Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A Charity Worth Giving To

My felt coat/jacket/dress/bathrobe came out great. Nine members from my felting group took a 3-day workshop from Charity Van der Meer last week. 

I've never enjoyed a workshop so much. I threw wool, silk, nebs, crinkle chiffon, organza yarn, and mohair locks on a base of silk chiffon to create this purply/turqouisey splash of color.

Charity hails from Zambia but is now residing in Holland. She's here in the States for two months teaching workshops and sightseeing. Her felted creations are truly inspiring and I am so thrilled that I got to take her class.  

Even her hair is a felted work of art!

We had fun playing dress up with her felt garments.

I came with a pile of materials, all hand dyed purple, fuscia and turquoise.

For some reason these colors are not the true colors of my finished garment. Something to do with the light or exposure.

We laid (or Bev said I threw) the embellishments on, rolled it all up in bubble wrap and got to felting. We were in air conditioning but a few of us took our bundles outside so they could be in the sun (with black plastic over them to create an oven) to heat up so it would felt faster. Hey, whatever works!

Kathy's hand dyed pile of goodness.

Here it is in the laying out stage.

Bev's subtle coloring.

Paige methodically laying out her hand dyed fiber.

Margo took a full day meticulously laying out her design. It was stunning. 
I have not seen the finished coat yet but I'm sure it is breathtaking.

I loved Charity's style of teaching. It was laisse faire, not exacting, use lots of water and soap and it'll get the job done. Some teachers are so finicky about just doing it one way. She's fun, funny, approachable and I just wanted to keep her forever.

So after we rolled for a bit (a bit can be 1/2 hour to 2 hours), we tried our pieces on and then could determine where we needed to shrink it. Paige needs to shrink it everywhere.

I worked mine in various places like the waist, to bring it in or the sides so they wouldn't bulge out.

The most confusing part of the entire project was figuring out the collar. What's inside, what's outside, what overlaps....? Luckily Charity had much patience with me.

I'm into lots of color and texture (duh!) and had fun just putting lots of it on.

Silk ponge and organza float on the bottom, giving a real girly look to the garment. Hands off Stevie Nicks!

Grace made a 'duster', a long vest that has an open slit weave piece in the back. Hers is full of texture too and a lot more color than just reds. WoW!

I have found that wool is so malleable, especially great for fitting a garment to your body. A pull here, a tug there shapes it to your form. And Charity was a master at this.

So...this was supposed to be a 3-day workshop but Dear Derecho struck late Friday night. The Unitarian church where we were holding our workshop was damaged by the storm and anyway there was no electricity. None of us had electricity. But on Sunday, a few of us went over to Sharon's to work on our piece with Charity. We brought water and worked in the natural light. Some of the photos were taken in Sharon's front yard. This tree was split down the middle, creating an opening that we could fit in to.

Sharon's felt garments always turn out extraordinary. She has such an eye for design.

Zita's jacket is understated elegance. All black with just a hint of a secret color.

I was so disappointed to not get to see everyone's finished jacket. But at our next meeting we'll have a show and tell and I'll post the final pieces. I'm going to make a big fused glass button for my closure and when it gets cool enough to wear it, I'll be strutting my peacock coat. Bev and I are getting together soon to make another one so we don't forget how. Fun, fun in the summertime! Thanks so much Charity for sharing your vast knowledge and mad felting skills. 

1 comment:

Linda in Waterloo said...

Holy Cannoli those are beautiful. Thanks for the wonderful posts.