FeltWEST Toss ‘n’ Tell October

FeltWEST Toss ‘n’ Tell October Report

Demonstration/Mini Workshop

Martien van Zuilen – Creating Tunnels and Using Armatures

In this mini workshop Martien shared her technique of creating long tunnels in handmade felt and demonstrated how, once established, the tunnels could be used to accommodate armatures (wire, sticks, timber rods, feathers etc) to support and/or frame the piece.  She also showed how to create ruffled effects for sculptural works.  The possibilities for this innovative technique are limited only by the imagination!

Martien’s technique grew out of an exploration of making the frame an integral part of the artwork which allows two-dimensional pieces to have two fronts (rather than a front and a back) and three-dimensional pieces to have armatures added without the need for stitching or other fastening methods.  This also means the armatures can be easily removed for transporting or exchanged for transforming the piece.


Martien’s secret weapon, perhaps suggested to her by her Dutch heritage, is used bicycle tyres.  Strips of bicycle tyre inner tubes are used as a resist, rather than more traditional materials.  The rubber grips the wool which means it is less likely to shift about than other materials and does not scrunch up which means that the placement and width of the tunnels are more easily controlled.  Tunnels can be continuous or broken, to allow the armature to show through in sections.  When pulled partially through finished tunnels, the elastic quality of the rubber allows beautiful ruffles to be created.

Following the demonstration, we all had a go at creating our own tunnels and playing with armatures and some lovely pieces emerged.


Not  only do the tyres allow for great effects, they’re free (on request) from bicycle shops and this use of a product destined for landfill is a great way to upcycle.

Thank you Martien for a fascinating demonstration.  There will be a lot more exploring to follow!





Toss N Tell


Liz Owens,

Kerry Bertucci,


Leonie Emery and


Marion Finneran

showed off their felted jewellery made using skills learnt at Katrina Virgona’s jewellery workshop in September.


Di Baker and Liz Owens modelled the Infinity Ponchos created at Nancy Ballesteros’ Natural Rhythms in Colour Nuno felting workshop which looked at creating stripes using the Golden Ratio as a design tool to create visually pleasing outcomes.













Sue Swain showed us a beautiful white shawl based on Mexican Shaman robes and a large wrap made by joining and felting two smaller, purchased cotton wraps.

Sue also outlined her latest project in which she is transforming a purchased jacket into a wearable field of poppies with the addition of felted flowers.





Nadja Roelofs modelled her fabulous pocketed hat.  The pocket technique was learnt at a recent workshop with Charlotte Sehmisch.

Another attendee at Charlotte’s workshops was Sue Eslick whose shoulder bag explored the creation of square corners.



Kat Weka, a new FeltWest member, showed off her Cracked Earth flat felt, and vessel made at a recent Technique Focus workshop and a gorgeous pair of booties.






Finally, Nancy Ballesteros showed us an array of magnetic brooches that Soosie Jobson has been working on.  The brooches, made with polymer clay in colours that work with Treetops fabrics, are a great closure for garments and wraps as there is no damaging piercing of the fabric.  These are available at Treetops (shop or website) or through Soosie.

Nancy also mentioned her Meditative Adornment textile maker’s retreat which will take place in Bali in May 2019.  A limited number of places are still available.

Feltwest Meeting

Led by Marion Finneran

  • Welcome to new members!
  • Katrina Virgona’s Felted Jewellery Workshop: A big thank you to Katrina for an exciting and very well supported and run workshop.
  • Royal Show: The FeltWest stall at the Royal Show was a great success with almost $10,000 worth of goods sold.  The 15% commission is still to be paid after which artists will receive payment.  The setting up, running and packing up the stall was a great team effort, but special thanks need to go to Peta Korb (through whose contacts we got the site).  Peta was there all day everyday making sure everything ran smoothly.
  • Fiona Duthie Workshop: Fiona, here from Canada as part of a (mostly east coast) tour will be teaching her Big Ink workshop for FeltWest in January. This workshop looks at working with ink on textiles.  Please note that this workshop is now fully booked.
  • Catherine O’Leary Workshop: Catherine’s, fully booked, Fabulous Felt Jackets workshop is set to go ahead from 2-5 November.
  • Catherine will also be giving an artist talk on Thursday 1 November, at 7.00pm at Craft House.  All welcome.  Gold coin donation.
  • Next Toss N Tell: The next Toss N Tell, and last one for the year, will be on Saturday 17 November.  As this is our Christmas celebration, there will be no mini-workshop.  Please bring along your Christmas spirit, a plate of food to share and any items for Toss N Tell.  If you would like to take part in the gift exchange, please also bring along a small, wrapped, hand-made article.  The raffle will be drawn with the winner receiving a FeltWest gift voucher to put towards membership or a workshop. It will be great to catch up and close-off the year.

Launching 2019:

  • Toss N Tell: Our first meeting for 2019 will be on Saturday, 16 February.  There will be a mini-workshop from 10-11.30am – topic TBA.
  • Tuesday Felting: The first Tuesday felting day will take place on 5 February 2019.

 Other Notices:

  • Exhibition: Windfall Chemistry of the Dye Pot – eco-dying exhibition by Helen Coleman at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah.  Running until Sunday, 4 November.  For more details, please see the website:  https://www.mandurah.wa.gov.au/facilities/casm

Thanks to reporter and photographer Renita, a few extra shots from me.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the day

hope to see you November