Archive for the 'classes' Category

Two Plates

Currently, there are two projects pulling my attention in separate directions with equal force. In preparation for teaching a nunofelt workshop in my studio last week, I felted four nunofelt garments. Starting with a well fitting piece I own, I created a paper template, then sized it up based on the shrinkage rate of a sample swatch to create a large plastic template.

The result was this piece which fits me to a tee. I loved being able to make small adjustments to the fit, felting a little longer under the arms and across the back until it fit me perfectly.

Working with this template as a departure point, I made a rosewood version two sizes larger. Continuing to work with the same template, I felted a red and black vest, slit open in the front. The last piece was a black and plum asymetrical vest with a triangle front slit. There are dozens of variations floating around in my brain I can’t wait to try.

Incidentally, the mannequin is standing in front of a painting by Robin Siegl, one of the enthusiastic students in last week’s nunofelt workshop. If you are interested in taking a nunofelt workshop, the particulars are listed on the Classes page.

However, this weekend I brought a trunk full of wool back from the Lopez Lamb and Wool Festival. Since buying three fleeces from Island Fibers in February, I’ve been waiting anxiously to get my hands on some more raw wool. Three Romneys, and a Cotswold and four Rambouillet crosses later, my trunk was full on the ride home with fifty pounds of wool.

With so much to do and less than four weeks left in the school year, I’m offering a work/trade proposal to any willing hands available to work as my assistant for a day in my studio. Come felt with me and I will teach you the process and pay you in SpiderFelt credit to be used towards anything in my shop.

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Parent First, Artist Second

At this point in my life, I identify myself as a parent first and artist second. From the very first days of my daughter’s life, I knew that I would put the bulk of my energy into her. This was what felt right for me, and is not a judgment on anyone else’s priorities.

There are times, now that my children are in 5th and 3rd grade where it is a struggle to put them first. There is so much I want to do, so much a younger version of myself had expected I would have achieved at this point in my life. Yet, when it comes to choosing between spending a morning pulling weeds at school and meeting with a professional association of artists, my time goes to the garden party. When my son had a fever and a sore throat, I chose to keep him home for four days just to give him the extra cushion he needs to be fully present the following week.

Our children attend a public school in Seattle, underfunded by our district, as is the case across the country. Thanks to the efforts of our parent fundraising organisation, we manage to add music, art, PE and more to our children’s education, with the bulk of our dollars raised at our annual auction. Year in and year out, this is an enjoyable event, where parents and friends are invited to dash for desserts, dress in costume, cook for a crowd and grab a great bottle of wine for a deal. Donations come from all quarters: gift baskets assembled by middle school parents, mosaics created by elementary classes, trips, massages and more. This year, I am contributing two separate items: a felt flower workshop and a ruffled irridescent silk scarf.

This scarf is named Edith, in honor of our fearless auction chair. Two layers of ruby silk are held together with a narrow band of shimmering felt.

The auction will take place on Saturday March 26th, 2010 in the Wellness Center at North Seattle Community College, should you care to join us. The evening begins at 5pm with a fabulous potluck dinner, better than any catered event food. This is one of the things I most love about our school. I’m looking forward to a fun-filled evening putting my money where my heart lies.

Fall Felting Series

Starting in the third week of September, a new series of felting classes will be starting at Space to Create, an art studio in Ballard.

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The first two classes are introductions to the method, perfect for anyone interested in learning how to wet felt, which is distinct from the other two more popular versions of felting: needlefelting with a barbed needle or fulling a piece of knit fabric.

Full class descriptions are listed on the Events page. Registration can be done by phone or email with Space to Create: 206.784.0401, spacetocreate@spacetocreate.net. There is a discount for students who register for the full six-class series.

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While it is not necessary to enroll in all six workshops, it is a great way to try a broad variety of felting techniques and determine whether this is an art you would like to explore further. Three women signed up for the series when I taught it last spring. It was wonderful to work with them each week, to see their personal style expressed in each project we tackled. We had so much fun felting together that we planned a weekend retreat in June. Watch for that story in an upcoming post.

Felting Underwater

The wheels of industry have been busy cranking in my workshop preparing for an upcoming summer camp, art walk and a craft show.

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In mid-July, I will teach a summer camp at Space to Create combining both wetfelting and needlefelting techniques. Opening my imagination to a time beyond the gray days of spring, I dreamt up an underwater seascape inhabited by creatures both imagined and observed. It was fun to pull out fibers, beads, and yarn to add three dimensional texture to the flat background.

To sign up for the class, which runs from July 13-17, visit the Space to Create website.

April Felting Classes

In addition to teaching classes at Venue in Ballard, I’ll also be teaching at Space to Create for the next few months. As always, class registration is by phone with the studio.

Picture That in Felt!
Wednesday, April 16, 7:00-9:00 pm
Space to Create, 1414 NW 70th St, Seattle WA 98117 ~ 206.784.0401
Cost: $30 plus $10 materials fee
Class size is limited to 10 students.

Learn how to create pictures, write words and add surface embellishment to wool felt using a combination of wetfelting and needle felting techniques. All materials will be provided, including 3 oz of merino wool, bits of silk and plant fibers. Students should bring a sketch, painting, collage or photo they would like to recreate in felt.

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Felting 101 – Beads, Ropes and Flat Felt
Monday, April 21st, 11:00 am 1:00 pm
Venue – Ballard, 5408 22nd Ave NW, Seattle WA 98107 ~ 206.789.3335
Cost: $30 plus $10 materials fee
Class size is limited to 10 students.

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A hands-on introduction to basic wetfelting techniques. Topics covered include creating felt beads, ropes and flat felt. Each of these building blocks will be used in subsequent classes to create more complex constructions. Students will complete two projects during the class time such as a three-tier flower brooch, a felt box or a neck cozy. Materials provided include 3 oz. of merino wool roving, bubble wrap, and a square nylon fabric screen.

Felt Resists: Purses, Slippers and Bags
Tuesday, April 22, 7:00-9:00 pm
Space to Create, 1414 NW 70th St, Seattle WA 98117 ~ 206.784.0401
Cost: $30 plus $10 materials fee
Class size is limited to 10 students.

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Resists are used to create an air pocket in certain wet felted items such as vessels, purses, slippers and pouches. This is an intermediate technique that requires some understanding of how felt is created. All materials will be provided, including 3 oz of merino wool, bits of silk and plant fibers. Students will complete one project during class time, and have enough materials to create a second project at a later date.

March Felting Classes

The next two felting classes will begin soon:

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Felting 101 – Beads, Ropes and Flat Felt
Wednesday, March 19th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Cost: $30 plus $10 materials fee
Class size is limited to 10 students.
A hands-on introduction to basic wetfelting techniques. Topics covered include creating felt beads, ropes and flat felt. Each of these building blocks will be used in subsequent classes to create more complex constructions. Students will complete two projects during the class time such as a three-tier flower brooch, a felt box or a neck cozy. Materials provided include 3 oz. of wool roving, bubble wrap, and a square nylon fabric screen.

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Nunofelting
Date: Wednesday, March 26th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Cost: $30 plus $10 materials fee
Class size is limited to 10 students.
Students in this class will learn the technique of Nunofelting, which pairs merino wool with loosely woven fabrics such as cotton gauze or silk charmeuse resulting in a fabric that is both fine and flexible. Depending on the manner in which the wool is laid out, the fabric will constrict, pucker, crinkle or wave; finished products range from ruffled scarves to translucent window coverings. Students will test various methods for laying out wool on strips of silk, experimenting with form, shape and fabric. Prerequisite: Felting 101 or equivalent experience.

Both classes are taught at Venue, 5408 22nd Ave NW, between Ballard Ave and Market. Register by phone: 206-789-3335.


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