Tuesday, May 26, 2009
For three days last week eight members of my felting group took a felt hat workshop from Chris White at Sharon's studio in Potomac. We were taught some basics of felting, how to 'read' the wool as it you move it around, how to manipulate the fiber to create the form you want, and how to use our imaginations to fabricate a whimsical headpiece.
Chris is an amazing teacher, easy going, funny, charming, very experienced, but above all, she has the ability to really show us what to do, how to do it and have fun along the way.
She brought new wool fiber that we had not used before and we carded it together to make various colorways.
Then we got down to really felting. Some of our members are participating in "Fiber Fling" this summer, a 5-day workshop in Massachusettes. During the Fling, there's a fashion show which features felt hats. So the goal for some of us was to make a memorable hat for this fashion show. This is Zita beginning to form her "Queen of Hearts " (as we called it) hat.
Our master felter Chris, on the left, and Roz, wearing two of Roz' creations. They were both supposed to be little samples, but Roz was able to wear them anyway.
Not your typical "going to the grocery store" hat!
Sharon and Zita modeling their citrus colored hats.
...and here's the final version of the "Queen of Hearts" hat.
I'd say it looks better on the model.
Sharon's asymmetrical whimsey.
Sharon is a masterful seamstress so her final topper was really two hats: the orange one is basically a beanie-type hat, and the top layers are long pie-wedge shaped pieces, cut and sewn to go over the orange one below. She cut away peek-a-boo holes to showcase the orange beneath.
Our prolific felter, Roz, finished 3 hats.
It always amazes me how a mass of sheep's wool laid out,
roughed up on bubble wrap with soap and water, manipulated over forms,
...can become this!...after only 20 hours!!!!
a wearable, durable, amazingly hard and wonderful hat.
Paige, you are adorable!
This is Kathy's masterpiece. Kathy is a perfectionist, unlike me, who had to really struggle to keep going and make my piece tighter and tighter. The plastic pieces above are called resists, which are used wherever you don't want the fibers to felt together. Kathy made a beret, with a beautiful flower (she was going for a rose, but we thought it looked more like a poppy), as she puts flowers on all her pieces. I don't have the spacial concepts needed from taking something flat and making it 3-D. Obviously Kathy does. I could have never figured out how to do this.
and she ended up with this incredible artpiece.
ready for the runway!
JoAnne's baseball type hat was made from whatever was left over in the carding machine, a combination of everyone's wool. It's sporting a large green gecko.
Gracefull Grace designed this accordian type hat, really working the pleats to stay nice and firm.
And here is my hat-to-be. Wet wool....
to dry felt. Voila! My hat was supposed to be more outrageous, like these hats from Elina Saari. But it turned out a bit more normal.
Along with the great company, the amazing teacher, and an awesome finished product, we ate like every meal was our last. Everyone contributed food and I gotta say, these women can cook! The 3-days was totally fun. Above are our finished hats, ready to be worn out and turn heads!