November Toss n Tell & Christmas Party

We had a wonderful 2019 FeltWEST wrap up at TNT on Saturday 16 November with an abundance of beautiful, felty Christmas ornaments brought in and sold to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis; a delicious shared lunch and lots of lovely items brought in for Toss N Tell.  Thank you very much to Jean for presiding over the day in Soosie’s absence. 

Both Peta Korb and Jean McKenzie were presented with flowers to thank them for their outstanding contribution to the success of FeltWEST’s stall at the Royal Show in 2019.

Martien announced the sad passing of Peggy Buckingham, long-time FeltWEST member and tireless advocate for the educational aspect of the arts and crafts in Western Australia and nationally.

Best wishes to all for a very happy Christmas and a great start to the new year.  We look forward to seeing you all in February.

February 2020 Toss n Tell

by Renita Mroz

We kicked of our first TNT of the year with a wonderful Mini Demonstration from Sue Eslick on Making and Attaching Tubes.  Thank you, Sue, – as always, you were fabulously instructive and entertaining!  The March mini demo, by Soosie Jobson, will be on Differential Shrinkage Rates.

Soosie announced that the Extension Program would be back in 2020, run by Sue Eslick and Jean McKenzie.  These are three-hour long, samples-based workshops aimed at learning or honing a particular skill.  Six or so of these workshops will be run during the year, some on Saturdays after TNT, others on regular Tuesday felting days.  The first extension workshop will look at Three-Dimensional Felt with participants working on making a small vessel.  It will be run on Saturday 21 March following TNT – bookings are open on the website.

Our first Monthly Workshop for 2020 was Peta Korb’s Needle Felted Woylie workshop which was booked and very well received with a whole herd of adorable woylies heading off to new homes at the end of the day.

CAROL MULHEARN
CAROL MULHEARN
CAROL MULHEARN

Our March offering, Sue Eslick’s Fantasy Hat or Tea Cosy workshop, is fast approaching.  The workshop is almost fully booked with only two places remaining – sign-up on the website now for a great weekend and a stylish hat or sensational tea cosy!

CLAIRE RUSSEL
FLEUR RILEY – USING RESISTS

Also open for bookings is Anita Larkin’s Design Ideas for Felt workshop in April.  Martien described Anita as someone to get out of bed for!  Coming from a background in sculpture, Anita is inventive and offers unique techniques to shift, shuffle and shake your ideas, new perspectives and a wonderful and expansive approach to design.  This is a workshop not to be missed!

Soosie sought expressions of interest in a 2020 FeltWEST Retreat in May/June, the planning for which is underway.

SOOSIE JOBSON
SOOSIE JOBSON

Soosie also encouraged all members to engage with FeltWEST’s Facebook page.  Please like it, share it, and contribute to it.

Peta spoke about the Toodyay Fibre Festival on Sunday 7 June.  If you would like any of your felted garments included in the fashion parade, you will need to fill out an Expression of Interest form on the website.  http://www.toodyay.wa.gov.au/Community-Visitors/Events/Upcoming-Events/Toodyay-Fibre-Festival

FLEUR RILEY
FLEUR RILEY

Martien drew our attention to Felt Matters magazine, produced in the UK by the International Feltmakers’ Association.  This is a wonderfully inspirational magazine with an international focus.  Two FeltWEST members, Martien van Zuilen and Katrina Virgona, are featured in the current issue.  You’ll find copies of Felt Matters magazine in the FeltWEST library.

JAQUELINE GIBSON
MARTIEN VAN ZUILEN
MARTIEN VAN ZUILEN

Virginia let us know that FeltWEST member, Marie Marshal, is down-sizing and has, very generously, donated her felting books and a beautiful wooden hat block to our library.  She also offered fabric and a gorgeous felted christening gown to anyone who would love and use them well.

Katrina spoke about the Lust for Lustre exhibition at Ellenbrook Art Gallery which looks at our fascination with pearls.   Katrina’s work was included in this exhibition.

Vale Val Gilmore

We received some sad news just before Christmas that one of our Life members has passed away. Val was instrumental in setting up a felting group in Bunbury and helping Feltwest evolve int the amazing organisation we have today. There is an article here with more of the story.

Whilst Val hadn’t attended many meetings in the last few years she is remembered fondly by those who knew her and as felters well owe her our thanks.

GILMOUR (Valerie): Passed away peacefully at SJOG Hospital Bunbury on 24.9.2019. Dearly beloved wife of Jim (dec). Loved mother of Ian and Jean, mother-in-law of Rosie and Craig.

TOSS N TELL/MINI DEMO: September 19

Report by Cynda Empsall

MINI DEMO

Peta Korb gave a Mini Demo on making Christmas decorations using wet and needle felting techniques in time for our fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis in November.

Peta demonstrated:

  • Wet Felting with Resist
    • Stocking
    • Baubles
  • Needle Felting
    • Snowman
    • Santa
    • Elves

Pointers from Peta

  • Turn mistakes into design changes!
  • The enzymes in saliva and milk will remove blood and red wine from fabric and wool.
  • Wet Felting
    • To make baubles, lay wool diagonally over resist. 
    • Once resist is removed, you can cut soft plastic into strips and stuff it into the form using a chop stick.
Laying wool for the stocking
Baubles
  • Needle Felting
    • No need to force the needle, do it gently in all aspects and angles
    • Stab in and out on the same angle, gently.
    • With making balls, tie a knot with wool to give firm base.  Do several knots to bulk out and establish a firm base and larger size.
    • Use darning needle to remove wool that’s not in the right place
    • Blend colours, just like paint.
    • You can use scissors to cut wool and to cut prefelt into shape.
Making the Santa
Peta in action

FELTING NEWS

Toss N Tell
  • Soosie greeted everyone and detailed upcoming events in particular her Art of Adornment workshop on 5 -6 October.
  • Martien spoke about her Expanding the Surface workshop on 2-3 November 2019.
  • Martien talked about the Royal Show, thanking members for their contributions to the FeltWEST stand in the Centenary Pavilion and explaining display opportunities and obligations.
  • Soosie discussed the website and suggested people send any interesting upcoming exhibitions or events to Cynda at cyndaje@yahoo.com or Liz at info@feltwest.org.au.
  • Soosie made suggestions to members as to how they can assist at and after meetings – many hands make light work!
    • Taking notes at Toss N Tell
    • Sweeping up
    • Taking rubbish out
    • Dishes etc. 
  • Soosie mentioned the Christmas wind up would be at the November meeting.  No meeting in December!

TOSS N TELL

  • Renita Mroz and Sue Espie showed vessels made at Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels workshop.
  • Liz Odd mentioned the Mundaring Arts Centre (MAC) Exhibition encouraging members to attend
  • Katrina Virgona also recommended visiting the MAC exhibition. She showed seeds, pods she’d been making, and which are featured in the current edition of Felt magazine.
  • Jill Jodrell talked about the Kings Park crocheted floral arrangements at the botanical gardens.
Sue Espie

Workshop Review: THE ART OF ADORNMENT – Soosie Jobson

OCTOBER 2019 – Report by Renita Mroz + Sara Quail

Soosie’s Campfire Beanie

Soosie opened the workshop by talking about the importance of connecting with what we love and bringing this passion into our work.  She stressed that it is the stories behind our work that makes them truly resonate with us, transporting us in time and place and connecting us with others. 

Exploring the Campfire theme

Soosie brought along her award-winning Campfire Beanie and read the story that had inspired it to demonstrate this.  Participants had been invited to bring along something that they loved as a starting point for their work over the weekend.

During the first day of the workshop Soosie talked about exploring design themes then went on to demonstrate transfer printing, stenciling, direct painting onto felt and masking as well as the use of embossing powder.  Participants then had the opportunity to explore these techniques on felt samples, vessels and other finished items they’d brought along.

The second day of the workshop started with a bit of bling – applying foil to felt.  Soosie demonstrated ways to achieve a variety of stunning effects with foil sheets, from subtle to seriously shiny.  

During the day she covered more design theory including the magic of numbers. Using odd numbers, Fibonacci and fractals and how these also occur in nature. 

Another transfer technique with fabric crayons was explored creating more wonderful surface design options. 

Stitching and beading methods were covered in the afternoon with Soosie demonstrating 4 of her favoured stitches and a few beading basics.  Participants then spent a relaxing afternoon continuing to embellish their various felt pieces. 

Interspersed with all the various surface design techniques and theory, Soosie also shared tips on laying out, fulling and shrinkage. Participants finished this workshop armed with an arsenal of techniques and samples to give them embellishment ideas for a long time to come.  

Workshop Review: EARTHY FELTED VESSELS – Pam Hovel

SEPTEMBER 2019 – Report by Peta Korb

All of us with Pam and our Earthy Felted Vessels

August 30, 2019 saw the start of a three-day workshop with Pam Hovel who is an accomplished innovative textile artist living in rural Victoria. Her work is influenced by her surrounding as can be seen in her choice of wool, colours and methods in her Earthy Felted Vessels.

Over the three-day workshop participants were treated to the delights of felting with Pam, who gave clear instructions and offered continuous guidance throughout each day. Starting with the drafting of patterns for vessels, Pam also covered different layout techniques and a variety of surface design elements through to the finer points of finishing each piece.

Pam was a delightful tutor, generous in her time and teaching of her techniques ensuring everyone created several unique vessels they can be proud of, showcasing all the techniques learned over the three days.

The techniques and extra tips Pam gave throughout the three days were exactly what everyone wanted based on their comments:

  • Just what I needed to learn
  • The perfect workshop for me, I have wanted to know how to create precise vessels for a long time
  • These are the techniques I need to take my felt work further
Pam demonstrating
Jane’s scrunch vessel
Renita in action
Isobel’s vessel
Collected Earthy Works

Welcome to our new committee 19/20

Hello my name is Soosie Jobson and I am the new President of Feltwest.  Nice to meet you all.  It is lovely to be back on the committee after an absence of 3 years and would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the new members from the past 3 years.  I have been a member of Feltwest (and a felter) for some 20 years and have spent nearly 15 years as a committee member.  I look forward to working with our new committee to facilitate all of the amazing events and gatherings that we hold throughout the year and welcome any input from our membership.  Please feel free to come and speak to me or any of the committee at any of our regular meetings with your ideas, thoughts r concerns.  We would love to know.

I look forward to seeing you at Toss n Tell this Saturday.

Our Team

President                                     Soosie Jobson
Vice President                           Jean Mckenzie
Treasure                                       Lenore Farfield
Secretary                                     Cynda Empsall
Workshop Co-ordinator         Renita Mroz
Online Communications        Liz Owens
Margaret Bryan
Sara Quail
Vimol Imsanguan

Sub  committee Team Members
Rep. at APCH meetings – Louise Nidorf
New member liason officer – Alison Gomes
Introduction workshops – Alison Gomes
Library – Jill Jodrell
WA Craft Fair – Jan Stroud, Jill Jodrell
Royal Show – Martien van Zuilen, Peta Korb, Jean McKenzie, Marion Finneran, Margaret Bryan

Workshop Review: 50 SHADES OF GREY (FELT!) – Wendy Bailye

Report by Jean McKenzie

On Friday 2 August this year thirteen very enthusiastic FeltWEST members gathered at Craft House to learn from a very experienced tutor. 

Wendy has over 25 years’ experience as a felter and has been co-editor of “Felt” magazine.  She is currently co-ordinator of the Australasia region for the International Feltmakers’ Association and runs her own business – The Felt Studio, in Brisbane. 

Over the 3 days of the workshop, which Wendy described as an “experimental class” (and boy, was it!), everyone settled down and worked, worked, worked: cutting, slashing, embossing, using different fabrics, yarns, threads, trapping different objects under silk or muslin.  I am sure she showed at least 50 different ideas, particularly on embossing.  I think everyone managed 4 to 10 samples each. 

Wendy was well prepared with comprehensive notes for everyone and a table full of samples to inspire participants.  She also brought along finished scarves to illustrate many of the techniques covered by her at the workshop. 

Wendy’s extensive knowledge and experience showed through in her presentation.  She was generous with her time to all participants; answering all questions and stopping to help where required.  This was reflected in the feedback given by participants at the end of the workshop.  All feedback was positive, as can be seen from these few examples: 

  • This workshop will keep me experimenting for a long time.  So many ideas and options.  Fun to be able to share with many creative individuals. 
  • Your guidance and patience in the class is much appreciated.  I will go away with a wealth of information that will be used for years to come.  Thank you, Wendy. 
  • Finally, someone teaching Sampling – what a great way to extend your own creative direction. 
  • Great inspirational workshop.  Able to adapt techniques shown into felting work, told to try everything, there are endless possibilities; some challenges; and results positive and/or negative are always a learning opportunity. 
  • Brilliant workshop – start of a wild and wonderful journey of exploration. Sampling = learning2 

Thank you, Wendy, for an amazing and informative workshop. 

Retreat Report 2019

The venue was exactly what you want for a retreat, the food was very tasty and made with love, the accommodation worked a treat.

I think we all agreed, we had a great time felting and laughing and enjoying ourselves doing what we love, felting.


Pictures of attendees at various times over the 2019 Retreat

Retreat 2019

Not quite all of us at the retreat were in these photo’s, and if you would like me to add some photo’s you took please send them to info@feltwest.org.au and I will add to our slide shows.

Katrina Virgona gave the workshop which enthralled us all.

Some of the work produced at the retreat 2019. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of work too.

Our bird friends visited Am Pm and Lunch time always making a lot of noise.
Magnificent in their presence.

Circular Cobweb Scarves tutor Sara Quail 4 May 2019

Circular Cobweb Scarves, tutor Sara Quail- report by Renita Mroz

Apologies for very late reporting on Sara Quail’s wonderful one-day workshop on Circular Cobweb Scarves.

These lightweight scarves, made using a resist and one-directional wool layout, are both beautiful and versatile. 

Sara was, as ever, super organised and prepared and brought along a wide range of samples to be studied, admired and tried on. 

During the workshop, Sara demonstrated three techniques for layout of the fibres:

Spreading: Using a continuous length of wool/silk roving
Drawing:  Drawing out wool roving and overlaying it with decorative silk/plant fibres as desired.
Shingling:  A single layer of fine shingles (laid in one direction only), overlaid with decorative silk/plant fibres.  This method is great for producing a gossamer-fine scarf and/or to use up small scraps of leftover wool.

Rubbing with hands or felting tools began the felting process while protecting the delicate fibres from moving about.  Only once the fibres were stable could rolling begin.  With no cross fibres, it was a surprisingly lengthy process!

The end results, however, were lovely.  Thanks, Sara, for a great workshop.