Christmas Party 2015

A wonderful time had by all!

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Hanky Panky with Nancy Ballesteros by Marion

Amazing colours greeted us as the silk shimmered on a table covered with scarves. Every scarf had a label with instructions on what silks were used, what length was required, how much wool was needed and other details how the scarves were felted. This gave felters great guidance for their own scarf making. Each scarf featured different materials from silks to lace and the all important silk hankies.

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After a warm welcome Nancy took us through a mind boggling journey of the many different applications of the silk hankies.  As each scarf was unique and there were countless ways to shape and apply the hankies and other materials. Nancy explained how to felt the scarves with simple easy to understand words and accompanied not only with samples, but demonstrations on how the silk hankies were best felted. All participants sat wrapped in awe, longing to follow in Nancy’s foot steps. Nancy brought what seemed her entire supply of hankies in all imaginable colours and offered to bring whatever wool was needed by the participants for the next day a great additional service.

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Saturday after a short recap all felter’s enthusiastically  went about designing their scarfs I felt that everyone had, by now, a very good understanding on how to apply the silk hankies. Nancy constantly visited each and everyone, gave advise and a helping hand were needed.

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Fabulous designs took shape over the course of the day. Everyone had a great time laying out and felting the scarfs and they were all rolled in the afternoon. To finish off Nancy showed us how to felt the scarfs using a glass washboard.  I felt it was a wonderful workshop which was very well prepared, instructions were easy to understand and follow we all enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot.

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October Toss n Tell by Lyn Blasgund

Sue Espie gave us a wonderful demo on how to make delightful angels out of roving.  Great for gifts or Chrissy tree decorations.


Toss n Tell

  • Thanks Jeanette for covering for the library.
  • Helpers are needed to assist the tutor at each workshop and expressions of interest should be provided to the Workshop Coordinator, Sue Eslick. In return for being at the workshop, the helper will be expected to assist with setting up tables, organise tea/coffee, write a summary of the techniques taught and take photos.
  • The Felting Frenzy is from 30 October to 1 November. We need some volunteers to unlock and lock the hall. Please bring a plate of food to share and come along and felt to your heart’s content.
  • The Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar is on from 4 to 6 Get your felted items together for sale and submit them at the November Toss n Tell to the sub-committee.
  • The November Toss n Tell is the last one for the year and will be the Christmas party. Bring a plate and a hand-made gift for Santa surprise (optional).
  • Soosie talked about ‘Inspiration’ in relation to next year’s Feltwest exhibition at Gallery Central. Have a look at the articles on the website.
  • Artisans open day with Elizabeth Morley and friends at 136 Deeble Rd, Coolup on Sunday 22nd Nov 10-4pm. Entry with a gold coin donation.
  • Louise advised that Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) rent out gallery at a reasonable cost and have occasional exhibitions worth seeing.
  • Sue Eslick mentioned that Barrack Street Jetty Market is having a 6 week trial starting today; stalls include craft stalls.
  • Soosie Jobson showed her macro pollen sculpture.
  • Sara Quail modelled her magnificent shawl and wrap made during the Fiona Duthie workshop at the recent Fibres West.
  • Judy Barkla showed beads made at Nancy’s recent workshop.
  • Katrina Virgona modelled her bangle.
  • Pat Kendall showed us her colourful pieces made to wear at the Feltmakers Convergence held in Auckland.
  • Sue Eslick has completed yet another fabulous bag and explained how she completed the decoration.
  • Kerry Bertucci presented her beautiful hummingbird from the Complex 3D workshop.
  • Nancy Ballesteros gave us an overview of the very successful Bali Retreat.
  • Louise Nidorf showed her encased objects made at Judi Barkla’s workshop. Lovely.
  • Marion Wolter showed us her white and grey sculptured 3D piece.
  • Jeanette Humphries displayed her white wool and muslin top, decorated with colourful wool threads.
  • Alison Gomes modelled her red jacket made at the Fiona Duthie workshop.
  • Sue Harrington presented her sculptured tomato.

Looking forward to everyone attending the Christmas party. Its always lots of fun (and good food).

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Marion Wolter

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Kerry Bertucci

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Pat Kendal

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Jeanette Humphries

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Sue Eslick & Louise Nidorf

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Sara Quail

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Alison Gomes

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Katrina Virgona & Judy Barkla


Sue Harrington




Inspiration? by Vianne Sleypen

As a Hairdresser I find it easy to create something new, to start a haircut and finish it to mine, and the client’s satisfaction.  That it the easy part because for several reasons;

  • there is someone sitting in the chair who can talk – they can provide feedback or preference,
  • has a type of hair,
  • a particular shape of head and face,
  • and my skills, experience and knowledge.

But as a felter the possibilities are huge as nobody is telling me what to do – there is no feedback or preference, no predetermined requirements.  I can create any shape I like, use any colour, any kind of wool.  When there are so many options inspiration is important.

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For me I find inspiration all around me, for example when I’m walking the dogs along the river I pick up feathers, bring them home, and stack them in foam  and just let them be in my studio.   I still don’t know what I’m gonna do with it, but that doesn’t matter.  I keep on looking at them.


What is Micro/Macro scaling? An example is the Sydney Opera House by Sue Swain

How is the Sydney Opera House an example of this? Jorn Utson, the architect, based the design for the roof on the sections of an orange, curved pieces cut in a certain way, that were laid to overlap each other, thus forming the very complicated roof structure for this now world-famous icon of Australia.  So, from something that could be held in the palm of a hand, the building was constructed.  From Micro to Macro in scale.

Model demonstrating the spherical derivation of the roof vaults, Oct 1961
Final spherical scheme, 1962-63. Great circle rib profile in precast reinforced concrete

Another interesting sidelight of this structure is that until the advent of a 3-D computer graphics software package, called, ArchiCAD, no one had been able to “draw” this very complicated structure.  Then a PhD Architectural student, Philip Drew, finally committed this building to paper, using this program.  The photos have been taken from the book Sydney Opera House, by Phillips Drew, and published by Phaidon.

System drawing for stepped cylindrical surfaces in the acoustical reflectors of the Minor Hall


Plaster model of the Minor Hall showing half auditorium shell radial segments with concave profile
Plaster model of the Minor Hall showing half auditorium shell radial segments with concave profile
Drawing of the Side Elevation of the Sydney Opera House
Drawing of the Side Elevation of the Sydney Opera House

When you are thinking about what felt can do, it’s a limitless, 3-dimensional art form, with unlimited possibilities to form any shape imaginable. Look at the scale of something that can be held in the palm of your hand, and imagine it large enough to be used by thousands of people, with the same shape and a change in the scale of the object.

Susan Swain, Architect and Wearable Art Felter

Inspiration – what, where, how & why? by Soosie Jobson

This is a relevant article from our MACRO|micro Exhibition on Inspiration

Inspiration is an elusive muse.  When is strikes it is powerful and driving.  When it falters it is depressing and nagging.  So what is “Inspiration”?  It is the driving force behind creativity.  It is the unstated, undefined thing that springs into our heads.  Suddenly you know what it is that you want – no- need to create.

So where do I get my inspiration from?  I am a very visual person so it is no surprise that what I see inspires me.  My last three major projects have been inspired images – my Honours degree in History was driven by a watercolour painting by Thomas Rowlandson “Vauxhall Gardens” 1784, my Zooxanthallae coral reef installation by Glen Cowans photography and my Felted Cactus Garden by Nancy Ballesteros’s holiday images from the USA.  This is not to say that visual things inspire everyone. Sound is a great inspiration for many – that favourite song, guitar riff, bird song or like my car crazed husband the roar of a V8 engine!   Perhaps for you it is smell – baking bread, star jasmine or wet grass.  But it is one of our senses that triggers it because our senses also trigger our memory and emotions.

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How does it work?  Creativity and emotions  are strongly linked – it was once a given that artists had to “suffer for their art”, I don’t think this is true for all but it does show that those who did suffer used that as their inspiration or driving emotion for their art.  I know when I am having a creativity drought it is directly linked to my state of mind – I also know that when my creativity is about to erupt I am usually restless – ready to produce.

Why do we need inspiration?  Life needs inspiration otherwise we will only produce or indeed live the mundane.  What inspires you?


Meditation Beads review

The September Meditation Beads workshop with Nancy Ballesteros was both incredibly inspiring and relaxing in equal measures.  Day 1 introduced participants to new ways of thinking and working with nuno felt, pushing the boundaries of traditional nuno and making a rich highly textured cloth from fabrics that we never dreamed of felting before.  Day 2 had us cutting, stitching, embellishing and creating a broad range of beautiful textile beads.  Nancy brought along an expansive collection of examples of beads and materials to get the creative juices flowing, and also showed us different options for cords to string the beads along.  It was a fabulous, very enjoyable workshop, thank you Nancy.  Here are some quotes from participants:

‘this has truly been two days of non-stop knowledge and production.  The atmosphere has been very welcoming, fun and relaxing’. 

‘I learnt so much, Nancy is a fabulous teacher and takes time to talk and advise each participant’.

‘Nancy’s workshop is the best way to get inspired’

‘The tutor has amazing skills and talent which are so well transferred to class members – from an awe-inspired class attendee.’

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How to find inspiration from the Micro and Macro world by Mary Ann Dawson

This is a relevant article from our MACRO|micro Exhibition on Inspiration

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere, but as this subject covers a visual world that we do not usually see, some research was required.

It’s rare, if ever, we are able to see our world from an altitude high enough to remove any of the visual clues we rely upon on a daily basis, making this aspect merely a collection of colours, shapes and textures. For me, this is the ‘macro’ view, but macro will mean different things to different people.

Most of my focus has been on the micro though, merely because my access to visual inspiration has been predominantly in this area. Of course, the same applies to micro that applied to macro. When things become so tiny we can no longer relate them to our world, they become just a visual feast of form, hue and texture. This is what I love, to take something out of its usual reference and use it as an art form.

The next thought process I have is……….

Do I create something based on colour?

Using reference from these very interesting Brainstroming photos of neurons.



Or should I keep it monochromatic using this as inspiration, a microscopic look at a wood cell of a Silver Fir Tree.



Maybe more textural….



Or maybe follow Soosies lead and get into the sculptural side of things, like this fungi.



The choices are somewhat overwhelming! If you don’t know where to actually start, my advice would be to just pick one of the ideas you like, any one of them, and just begin! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, be brave!