Monday, 3 June 2013

Delicious Dyeing and Fabulous Felting in Buderim

Last Friday I packed up the kombi with all my gear to head off to Winter School at the Buderim Craft Cottage. This time, though, I was not a student, but the tutor! I set off in excellent time, but just over the Gateway Bridge, as I went through the class in my head, I realised I had FORGOTTEN MY DYES!!! I was not upset, but simply thrilled to have remembered in time!! 45 minutes later and it was on the road again! It was an enjoyable trip in the kombi, newly back on the road after some cancer operations!
After a few drive bys up and down the hill, I managed to access my B&B, 'Hove To'. I was welcomed by my very hospitable hosts, whom I never saw again due to my busy schedule! It was a lovely abode - very relaxing!

After a wee Nana nap, I set off for the Craft Cottage to set up my gear. It was so good to be able to do that ahead of time rather than in the morning, which turned out to be a busy start with selling supplies to those who needed them. With that out of the way, we set to dyeing our wool to be used on Sunday. After that, I demonstrated the nuno felt wrap layout, and we were all organised before morning tea!

The ladies were very industrious, and had their layout done by lunchtime! This left the afternoon for the felting process, and didn't we need that! It's a long, slow, process, and a couple of ladies nearly lost faith, but I've been through this before! With a bit of encouragement, we kept going, and  all ended up with good results!! It truly is amazing how different the results are across the class.
This difference was continued on the Sunday morning, when after a bit of a show and tell session from me, we started to dye the nuno felt wraps. Having never worked this way around before (felted and then dyed), I saw some surprising results! The silk took the dye extremely well, but the wool was quite different. On some, it remained just a pastel version of what was going on, but in others, it was a completely opposite colour to the silk, providing a striking contrast. It was truly thrilling, and I'm afraid I had no explanation for my puzzled and amazed students!

The scarf above was a silent achiever - when laid out, it was quite thick, and Di also included coloured and metallic threads. Once felted, it was a delicate, beautiful piece with subtle colouring, and so we decided to do some very specific, subtle dyeing so as not to overwhelm the effect. After wetting the scarf, we laid it over the table and poured some diluted dye on and squeezed it in before steaming, rather than putting it in a dyebath, in order to retain control.

Yet another surprise awaited us after this - some colour had leached out of the threads, adding yet another dimension!! Also, dye seemed to have traveled along the silk fibre embedded in the wool, creating yet another contrast. Very exciting!!

After this, I demonstrated the felted boa, and my students set to work with their dyed wool from the day before. After the hard work of Saturday, this was a much more relaxed session, and I enjoyed moving around the room and chatting with everyone as they laid out their 'warm fuzzies'!

Purples were popular, as were beautiful warm autumn/earth tones.
There was a sense of excitement in the air as the ladies made their warm fuzzies into beautiful cobweb edged pieces. My secret is out!! I do hope I get to see some finished boas from them in the future!
I really was impressed with how hard everyone worked, and how much was achieved. There was a great deal of dedication from all, as well as a wonderful sense of enjoyment. I truly enjoyed my time there, and indeed came back with more knowledge than I had before. Thank you for a lovely weekend, ladies, and I very much enjoyed the sophisticated finale of wine and cheese before the journey home!

Whilst all this was happening, my Nuno Felt Bridal Party was on the catwalk at the Campbelltown Show in Tasmania,  as well as another newly created piece with headdress.

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 The bride with lamb - crack up! All in all, it looked quite well done with some very lovely models, although sometimes I do despair of why simple instructions such as 'wear headpiece as garland, not headband', just don't seem to work!
Such is life.
I had a great time this weekend, met some lovely ladies, and learned a lot. Long may this continue!!

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