Toss n Tell July by Marie Marshall (photos by Liz Odd)

After Judith Shaw’s generous, hugely entertaining and informative talk on how she has made a few hundred pairs of slippers over many years and telling us she never makes a sample or rarely does the same thing twice, we sat back to enjoy a lovely display of felting from other Feltwest members as we do each month. People arrive from far and wide to show and admire beautiful pieces of true art.


Recently members have been invited to display their felt pieces on a table on arrival and to provide a note on their technique or other relevant interesting comments. It is also lovely to “meet” the people who created them when the President invites each person to show their recent work. So in order of appearance: Judy Barkla not only showed us her beautiful, highly textured, silk dress, but gave a very positive account of our time at the May Retreat at Muresk, Northam encouraging all to attend in future and enjoy the wonderfully inspiring camaraderie that the lucky few have enjoyed.

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Kerry Bertucci attended Sue Eslick’s bag making workshop and learnt many useful techniques including using cufflinks as fasteners! Jean McKenzie showed her bag from same workshop and slippers with bells on toes…so bright, zany and unique of course!  Marion Finneran’s chilli-red bag was a great learning experience but lots of improvisation added to the fabulous finished product’s design.  Karen Wood showed her finished pieces from the Retreat including a black scarf with fabulous texture a la Judy Barkla who in turn was inspired by Vilte originally. Karen also spoke of her experiences with resists for slippers and adding extra padding on heels – lots of tips from experienced feltmakers which continue to help us “newcomers”.

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Vera Sergeev is slowly bringing her felting passion into the workplace but this is quite a feat as she works alongside 2 and 3 yr olds! She is certainly a dedicated teacher of felting to harness such youthful enthusiasm. With her young helpers she created a most impressive colourful rug for a very lucky Teddy in the story she read to the children. They love sprinkling the water, working with bubble wrap and adding squares of prefelts. You can imagine the scene!  Sara Quail attended the bag workshop and created a great grey bag with pockets and commented also on the useful techniques and will do it again if Sue agrees to run another course!

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Lyn Blasgund made some fine baby clothes – a jacket using a resist and hat to match for one very lucky baby. Lynn also showed her grey bag with longer handles and commented on not only the fashion statement of all the bags created at Sue’s workshop but of the lovely cake and recipes shared on the day.

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Juliet Hargreaves advised us not to throw anything away as off-cuts were very useful as embellishments in her magnificent vessels which were joined at the bases and yet could be separated into their 2 colourways to roll and felt. Fascinating and perhaps she can be persuaded to give a workshop showing in more detail just how she achieved such stunning results!

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Sue Eslick’s blue spotty bag from Melbourne workshop with Atsuko Sasaki was the product of many hours work of rubbing and not rolling it seems. Such dedication! Louise Nidorf’s bag is a work in progress but thought we would find the surface stitching of interest which we did!

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Katrina Virgona spoke of Richard Woldendorp’s super special cash offer for his book “Out of the Blue” and told us about the current exhibition at Mundaring Arts Centre. Antoinette Boyd’s black cocktail dress was a stunner.

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Margi Piesse suggested we be more aware of how helpful name tags can be for newcomers in particular and it was suggested we could make our own as some have done. Embellish with beads and embroidery and outdo everyone else. There’s a challenge for you! Maybe we could give a prize for best creation by year’s end?  Judi Barkla’s felt covered rocks were an indication of things to she said, each rock has its own requirements and challenges (or not).

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The throw which Alison Gomes whipped up (only joking, Alison spends many hours meticulously laying wool then rolling so carefully, painstakingly and in fact seems to have become a well known standard of measurement in the felting world especially when we refer to fine layers of wool!), started off the size of three and a half trestle tables, finished at what looked like less than one table length and was truly beautiful with such appealing colours and drape. Fantastic!


And last but definitely not least, was the lovely Judith Shaw excelling in not only slipper production and demos but showing us her thick wool coat made 30 years ago for the snow, with a most appropriate theme of the sea, ice and seaweed.