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What we have learnt

It seems a while since I restarted workshops from my riverside studio in mid-Wales. It’s been absolutely great to welcome people back again for a full day of stress free and stress busting fun. Naturally I have continued with restrictions – especially social distancing with most classes held for just 2 people instead of 4.

In addition to making a basic wet felted sampler, many people have gone on to make a vessel during the afternoon session using a ‘resist’ made from a flat piece of (recycled) laminate underlay. It’s difficult sometimes to understand how you can make a 3-D item using a 2-D resist but it becomes perfectly clear during the workshop – you should give it a try!

I also hold classes at external venues - during the summer I gave a workshop for Tir Coed in the beautiful Elan Valley. The charity held a number of workshops during the school holidays to encourage children to mix, and get out – all with a Harry Potter theme. My brief was to teach everyone how to make a wizard’s hat……. not something I normally make but undaunted I calculated how long it would take for ‘beginners’ (of varying ages) to learn the basics and finish a hat to wear home at 4 o’ clock.

Armed with brightly coloured merino fibre, lots of embellishments and a quantity of pre-cut ‘cone’ shaped resists I arrived at the Tir Coed building to set up. What an outstanding location for my ‘office’ for the day – on the edge of the Elan river with the mountains rising above the bank opposite. Sheep slept against my car wheels while red kites soared above. Had it not been for some slight drizzle and mosquitoes it would have been perfect!

My ‘students’ ranged in ages from 6 to 66 and without fail, they each made a small sampler to get the ‘hang’ of wet felt making before tackling the more challenging task. I must admit that by 2 o’clock - when laying out was still in progress – I thought that a 4 o’clock finish was looking somewhat optimistic. However, with some felting magic and possibly some help from Harry Potter our goal was achieved and at 4 o’clock on the dot we posed for a group photo wearing our hats.

Two delightful young girls (ages just 5 and 7) came along for a short wet-felting session and loved making pictures. Children enjoy getting stuck in – feeling the wool, squirting soapy water whilst wetting out, massaging the pictures before ‘thumping’ them, and reveling in the magic once they see a pile of fibres transformed (by magic – naturally) into works of art.

Perhaps you’d like to have a go? Or perhaps you’d like to arrange a children’s party with felting fun as a theme? How about a hen ‘do’ with a difference? The possibilities are endless – please contact me and together we can make the magic work.

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