Katrina Virgona is running a felting workshop (FELTED BANGLES, RINGS & THINGS) on Saturday Sept 5th from 10am-1pm at the Mundaring Arts Centre. If doing the workshop, you can also view a range of artworks relating to wool in the SHEEP SHOW exhibition in MAC’s main gallery space. Other workshops are happening in association with the Sheep Show including a yarn spinning workshop run by Anne Williams. The Sheep Show opens July 24th. For more info on the felt workshop, please see: https://mundaringartscentre.myshopify.com/products/felted-bangles-rings-and-things-with-katrina-virgona
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.
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.
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!
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 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
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.
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.
On Saturday 1 February, 12 Feltwest members were treated to an excellent one day workshop,
presented by Peta Korb. At the end of the day all participants commented on how much they had
enjoyed the workshop and how well organised it had been. The consensus was that it was a great
start to the 2020 Feltwest year.
Peta explained that the Woylie is a small Australian marsupial, which would serve as a suitable
project for demonstrating the techniques of needle felting onto a wire armature. The intention was
to try to finish the project during the workshop, but sufficient materials and tuition were given to
allow participants to finish their projects at home, if need be.
Peta supplied a kit to each participant, containing all the materials needed for the workshop, which
made it easier and faster to start the workshop. Participants were given a list of a small number of
tools they would need to bring with them to assist in the process.
Peta displayed samples of her work to illustrate the different stages of work involved in needle
felting to an armature. During the workshop, participants learned a range of techniques, including
wrapping, shaping, felting and sculpting wool around a wire armature. They also learned colour
blending with wool, creating a realistic animal pelt in felt finer finishing details.
Thank you Peta for an enjoyable, informative and inspiring workshop!
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.
President Soosie Jobson
Vice President Jean Mckenzie
Treasure Lenore Farfield
Secretary Cynda Empsall
Workshop Co-ordinator Renita Mroz
Online Communications Liz Owens
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
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.
Saturday Felting 19 May, 2018.
Mini Workshop by Dale Rollerson – silk strippings and silk rods.
Dale Rollerson of The Thread Studio ran a mini-workshop/demo of silk strippings and silk rods.
They are both waste product in the process of spinning silk.
Silk strippings – is cocoon waste that cannot be spun. It still contains the ceracin which acts as glue when liquid and heat are applied. It can be used to make silk paper and embellished with fibres, threads, guilding flakes, colour spray and even images from sheer paper serviettes. Dale demonstrated and showed various samples of her explorations with strippings including moulding, stenciling and embossing .
Silk rods – the waste that is cut from the spinning rods . These can be ironed open and separated and used to created or incorporate into more complex “paper” creations .
Dale inspired us to experiment having shown us endless possibilities and samples.
There was also a sales table of some of the product that she used and is available from The Thread Studio.
Sue Eslick chaired the meeting as Karen Wood is away.
She welcomed the new members and confirmed the forthcoming workshops for July, August and September details of which are on the Feltwest website.
Martien van Zuilen’s July 6th + 7th workshop will be about vessels, holding form and surface design. She showed some examples of her work .
Martien will also be running the Mini-workshop on 16th June titled: Tunnels and Frameworks. She showed us a few samples , being a sneek peek of this exciting technique.
Unfortunately the Retreat has been cancelled and all members who enrolled will be re-imbursed in full.
We are going to the Royal Show – please join us.
We have been most fortunate to have been offered a sales stand ( at no charge) at the Agricultural Show in Claremont in September 22 – 29th. All details re planning , volunteering etc to be finalised and confirmed. A sub committee has been formed. Please start felting as we will be able to sell felted wear, check the rule with our committee, more to come.
A number of members will be participating in the Toodyay Fibre Festival on 3 June 2018, every one is welcome to come.
Mandurah is the place to be for art and creativity. Head down there at the end of the month – mid June to the Arts and Culture Precinct where it is all happening.
Toss n Tell
Liz – enjoyed the challenge of bead making at Nancy’s workshop and showed her lovely creations,
Peta‘s – beautiful blues.
Sara – showed some of the bags and scarves that she has been tirelessly working on for her stall at the upcoming Toodyay Fibre Fair.
Kerry – showed us her sample “Spikes” for the next extension workshop on Tuesday 3 July. (sorry no picture will post on website soon)
Martien – showed her work called “Standing Tall” which consists of 5 blue felted vessels that will be on display at the exhibition – Beyond the Seam” on at a gallery in Mandurah (no pictures til officially unveiled). Thank you Martien.
Pat – showed her beautifully styled turquoise machine knitted jacket.
Sue Eslick – made a cheeky blue beret. A most interesting shape.
Marie is experimenting with clay to make a washboards for the palm, which will be highly glazed to be like glass.Watch this space.
Marion show us her result from Katia’s Online workshop, her view is some part require Katia in person, but great result anyway Marion.
Peta’s Korb’s – needle felt Bilby’s
Thanks Marion and Sara for report & photo’s.
catch you next month.
Saturday Felting 21 April, 2018.
Mini Workshop by Nancy Ballesteros – 9 different ways to layout felt.
Nancy provided a number of charts as a visual example of the layouts, to show direction of laying.
The dots and an arrows to show the direction of laying. The denser end of the wool will be at the dot, and it will be thinning in the direction of the arrow. The next thick end will be laid approximately halfway along where the previous piece is starting to thin. This process will even it out.
Nancy used a paper chart with directional arrows while laying out the felt so that onlookers could see more clearly what she was doing. Obviously when doing this for a method using more than one layer, this will become obscured, so you could use a ruler as your direction guide.
Nancy used 10 grams of wool & produced a sample 40cm x 40 cm for each layout method to provide a clear comparison.
Changing your usual method of laying out can be quite challenging, as it is easy to get into a pattern of doing the same thing.
Nancy suggests splitting the wool into 8 lines length ways where it naturally divides, pulling from the middle of the length, not the end. Lay it out thinly, so that you can see through it to the bubble wrap underneath. (Australia has a reasonably mild climate, we don’t need to lay out thickly as in Canada or Russia!)
Why would we use different methods?
Different methods produce different qualities in the felt. The layout you choose will depend on what you are hoping to achieve, which is governed by what you are going to make with the felt. Does it need to drape to fit the body for example? Diagonal layouts can be really useful for draping in clothing or sculptural pieces. Methods covered were:
Horizontal: Turn over and rotate 90 degrees between layers.
Diagonal: If you want a really sharp edge with this method, try laying a continuous strip along the edge.
Cobweb: Don’t pull fibres apart, keep in one piece. Not very strong for a garment, but suitable for a scarf.
Spiral: Good for coasters.
Radial: Good for flowers, may not sit flat. Don’t allow the middle to get too thick.
Herringbone Chart 3: Provides beautiful elasticity & drape
Basketweave Chart 4: Provides beautiful stretch & drape with more stability than herringbone, with less apparent rows.
Running Bond Chart 6: This avoids the “row” effect that happens with layout No 1. It will shrink more in 1 direction than the other.
Random, Chaotic : Makes a really stable fabric, good for 3D forms. Aim for uniformity of thickness to maintain even shrinkage.
Regardless of the layout method used, Nancy suggests : If using a dryer to assist with the felting process, use it on the cold setting, wrap the felt piece in a towel, tied up, and sealed in plastic. The dryer is for friction, not heat. In order to achieve a very strong felt (in spite of fineness), allowing the wool to dry and re-wetting it and fulling it again, sometimes 2 or 3 times can be useful.
Toss N Tell
Peta showed her completed satchel from the leather workshop, and her work from Lieko’s workshop the Shell and the Cucumber layouts.
Sue also bought along her satchel completed at the leather workshop
Stacy has been doing an online workshop and has produced a number of beautiful pieces of clothing.
12 Feltwest members attended this workshop, where we got to use leather tools and materials that most felters were not familiar with.
The purpose of the workshop was to cut and attach leather fittings and hardware to make the piece of very strong felt into a useable bag. Participants were required to bring a piece of felt with them, suitable to be made into a messenger bag/backpack. This involved specialised tools, supplied by Bec, who taught the participants how to use them. Below is a summary of some of the tools and skills learned in the workshop.
A strap cutter was the first tool used. The width on this can be set to enable cutting of different width pieces as required. Alternatively, a rotary cutter can be used along a straight edge.
A quilting square is used to measure straight lines and angles.
A diamond pointed stitching chisel is used to make holes in the strap preparatory to stitching, as the leather is too thick to pierce while stitching.
Fittings (ie rivets, eyelets, buckles etc) provided were of solid brass.
Buckles require an inch length of strap to go through the buckle and allow for a bit of movement. The tongue on the buckle needs a slot to allow it to move and work effectively. A special ‘oblong’ punch is used to make the hole. If the strap for the buckle is to be adjustable, 10 holes would be good, approximately an inch apart, starting 2 inches from the end.
Saddle stitching is a very secure type of hand stitching that works well on leather. Waxed linen thread is the best choice, as it is waterproof, and won’t be eaten away by the tannins in the leather. Saddle stitch starts like running stitch, but when you reach the end of the stitching line, you work back the other way to fill in the blanks.
Bec is very competent with using tools and understanding how leather works. She is a clear communicator and a patient instructor, thankyou Bec for leading us through the use of unfamiliar tools and equipment to make a wonderful felt and leather bag. The workshop went overtime, and some of the bags are not yet completed. Feltwest has purchased a set of leather tools and the bags can be completed at a Feltwest Tuesday or Saturday meeting.
Feltwest participated the Wagin Woolarama this year for the first time in many years. Woolarama is one of the biggest agricultural shows in WA, attracting people from throughout the south west and Perth and took place over two days on 9th and 10th March.
Feltwest had a 3x3m display where we were able to:
- Demonstrate feltmaking and carding
- Display a broad range of felted items Sell member’s work
We also had felt clothing and accessories modelled on the catwalk.
It was surprising that there were no other wool craft displays at Woolarama, and Feltwest’s presence was warmly welcomed by the organisers and attendees.
What worked? – Thankyou to Kerry for the following comments:
Demonstrations were fantastic
Sue demonstrated wet felting all weekend & Lenore’s demonstration started with raw fleece to carding with the drum, hand carders and heckle, all weekend. Chris Pietraszek came all the way from Toodyay, midday Saturday with her double heckle to mix and Diz home grown & coloured Alpaca. Crowds were formed each time demonstrations started or passersby were ‘lured’ then enthralled by the transformation from fibre to fabric!
Who was interested?
Farmers, adults of all ages and school age children
Chris, Nancy, Lenore and Sue did a fantastic job selecting, from our members items, a collection which synchronised with Christiane’s clothes and just looked AMAZING on the Cat Walk. They were worn by professional models to loud music, dazzling lights and promotional narration at the beginning and ALL this supplied by Woolarama at no cost to us!
Two women approached us on Saturday afternoon and said that for them, seeing the Feltwest items on the catwalk had been the highlight of the whole Woolarama show! We are hoping to get some professional images from the catwalk for our website
We had a range of items for sale, but what sold most, were light-weight scarves. We had some beautiful felt objects but they weren’t what people were looking at. We took over $1200 across the two days.
Resources and cost?
The Feltwest stall and catwalk was organised by a team of 4: Kerry Bertucci, Sue Eslick, Chris Gray and Nancy Ballesteros. Chris and Nancy had their own separate stall but were on hand to help Feltwest, especially with the setup and packup. Kerry and Sue were joined by Lenore Fairfield who helped all weekend on the Feltwest stall and with demonstrations. Everyone paid for all of their own costs with the exception that Feltwest paid for the 3 nights accommodation of the main organiser.
We took our own tables, chairs, screens and display materials so that we didn’t have to pay extra to hire them. Thanks to Kerry for bringing them all down in her ute!
Approximately 15 Feltwest members contributed some wonderful feltwork for the display and catwalk.
Costs paid by Feltwest:
Accommodation – $250, Feltwest stall – $435.
SUGGESTIONS for next time?
Having participated in this year’s event, those attending have come up with many suggestions for the future, should the next Committee decide to go to Woolarama. These include:
- Book a double stall, one for sales and one for demonstrations. Allay s
- ome of the costs by seeking sponsorship for the demonstration stall and a contribution from those wishing to sell felt, for the other stall.
- Start organizing earlier in the year, – maybe have our own parade-fun night dress rehearsal before it goes to Woolorama.
- Organise for a media person to promote Feltwest and liaise with other groups.
- Having a card reader in order to take payment by credit card proved to be invaluable.
Thankyou to everyone who contributed, and especially to Kerry who did the lion’s share of the work – and so competently and cheerfully. It was a great team effort, we were all exhausted by the time we got home, but had an enjoyable, productive, and we believe, worthwhile time.