Nancy Ballesteros gave a very informative talk on “silk hankies” and demonstrated her method of incorporating them in her felting.
What is purchased as “silk hankies” are actually cocoons of silkworms, (Bombax Mori) that feed on mulberry leaves. Each cocoon consists of 1 continuous silk thread. The cocoons are first boiled, then pierced to remove the worm, and then spread out into a square form. These are stacked on on top of each other and form a “hankie”.
In order to prepare the hankies for use they need to be separated into layers that will be thin enough for the wool to penetrate in the felting process. . All thick areas must be broken up. It is especially important to fan out the edges of each layer.
The hankie is very strong and can be stretched into many shapes or can even be cut up for smaller shapes.
In order to make it more manageable to work on a design Nancy’s method is to wet down the hankie with soapy water and then shape the required design on a surface of thin plastic.
Finally lay out wool on top of the hankies and finish with silk fabric over the whole area.
Lots of tips were passed on to the members about design and colour choices in order to achieve the best results. Thank you Nancy.
Toss n Tell
Renita attended Sue Eslick’s workshop showed us her square box . It was first tested out with paper folding before being made with complex resists.
Cynda also did Sue’s workshop and her box is a work in progress, satchel to be.
Sue Eslick made delightful small baskets from home made cord which she had made from scraps of sari silk, various yarns and oddments. These were then stitched together in a coil to form baskets.
Martien showed us a very fine prefelt of paj silk and wool. She plans to do stitching on it before fulling it to make a scarf.
Jacqueline displayed 2 her intricately detailed vessels and explained how she made them.
Vimol is making a bag ( with lots of inside pockets) to match her garment that she made recently.
Julie has recently started felting and showed her alpaca and silk scarf that she made whilst was experimenting .
Marion displayed her tunic that she made using silk and fine merino in Fiona Duthie’s workshop.
stitched and bound 2019 is a juried exhibition of innovative contemporary art quilts and is open to textile artists residing in Western Australian.
It will be the twelfth; self-funded, juried exhibition curated by Western Australian Quilters Association and will be at the Zig Zag Gallery.
It will showcase work of Western Australian textile artists who use the medium of layering textiles as a vehicle for exploring and responding to the social and cultural landscape they inhabit. Subjects chosen by previous entrants have included philosophy, politics, history, humour, memories and the natural world. The surface design techniques included dyeing, printing, painting crochet, knitting, weaving, felt making and exploration of pattern, design and materiality of cloth.
Conditions of Entry and Entry Forms are now available online.
Today Sara Quail kindly demonstrated the use of plant fibres for embellishing felt to create texture, subtle bling, sheen and colour variation. Adding non-wool fibre also reduces pilling and increases the structural integrity, allowing for extremely thin layouts.
Silk waste, silk spaghetti, soy silk, mulberry silk, tussah silk, viscose and ramie are some examples. Viscose is much finer and ramie (made from plants of the nettle family) is coarse. Fibres that are coarser than your wool will sit on the surface, whereas fibres of the same or finer thickness will combine with the wool.
Today we concentrated on viscose as it is one of the cheaper fibres but the same process works with other plant fibres. To make fibre paper, lay out fibres in both directions over a piece of plastic. Place netting over the fibre, wet down and rub soap bar (don’t use liquid soap) all over to create a good amount of foam. Gently peel off the netting and put the fibre on the plastic in the sun to dry. You may need to use small weights to prevent it blowing around. Once dry, the fibre paper is rigid enough to cut into pieces for decoration or can be folded and shaped.
Colour variations can be achieved by chopping up the length of fibre into chunks and dropping onto the plastic. The fibre tops can also be pulled into fluffy clouds or different coloured fibres can be blended.
Fibre paper pieces or fibre (as lengths or clouds) can be placed onto laid out wool tops or wool prefelt and they will attach during the normal felting process. Fibre/wool prefelt can be cut into shapes and placed onto wool tops, Margilan silk or cotton gauze before continuing felting.
Another method is to lay out a tangle of wool pre-yarn, then place plant fibre on top, ensuring that all the plant fibre is in contact with wool. Pre-yarn can be added to the other side if desired. Very light, soft fabric with a cob-web effect can be achieved by laying out a very thin layer of wool, then covering with plant fibre.
Thank you Sara for an inspiring introduction to plant fibres and their many decorative possibilities!
News and Update
With President Marion and Vice-President Karen battling illness, our Secretary Sue Harrington welcomed everyone, including new members and those attending the afternoon’s Introductory felt workshop, to the first monthly meeting of the year.
Our Workshop Coordinator Renita, ably assisted by Martien has been busy putting together an exciting year of felting activities with 1, 2 or 3 day workshops most months, some taught by our local talented felters and also some excellent tutors from elsewhere in Australia and overseas. There is a brief list on the website and details will be included as arrangements are finalised, so keep checking the website and the monthly e-News so you can book in advance and secure your place.
On 2 and 3 March Sue Eslick is teaching the new Tote-lly Square workshop and there are still a couple of places left. At just $100 it is a great chance to learn how to form felted corners and create a square tote bag or box, more details on our website.
On 5 and 6 April May Hvistendahl from Norway is presenting a Nuno-Felt Tops workshop. May specialises in nuno-felt clothing that is unique, well fitted and durable. Registrations are now open. There will also be an artist’s talk on the evening of 4 April. Still a couple of places left.
Other workshops scheduled for the year include
Sara Quail’s Circular Scarves,
Eva Camacho-Sanchez teaching Beyond Felting – creating textured surfaces,
Wendy Bailye’s 50 Shades of Grey,
Pam Hovel’s Earthy Felted Vessels,
Soosie Jobson’s The Art of Adornment and
Martien van Zuilen’s Expanding the Surface. All up,
an unbelievable list of tempting offerings!
We also have mini-workshops planned for our monthly meetings and this is an opportunity to learn particular felting techniques and to give them a go on the day. Please let your committee know if there are any techniques you would like covered at a mini-workshop or fill out the ideas book at the front desk.
On the Thursday evening 30 May to Sunday afternoon 2 June, there is our annual Retreat on the June long weekend. We will be holding the annual Retreat at beautiful Muresk agricultural campus, near Northam, one hour from Midland. It is an opportunity to felt all day and into the night if you wish in the large hall and to make big items, while listening to music and sampling cakes and other delicious offerings. There will be some special activities, probably including a workshop and an evening presentation. Take a break and have a relaxing massage. Accommodation is in individual bedrooms and lunches and dinners are included. Come along for the full 3 days, although attending for one or two days is also possible. We hope to see you there!
Finally, we are hoping that our members would like to undertake a fundraising project this year to support a charity. Please let committee members know your ideas for a project and a worthy charity.
Toss and Tell
Kerry Grove, Kerry Bertucci, Nancy, Sara, Vimol and Stacey modelled the absolutely stunning jackets they had made at Fiona Duthie’s recent workshop, each with a slightly different lay-out, colour palette and ink brushwork.
Peta Korb had used needle-felting over a wire armature to create models of animals of endangered and now extinct Australian small mammal species, to be used in a student animation film production. Fifteen felters from across Australia have contributed to the film “Dance of the Dead”. Banded Hair Wallaby, Lesser Bilby and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, endangered or extinct animals.
Martien showed 3 tea cosies and a coffee plunger cover which she made at the Albany Summer School. Each had colourful and quirky decorations. (only one teapot came out well on slide show)
Maureen Humphreys displayed a decorated black handbag made from alpaca. (sorry no picture)
Sue Clay, visiting from Yorkshire, talked about the community wall hanging commissions she had been undertaking and also showed several colourful shawls with felted edges.
Marie Jacquier showed an eco-dyed piece with overstitching onto paper, an approach which she is taking to illustrating a children’s book she has written. Felted Dyed and Stitched. Study for Textile Art Book illustration. Layering – like painting and like storytelling.
Tracey Holland had used Martien’s tunnel method to make a salmon coloured piece as well as a blue tray decorated with viscose fibre and stiffened with wire armature. She had also made a dangly ornament with felted balls and discs.
Sue Harrington had made a small orange and green piece utilising the cracked earth technique to achieve a field of raised ‘water lilies’, embellished with fine embroidery.
Katrina showed two experimental pieces incorporating horse and other animal fibres which she made while developing her exhibit pieces for the Shire of Mundaring Open Art Acquisition Exhibition which is on at the Mundaring Art Centre until 31 March.
Thanks Sue Harrington for the report and Alison Higgins for the photo’s.
see you soon
Please note: I am still learning about slideshow option, learning more skills all the time, thanks for your patience and I hope you don’t mind me experimenting.
FeltWEST started its 2019 program with a truly creative bang.
Big Ink – Surface Design + Garment Construction (January 31-February 3) was a 4-day workshop hosted by FeltWEST with the amazing felt artist and tutor extraordinaire Fiona Duthie. The workshop filled almost instantly when it opened for enrolments back in October, and we were totally not surprised.
Fiona is a Canadian felt maker recognised globally for her dynamic and narrative surface design. She creates seamless sculpture for the body, art objects and outdoor felt installations, with surfaces built up through fabric manipulation, stratified textiles and imagery exploring biography and individual perspective (www.fionaduthie.com).
Fiona’s workshop was preceded by her artist talk on January 30, where almost 50(!) attendees were treated to insights into Fiona’s artistic journey; starting in garment construction before venturing into Felt some 23 years ago. It included an all-important shift from creating production-based craft items sold at craft shows to nourishing more fully the possibilities of exploring ‘the art of one’s craft’: meaningful, narrative making, refining skills, and the creation of one-off garments, artworks, outdoor installations and more. It was a most insightful and thoroughly well-presented talk which set the scene for the workshop that followed.
Things were quickly in full creative swing on Day 1, as Fiona introduced her method of sumi-e ink drawing on silk fabrics for depth and line. This was followed by each participant making several specific pre-felts which would later be used as features in their garments.
The afternoon saw participants fully immersed in designing their pattern for individual and fitted garments. The choice and possibilities seemed endless; one could make either a dress, vest, tunic, skirt or short jacket. The buzz of inspiration was in the air and the day finished with inking pre-felts and a session on Design in the cool shade of a tree adjacent to the hall.
Day 2 was dedicated to finishing patterns & resists, laying out wool, silk fabrics, and additions with all manner of creativity! Fiona expertly covered the creative possibilities; encompassing colour, form and fit, plus resist additions for additional shaping and individual fit. As ideas expanded, the floor fans were twirling!
Day 3 was another excellent and inspiring day – participants added final surface design features, followed by the start of felting their works. Each work took up almost two tables (Stacey even brought in a third) so there was lots of gentle rubbing to do. And then some rolling to get it to the pre-felt stage.
And just when we thought we couldn’t do any more rolling, Justine’s daughter Camille arrived at 7pm with cold cider and chocolates for all who stayed on to keep felting. Yeah!
On the final day, everyone finished felting their garment and with Fiona’s expertise in pattern making and fitting, the final shaping and fulling was applied. While the garments dried, Fiona provided a comprehensive review of the workshop.
Applying the sumi-e ink to the finished garments was another one of the truly ‘sweet spot’ moment of this workshop and the only way to celebrate was with champagne and lots and lots of photos (and much joy) in the adjacent park.
Big Ink – Surface Design + Garment Construction promised to be all about creating bold dramatic surfaces on seamless garments with designs that celebrates life and movement. And it delivered on all of that, and so much more.
The garments created were all so diverse and elegant, and suited each person perfectly.
While a workshop in January can present the risk of hot weather, Craft House once again proved to be a most suitable venue with plentiful tables and space. Homemade refreshments and fruits were plentiful and the evaporative air coolers and floor fans that participants brought along managed to keep the outside hot temperatures at bay throughout.
Fiona Duthie is a truly generous, knowledgeable, unflappable, supportive and inspiring tutor, sharing her skills and ideas freely and giving so much of her time to her students while guiding them to expand the creative possibilities in Felt. Thank you and thank you again Fiona for being in our midst and for sharing so generously your skill and passion. FeltWEST could not have asked for a better way to kick off the year.
The information is on the MAC website www.mundaringartscentre.com.au/work-with-us/ or attached and included below for your reference. Please let me know if you would like it in another format, your support is greatly appreciated.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING THE DYNAMIC TEAM AT THE MUNDARING ARTS CENTRE? WE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING TWO COMMITTED AND ENTHUSIASTIC PEOPLE FOR THE FOLLOWING ROLES
EDUCATION PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Formed in 1979 by a group of dedicated artists and volunteers, the Mundaring Arts Centre (MAC) is a not for profit community arts organisation providing a focus for arts and cultural development within the eastern region of Perth, WA.
MAC delivers a diverse range of creative arts experiences operating from two venues, the Mundaring Arts Centre and the Midland Junction Arts Centre.
Read the Position Profile
Submit Application following the information outlined in the relevant Selection Criteria document
Applications Due: Tuesday 8 January 2019
Interview: Shortlisted applicants will be notified by Friday 18 January 2019
Commencement: February 2019
Complete applications should be sent to Mundaring Arts Centre addressed to:
Everyone brought tasty nibbles for our Christmas Party and chatted and laughed the lunch away. Here are a few pictures of a few attendees, sorry if we didn’t get you in a snap.
Raffle prizes won by Kerri Bertucci and Sara Quail, enjoy.
Marion ask the members to suggest a charity, we can base our fundraising project for 2019 on and suggestion what that project may entail. Please contact a committee member with your ideas or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fiona Duthie talk will be Thursday 30 January 2019 at 7pm, check website for more details in January 2019.
Fiona Duthie workshop 31 January to 3rd, fully booked
Tuesday 5th Feb 2019 first felt day for the new year.
Saturday 16 February first Toss n Tell, also first Beginners workshop as well
Toss ‘n’ Tell
We saw a few stunning jackets from the Catherine O’Leary workshop.
Judith’s poncho is from Fiona Duthie’s online workshop, apparently still a work in progress, but looking really good.
Karen Wood inspired by Katrina Virgona’s workshop made another necklace, beautiful.
Karen decided to properly felt her work from Olga Finkel’s workshop. Olga warned the colours may fade but we did not think so based on Karen results.
Leiko also puts scrunched materials onto wool, but a different way to the one Karen showed us in a previous mini workshop. Karen placed material first and Lieko place the wool down first.
Inspired by Martien’s mini workshop on Tunnels I (Liz Owens) made more, just need to tailor the choice of stick’s, so they don’t fall over so easily.
I also did the Technique Focus workshop – Pocket to Rose, designed by Kerri and Jean. Great pocket just need more practice at surface design.