Part of my busy-ness lately has been a class I took in felt making. I attended a four day class titled "Experimental Feltmaking, Level 1". The class was held at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center in Oak Harbor, WA . I have taken a number of classes here from feltmaking to printmaking and more.
The instructor for my class was Valerie Stein, a local fiber artist. You can visit Valerie's blog here. I really enjoy working with Valerie, she has taught me pretty much everything I know about felt making! This was my second class with Valerie, the first being a two day exploration into basic felt making techniques. This class was much more in-depth, although to be honest, the primary principle of making felt is quite simple: get the fiber wet with hot soapy water and agitate!
What I learned this past week went WAY beyond that! I have discovered that making felt allows me to create art in a way that gets beyond my tendency (okay, obsession!) with having everything neat and orderly, without giving me a headache! (reference Rene's post on Creativity!! It's true, I had a splitting headache at the end of the day) I like using an artistic medium that allows me to be very specific in my planning and execution, but will come out with a wonderfully random result. In spite of your best efforts, the fibers of wool are going to move around, that's what makes them stick together! The trick is to keep them from moving so much that you lose what you intended . Of course, sometimes you get something totally unintended that turns out beautiful.
Text about Whidbey Island.