Friday, February 24, 2006
Felting with Liz Clay
I was lucky to be able to attend a felting workshop run by Liz Clay, featured in the latest issue of Embroidery and a lecturer in Bath). This was held at Westbury sub Mendip, a village between Cheddar and Wells, so about half an hour from here. It was really good to do something like this as I've not made any felt for a while, and also I have been hungry for some input. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos during the workshop.
We started off by handcarding wool tops, to blend the colours. It is amazing how much richer the colours/fibres look when two colours are blended together, rather than just worked with one shade. We also looked at working with fibre from different breeds of sheep: Liz was wearing a delicate scarf made from Shetland, which seemed to have more texture than an equivalent in merino, so I purchased some to play with at home. We also made two prefelts in contrasting colours, then cut them and felted them back together. Some people backed them with a third colour and then got a lovely "charcoal" line at the join where the backing fibre came through. I was not so efficient at achieving this effect. As always, half the pleasure of the workshop was seeing how others combined colours and textures - in fact, in this case, I'd say more than half!
I wasn't that thrilled by what I'd produced, but one of the other women commented that the piece below looked like pink roses, so I've called it Ring of Roses and will probably do more to develop it.
South of the Mendip hills, there is some beautiful countryside to be seen: the Somerset Levels are low-lying, often flooded wide areas of land reclaimed by drainage ditches known locally as "rhynes" - pronounced reens - and punctuated by little hills or isles often clothed by trees. Glastonbury Tor is sited on one of these. On the way home, I stopped to buy veg from a roadside stall near Cheddar, and decided to capture the scenes below.