Feeling Felt

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I recently spent a wonderful week in a workshop with Eva Camacho Sanchez on silk surface techniques and Nuno felting.

The first two days were working with silk, paper, fabric paint and dye. We had a lot of colouring, folding, stamping and plopping our bundles into pots of concoctions, and just plain water, on the stove and unwrapping to be surprised at how things turned out! This was the first time I had created a stamp for fabric, I’ve done it for Polymer Clay but this was more extensive and fun.

I do my own dyeing, in fact prior to participating in this workshop I had learned more about dyes and dyeing a couple of years ago with Pam de Groot which added some techniques to my dyeing at home.

Besides having a lot of fun with a great group of creative women…including Mags Kandis of ‘Indigo and Rust’. She sat at her table behind me so we got to gab which was fun, but I also got to hear about her exploits in her indigo dyeing, working with cotton, natural substances…& just enjoyed creating alongside her.

On my other side was my friend Sonja Fijn who has been into fibre and wearables for decades so we have a lot of fun hanging out together and ‘playing’. She came up from Toronto and we attended together.

This is my workspace for the week, I added another table for the felting part so I had lots of space.

I do this at home but with two tables up in my studio I lose floor space…I have three knitting machines set up too!

Here are Mags and Sonja venturing outside into the breeze to set their ‘sun’ paintings. I tried with some leaves on mine but they blew off, I liked what I got anyway…and used my pieces.

What’s neat is that we did so much that even after using lots of my dyed, coloured and stamped pieces for the vest I made I have lots left over for work I’ve been doing at home….so I did, Sonja and I spent the Saturday after the workshop getting out my paints and silks.

We did dash down to ArtNoise in Kingston looking for a stamp pad, some fabric paint but came up with a big fat zero and headed to, of all places, Michael’s…where we got a stamp pad at least. I’ll be ordering my Pēbēo fabric paints online…oh well. Art Noise is geared mostly to painters.

I never thought I’d have the patience to make a whole fitted garment using roving and silks as opposed to the prefelt which I dye and make my jackets from…but I did and I loved it so much that I and made two in the following two weeks…two days per vest.

Here is Eva helping me work my fibres together on the back of my vest project.

When I got back in my studio I made buttons for it and am looking forward to wearing it in the coming cooler months.

Now I need to make patterns which are larger (for my clients) and also with more waist shaping…this one was more A line so I worked at the fulling stage to take it down to more waist shaping.

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