MACRO|micro getting near the pointy end!

Our registration date is coming to a close: 19th June this Sunday!  This Saturday we will have a mini workshop on writing your Artist Statements – which of course we can work on over the next few weeks.

There appears to be some confusion about our exhibition so here’s the main points:

  • It is a Feltwest members only exhibition – no other group is involved.
  • It is being held at TAFE Gallery Central.
  • There is no registration fee (unlike most exhibitions).
  • There will be a 30% commission taken by TAFE (so remember to include this in your price).
  • All works must be new and never shown before – including web and facebook.
  • Delivery of work is 16th July TnT.
  • Artists statements are required but help is available.
  • We are giving artists talks on 20th August but it is not mandatory!
  • This is a wonderful opportunity to show our work.
  • Registration closes Sunday 19th but opportunity will be at TnT this month for help.

Review of Baganza workshop with Sue Eslick by Sara

An array of Sue’s distinctive sculptural bags greeted participants as they began a 1 ½ day workshop to produce their own masterpieces.  The focus of this workshop was on shape and form – learning the technique of creating strong structural and functional felt –rather than surface design.

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In deciding which style to make, there were various options to consider – one or 2 handles, with or without gussets, optional flaps, variations in shape as well as thinking about wool layout and colour effect. It was mentioned later that some designs ‘evolved as the bags spoke to us’.

Once design decisions had been made, resists were cut from firm flexible material. Sue then tested everyone’s mathematical skills with the precise calculation of wool needed for each side and layer.

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Handles were partially made, and laying out then began in earnest. Overall the layout was relatively thick consisting of lots of thin layers to create a better quality felt. For those making gussets in their bag, there was a slightly different method to allow for the different thickness required.

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So began a lot of massaging, rolling and stretching, and more of the same until the bag was sufficiently felted for the resist to be removed.  Fulling then commenced in earnest with internal massaging to start creating the 3 dimensional shape of the bag.

Using a variety of tools and methods, ‘tough love’ was applied to the bag to shape and firm up the felt all over. Stones were involved….. Participant’s’ preferred felting tools were also discussed with some really unique, creative and cost-effective ideas being shared.

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There was surprisingly little tossing and much more emphasis on massaging and rubbing to achieve good shape and robust sculptural felt.  All the effort was worth it though and the results from Sue’s expert guidance and the 12 diligent ladies speak for themselves.

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Needle Felting Workshop

I had the pleasure of teaching/working with 12 lovely ladies today.

We looked at different types & gauges of felting needles available & their uses, along with other tools such as multi needle holders, both mine & the students, including a home-made champagne cork version!

We first tried our needles out on making a simple needled doll/fairy/angel/mermaid.

In the course of the day, once sufficiently fuelled by Tim Tam’s many projects were worked on including successful repairs to Kelly’s beautiful textural rug (Used as backdrop in the photos), Kerry Berttucci added needled details to her previously wet felted dog to bring his little face to life. Some made tiny tightly needled creatures, others inspired by Bonte’s charming  Danish troll made a larger more soft/ loosely  felted creature. Several also experimented with adding needled detail to previously flat wet felted pieces. Between us we used a variety of different sheep wools, alpaca & llama.

Thankyou ladies, I hope you all continue to experiment with needle felting, I feel I have learnt something valuable of each of you.

Sue Espie