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:
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
The end results, however, were lovely. Thanks, Sara, for a great workshop.
Coleman is an original member of the West Australian Quilters’ Association, and
a popular workshop tutor over many years. She has also been an active
member of the WAQA Contemporary Quilt Group. In the 1970’s she was established as a national
ground-breaker in the making of contemporary quilts with a strong Australian
identity, featuring designs based on native flora and fauna. This was in the
days when there were no books or magazines on quilt making in Australia, or
shops specialising in patchwork fabrics!
Using contemporary stitch as an expressive medium, Marjorie has produced rich evocative pieces over decades. She takes pleasure from working with cloth, drawing on a lifetime of intimate knowledge to stitch for her own enlightenment. Now in her 90s, Marjorie’s recent work exhibits the same ongoing exploration that decades ago gained her national recognition. This exhibition comprises a selection of 35 works from the last ten years.
Martien van Zuilen instructed us today on the principles of using inclusions to create interesting raised surfaces. She also demonstrated making a multi-layered ‘bowl’ utilising multiple resists.
Inclusions placed between layers of wool create a raised surface and can be left in or cut into to reveal the underlying wool colours.
Examples of inclusions include felt balls or other shapes, pre-felted cord, cotton wadding, rubber pieces, resist pieces (eg thin circles of hollow pool noodle or water pipe insulation foam).
Lay out 2 perpendicular layers of wool tops.
Place inclusions on top then cover with a piece of 2-layer pre-felt.
Wet down and rub gently until fully felted, then cut into if desired .
Multiple or stacking resists can be used to create a joined stack of ‘bowls’.
Lay out a square of pre-felt and wet down the central area.
Place a circular piece of foam resist over the wet area, cover the resist and just beyond with wool tops and wet down.
Place a second smaller piece of resist on top and continue the process making several layers of resists and wool tops.
Finally, place a square of pre-felt (same size as bottom piece) on top, wet down, rub gently until holding together well, then cover with grip mat and roll around a dowel or noodle, checking regularly to flatten out any ridges.
Once the piece is reasonably well felted, pick up the top layer above the centre of the resist, pinch and cut a small cross.
Use hands to further firm the top layer.
Remove the resist and continue felting until hardening up and gaining the required shape. Repeat for the other layers.
Thanks Martien for demonstrating a technique that we will all want to explore!
News and Update
Welcome to everyone, including new members.
The Muresk Retreat was a great success thanks to Katrina Virgona for her wonderful workshop and presentation and for being so generous with her time. Sue Harrington was thanked for organising the event.
Workshops coming up are Eva Camacho-Sanchez’ Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces from 17-19 July (1 place left) and her artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House, $5 entry. Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey is from 2 to 4 August (full contact Renita to be put on Wait List) and her artist’s talk is on 1 August, details to be advised. Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels is from 30 August to 1 September ( 1 place left) and there will be an artist’s talk open to all.
FeltWEST will have a stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall which will focus on promoting felting through education and demos, while attracting new members. Volunteers are needed for morning and afternoon shifts, with free entry provided to volunteers. Please see the website for contact details for Jill and Jan. Members are asked to provide felted items for display, but not for sale. http://www.feltwest.org.au/events/wa-craft-show-2019/
We are looking forward to participating at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October) with a large stand in the WA Pavilion. Martien van Zuilen, Peta Korb, Marion Finneran, Jean McKenzie and Margaret Bryan are on the sub-committee. The stall will be an exhibition with all work for sale, and a promotion for felting and FeltWEST. All members are encouraged to submit well-felted items which must be predominantly made of felt. A flat fee of $25 is payable and a commission of 20% (15% to Royal Show and 5% to FeltWest) will be charged. Those submitting work are required to work two 6-hour shifts and will receive free entry. Information and forms are available on the website. Works can be handed in on 17 August at TnT, Tuesday group on 3 September, 21 September TnT or by delivering items to members of the sub-committee and must be labelled, priced and accompanied by completed forms. Please get busy and starting felting for the Show! http://www.feltwest.org.au/events/feltwest-will-be-at-the-perth-royal-show-2019-september-28-to-october-5/
Ideas are coming together for a fundraising project to be undertaken later in the year, with details to follow.
at the 17 August monthly meeting will include the AGM and Trash and Treasure
stalls, so please make sure you come along.
Renita showed her gorgeous sea-coloured top made at May Hvistendahl’s workshop, as well as fine rounded bowls decorated with feathers/beading and with seaweed. A more substantial ‘bowl’ become a hat with a beautifully felted tassel.
Virginia had made 3 scarves at the Retreat in blues and greens. For one, she had used a wool and silk ‘slushie’ (available from Thread Studio) to create lovely soft scarves with good drape. Another used 50g wool tops and sari silk and a third scarf in softer blues was wool and silk fibres.
Marion displayed a vessel made using a combination of skills learnt from Martien’s rubber-tubing and Sarah’s flower demonstrations, with wool nib decorations. She also showed two lariats, one with bright viscose thread stitching.
Sherron delighted us with her charming mouse slippers with cute faces. She asked about methods for adding non-slip bases.
Julie showed off her beautifully designed and made koi wall-hanging made at the Retreat for her daughter. She had also been busy making a green square box with leaf decoration, a polyester nuno scarf with a wool grid mesh, a blue cracked earth vessel, an earthy hued scarf inspired by the Australian bush and some lovely felted flowers which she claimed were quick to make!
Cathy displayed a brown nuno scarf with silk square patchwork and a partly-finished lariat both made at the Retreat, also several small wall-hangings made with a variety of techniques including a semi-transparent window of cotton gauze.
Kat had made three circular scarves in a variety of colours. She also showed a white scarf with a central ocean-coloured panel representing the ocean between her two home countries.
had been busy making needle felted animals, some wearing top hats and all very
cute. She had also felted a maple leaf while on a trip in Canada and some tiny
bags for children to hold Christmas gift cards.
Liz explained the many decorations on her colourful lariat, still to be
finished. She is also in the process of making a name tag which has a
lot of shrinking to do! A gift of sari silk had been incorporated into a
delicate pink scarf.
showed her completed lariat from the Retreat and a blue scarf with a very fine
Sue modelled her partly-made lariat which needs further work as the cord has softened. She had also made two different but complementary sides of a cushion cover featuring nuno and embroidery.
Katrina showed some fluffy pre-felt flowers purchased on-line by Alison. Not up to our felting standard! She passed around examples of felted seed-pod forms as examples for an upcoming workshop she will offer at Mundaring Art Centre. See Billboard.
FELTED PODS Workshop! I’ll be running this class on Saturday July
27th (10-1pm). Workshop participants are invited to display finished
pieces in SEEDS, PODS & POLLEN – an exhibition curated by Sarah
Toohey @midlandjunctionartscentre to be shown at Mundaring Arts Centre
in September 2019 as part of the WHAT ON EARTH cross community project.
For bookings & more info, see: https://mundaringartscentre.com.au/…/felted-pods-with-katri…
Info from the website> WHAT ON EARTH events &
exhibitions celebrating the botanical world will be presented at
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Art Gallery of WA, Midland Junction Art
Ctr, Mundaring Art Ctr & Kings Park Festival
At today’s tutorial, Liz Odd instructed members on the principles of
felting items to achieve a ‘cracked earth’ appearance. The technique
utilises some form of strips of resist, for example masking tape,
bicycle inner tubes, synthetic cords or cut-out designs in light-weight
foam sheeting. The method can be used for 2D and 3D pieces. Liz’s
inspiration comes from nature or from photos in magazines etc.
To make a 3-layer piece, start with 3 dry-rolled pre-felt batts of the same thickness and dimensions, each made with 2 (or an even number of) layers of wool tops. Apply a criss-cross pattern of tape to the bottom layer, making sure to leave the ends of the tape extending beyond the edge of the batt to facilitate locating the tape after felting. Then place the middle and top layers over the tape design. Liz used a dark brown base layer, a bright multi-coloured middle layer and a paler beige top layer.
Dry-roll the 3 layers together and then wet down and felt until
moderately well felted. At this point use sharp scissors to cut through
the middle and top layers, following the middle of each piece of tape
as a guide. The degree of felting will determine whether the cut edges
will be well-defined or furry.
Proceed to felt the cut edges, the cracks and the flat surfaces with your hands and soapy water until a firm texture is achieved. Having the hands inside plastic bags or food-grade disposable plastic gloves can make for smoother manipulating. Gently toss the piece to shrink and harden as desired.
Thank you, Liz for an informative demonstration and for inspiring us with your beautiful finished pieces.
President Marion welcomed everyone,
including new members, those attending the Introductory Workshop and visitor,
Dianne, from South Australia.
The recent workshop conducted by May Hvistendahl from Norway on making Nuno-Felt Tops was amazing, as was her evening presentation.
Sara Quail’s Circular Scarf workshop was hugely successful, and participants were thrilled with the light, soft results of using minimal materials.
Coming workshops include Katrina Virgona’s Lariats, Brooches and Rings, being held at the Muresk Retreat on 31 May. Late registrations are still possible until 21 May by contacting Sue Harrington directly.
Camacho-Sanchez will be teaching Beyond Felting – Creating Textured Surfaces
from 17-19 July and there are still some places available. She will be giving
an artist’s talk in collaboration with WAFTA at 7pm on 16 July at Craft House. Wendy
Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey and Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels are being
offered in August.
being experience with the FeltWest website and members are asked to bear with
the committee until an upgrade is undertaken. Please contact committee members
if you need assistance.
coming up are our stall at the WA Craft and Woodwork Show from 2-4 August. Jill
Jodrell and Jan Stroud are organising the stall but volunteers will be needed
to assist. Contact Marion Finneran if you can help.
Peta’s efforts, again this year,we are thrilled to have been offered a 6 x 6m
stand at the Royal Show (28 September to 5 October). Commercial rates for such
a stall would normally be $5,000 and we are also provided with a large number
of free entry tickets for those on the roster so it is a generous offer. This
is a great opportunity to sell felted items (last year items displayed were
hugely variable and priced from $10 to $400) and to promote felting to a wide
audience from all walks of life. Martien and Peta have agreed to be on the
sub-committee and need a few additional members. All members submitting work
for sale will be required to be on the roster. More details including
guidelines and forms will be available at the June TnT meeting.
And finally, Stacey and Liz Owens are putting together ideas for a fundraising project to benefit cystic fibrosis sufferers. Watch out for more details.
Jean and Virginia showed off their colourful, fine and soft circular scarves
made at Sara’s recent workshop. They all commented on how the scarves are warm
and comfortable to wear.
Karen also wore
an interesting blue brooch made from an old piece of felt thrown in the washing
machine – voila!
Peta and Stacey displayed their sleeveless dresses made at MayHvistendahl’s workshop. They are soft, reversible dresses with silk flouncy bottoms. They commented that they had learnt how to lay wool to get a shape that fits like a glove. Judy Barkla was admired for her similarly well-fitting strip-felt garment made years ago at a Polly Stirling workshop.
Alison Higgins exhibited a blue-green necklace with ceramic and felt beads and a terminal flower, finally completed several months after starting it at Katrina’s workshop. Sue Espie talked about her 4–piece necklace made using Katrina’s method, which can be worn in various combinations.
She had also made two stunning flowers and a sculptural form of angled
fins made with merino pre-felts at Kristy Kun’s workshop in Ballarat –
she commented on the punishing process of achieving the impressive
Margaret Bryan showed a pink necklace made with felt balls and surface
beading. She found some beads were rock hard and difficult to thread.
Other members recommended using a drill to make holes for threading.
Marion talked about her two green vessels made from a gift of someone else’s felt. She had reshaped and embroidered one into a sculptural vessel.
For the second piece she had taken Fiona Duthie’s website challenge to make a triple-layered vessel with a feature ‘window’.
Pictures by Alison Higgins
Report Sue Harrington
p.s. I have a new editor to learn, hopefully the layout will get better as we go along. kind regards Liz.
May J. Hvistendahl is an internationally renowned felt artist from Norway. Since 1985 she has operated her full time felting studio Ullhuset (Woolhouse). Her specialty is nuno-felted clothing; designing and creating well-fitted, lightweight and durable garments using innovative techniques she has developed over 25 years. May teaches throughout Norway and internationally, including Japan, USA, Australia (2000 & 2005), and throughout Europe. She has written two books on felting (both in Norwegian) and her work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions. She is the founder of the Norwegian Feltmaker Association (1995) and was its inaugural president for three years. May lives and works on a small island near Kragerø on the Norwegian south coast and runs annual workshops from her studio there. www.filtmaker.no
May Jacobsen Hvistendahl tutored the Nuno Felt Tops workshop at FeltWEST in Perth in April 2019. The workshop the participants learnt to make an elegant and unique nuno-felted garment made of silk fabrics and fine merino wool. It is all about personal design, and the wonders of fibre direction.
May taught how to customize a pattern for individual size and design. Demonstrated design techniques so the garment would be light and elegant, well felted and full of drape. The choices were a sleeveless top, a blouse with short sleeves, or an open vest. Or make it a little longer and call it a mini dress.
As you can see from the results the variety was wonderful and as individual as the designer.
May talked about fibre direction and the effect this has on the garment, and how to use this to your advantage when designing.
It is important to do a sample to ensure your shrinkage rate is correct for you, thus ensuring the garment will fit.
May was very generous with her knowledge and time and all participants completed a garment in the 2 days. An excellent workshop and we all came away with many more ideas for the next garment.
Thank you very much May, and we all wished we lived in Norway near May’s Island, where the water ensures a great felt with a lot fewer rolls.
The Adorn exhibition will showcase the work of the Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia, WA (JMGA WA Inc). Come along and celebrate a display of unique contemporary jewellery and objects by JMGA WA members, whose use of skills and materials take adornment to new levels.
The Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia, WA (JMGA WA Inc.) is a membership based organisation which represents jewellery and object practitioners throughout Western Australia. As a volunteer non-profit organisation they provide a forum to promote, support and develop the field of contemporary jewellery