jacket pattern I use for teaching handweavers to sew, becomes something entirely different when used by felters.

I shot a few photos of some of the jackets in progress, it is fun to watch the students change course mid stream, run out and felt another piece if they need it, cut up and piece and overlap and embellish as the spirit moved them, and see these wonderful jackets just take form and develop into personal stories and statements.

embellishingSome of the students continued to work on their felt panels, embellishing and piecing, well into the second day.  Can’t do that with handwoven yardage, it is what it is.construction2

The range of fabrics was amazing, from gorgeous flat wools, to textured collages of bits of everything that could possibly be held down by the wool. The layout was thoughtful, and well planned, and placement of the natural edge of the felt was used in wonderful ways.

jacket3We even had some interlopers come in from other classes to use the needle felting machine I brought, or the free motion stitching capabilities of the sewing machines I brought.  I own a Janome xPressions embellisher machine, and of course I brought my Janome professional 6600.

jacket2sharonconstructionjacket1I’ll try to get some photos of all the nearly finished jackets tomorrow afternoon after the class ends, before I head home.