Friday, March 22, 2013

Chasing Felt

I'm thinking this could be the theme for this year. Well, this and another more crass term from the previous post. I just came back from a 4 day felting workshop at New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, Massachusetts. If you had told me a month and a half ago that I'd be on a plane to Massachusetts, I would've called you crazy. I'm thinking some of the women in my class thought this when they first met me ("You came from where??") but when you see a class being offered by someone with mad skills like Lisa Klakulak, you go a-running. And I did!

Lisa's one of the few artists out there (ok, in my opinion) doing things with wool and felting that are truly amazing. She's been studying felting for the past 13 years and has come up with techniques and designs that are so unique. They're just not done by anyone else. So the chance to take her class in Realism in Felted Imagery was something I couldn't pass up. The class alone made for an amazing week, but traveling alone, meeting the coolest people (one gal had a flock of sheep, another rode a huge motorcycle), hanging out in Northampton and exploring a part of the U.S. I'd never been to.... all of this made for one hell of a good time! The class had waaayyyyy more math than I thought was possible, and even she jokingly said that she was glad that she didn't put this in the class description because people may not have signed up! I'm grateful for her crazy formulaic mind, otherwise I wouldn't have a good foundation in which to start my own work. Thanks Lisa!

New England Felting Supply where I took the workshop. A fiber artist's dreamland!

More views of the shop.

This was my second time using hand carders and it took me a WHILE to get the hang of it. I butchered the pretty shades of blue that I made.

My little spool of thread!  

Carding wool to create the colors I need for my projects. I didn't finish the image on the left, but I did card all the wool and brought it home, so I'm hoping to finish it. It's me and my shadow on the beach in Gualala, Ca. 

  All of our felted spools before we did any free motion stitching.

Lisa giving us a free motion stitching demo. It was so much harder than it looked! Something I'll need to practice for sure.

Me and Lisa.  Check out more photos here on my facebook page!

My goal this year is to work more on my felting technique, honing my craft and spending more time on creating, discovering and seeing where I want to take my felt. I'm the worse at decision making.....I can hem and haw until even I'm so annoyed with myself, but after taking this class, I've decided (saying it out loud helps, right??) I'm going to take a leap this year, curtail my wholesaling and online sales and devote my time to exploration. This is where chasing felt comes in. You may recall, if you read this blog, that I took a felting workshop with Claudy Jongstra in 2010 (in Italy! Oh take me back!) and a 2 day class with Jorie Johnson, both women creating such beautiful work. I'm thinking this is going to have to be the way I get my felting education since there isn't a school or extended workshops that specialize in felt. So I'll be in search of classes this year! And possibly residencies too. I'm pretty excited :)


denise said...

Thanks for the introduction to this amazing felter. I have always admired your work also!

Papaver Vert said...

Thanks Denise!

julie said...

What a wonderful way to get an education in the thing you love. Sounds like it will be a great year Patty.

Patty said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog Julie! I think it will be too :)