Welcome to our new committee 19/20

Hello my name is Soosie Jobson and I am the new President of Feltwest.  Nice to meet you all.  It is lovely to be back on the committee after an absence of 3 years and would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the new members from the past 3 years.  I have been a member of Feltwest (and a felter) for some 20 years and have spent nearly 15 years as a committee member.  I look forward to working with our new committee to facilitate all of the amazing events and gatherings that we hold throughout the year and welcome any input from our membership.  Please feel free to come and speak to me or any of the committee at any of our regular meetings with your ideas, thoughts r concerns.  We would love to know.

I look forward to seeing you at Toss n Tell this Saturday.

Our Team

President                                     Soosie Jobson
Vice President                           Jean Mckenzie
Treasure                                       Lenore Farfield
Secretary                                     Cynda Empsall
Workshop Co-ordinator         Renita Mroz
Online Communications        Liz Owens
Margaret Bryan
Sara Quail
Vimol Imsanguan

Sub  committee Team Members
Rep. at APCH meetings – Louise Nidorf
New member liason officer – Alison Gomes
Introduction workshops – Alison Gomes
Library – Jill Jodrell
WA Craft Fair – Jan Stroud, Jill Jodrell
Royal Show – Martien van Zuilen, Peta Korb, Jean McKenzie, Marion Finneran, Margaret Bryan

Feltwest February 2018 meeting

Meeting –

Saturday the 18th of February saw the first FeltWest meeting of 2018.  Attendance was higher than expected with about 40 people pouring in to catch the first day not only of the meeting, but of the new and (hopefully improved) format.  At ten thirty the group gathered for Sue Eslick’s excellent demonstration with it’s easy to follow instructions for the making of felted sushi rolls.  The end of the demo set the hall alive with activity.  Tables were shared which created a lively social atmosphere.  Lots of persuasion was needed to drag participants from the work for the lunch break with meeting notices and T and T.

 

The news items from the meeting will be posted on the website, but special mention must be made of the opening of bookings for the Retreat at Muresk in early June.  We do need expressions of interest as soon as possible so the appropriate bookings can be made.  It’s a fairly complicated procedure; the booking that is, not the fabulous weekend, so do seriously consider coming along for a few days of unrestricted felting and a lot of fun.

Toss and Tell began with Sara Quail reporting on her dyeing workshop which was held in early February.

Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail

The enthusiasm of the attendees was attested by the colourful results – a myriad of beautiful colour combinations on lengths of silk and cotton, using fibre reactive dyes.  Congratulations must go to Peta whose many test pieces showed a great dedication to the process.  Her gorgeous samples a credit to herself and to her demonstrator.  Peta was obviously truly inspired.

 

Martien brought along superb examples of her boots and slippers along with an intriguing nuno scarf, quite long but made from just 90 cms of fabric.  Thanks to Martien also for bringing along her wares.  We are aware that it’s lots of work, but great to have supplies available, especially when there are new members.

Marie showed some delightful and well- made sample pieces as well as a swathe of bay tree branches which she explained keep kitchen moths out of her pantry!  Lots of recipients of the branches will be trialling this way of keeping out the pesky insects at bay over the coming month.  Feedback please!

 

Jan Manning showed her very thoughtful and colourful renditions of Picasso and Magritte paintings in felt.  Hopefully we’ll see more of these in future.

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Jodrell’s menagerie of hand puppets were a delight – from her realistic kangaroo to colourful wacky creations.

There’s a future workshop there!

Marion Finneran also created a  large ‘critter’ which purposefully incorporated a multitude of techniques she acquired in an online workshop.

Sue Eslick modelled her intriguing beret as well as the messenger bag that will be made in the felt and leather workshop in April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon was spent completing Sue’s sushi rolls with much whacking and beating (most enthusiastically by Liz Owens} as Sue explained that once a certain point is reached in the process maltreatment is necessary.

The new format was greeted with enthusiasm by all.  It seemed to give the group both inspiration and impetus.  No adverse comments were received but there were lots of suggestions for further improvement and that is great for any organisation.

Kerry Bertucci and Marion Finneran took in items for showing at the Wagin Woolorama with their usual efficiency.  We wish Kerry and Sue Eslick along with Chris and Nancy all the best for the event which we will hope to hear all about at the March meeting.

Alison Gomes manfully conducted an afternoon beginners workshop under somewhat difficult circumstances since the studio was in use by another group.  Thanks to her for quietly making it work for the seven participants who seemed well pleased with the results.

All in all, a good day.  Many thanks to those who came along and participated and especially to Sue E.   I for one am looking forward greatly to future meetings.

 

 

Dyeing workshop Sara Quail

Dyeing 101 workshop with Sara Quail, Feb 2018.
Techniques and tips for dyeing silk, cotton and other cellulose fibres.

Fibre Reactive Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail -Sara’s aim was to teach participants how to pattern silk and cotton with fibre reactive dyes using a low immersion technique-ie by applying dye directly and manipulating the fabric. This was done using basic equipment in a small work area.

Dyeing 101 with Sara Quail

Sara outlined the safety requirements for using the materials utilised in the workshop, as well as some mess avoidance techniques for persons and the work area. She taught participants how to mix the soda ash in which the fabric is initially soaked, and how to mix the dye in the correct proportions to achieve a range of colours. She stressed the importance of rinsing equipment to avoid contaminating the colours being mixed, and the necessity of labelling the dyes that are produced. She taught participants how to batch, cure and rinse dyed pieces to achieve the best possible dyeing results.

Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail    Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail    Dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailDyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara QuailDyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail

As well as these basic & necessary processes, Sara taught a variety of techniques that produce different effects on the finished piece. These included working flat, tray pleating, crystalline, folding, doughnut, twisting, coiling, and how to dye skeins of thread or fibre.

She had a myriad of samples including how the dye takes on different fabrics and fibres. Other uses for Fibre Reactive dyes and how they can be used to dye protein fibres like wool were discussed.

Sara also provided comprehensive notes, a list of suppliers of Fibre Reactive dyes, and some websites as references for further reading.

I think I can conclude that a messy but fun day was had by all!

Alison Higgins

Fibre reactive dyeing with Sara QuailFibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail  Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton and silk with Sara Quail Fibre reactive dyeing cotton threads with Sara Quail

Participants dyed many pieces of fabric and items, so there was no time dry them all and view the results on the day.  There was quite a display at the first Feltwest meeting of the year of their achievements as well as some further exploration with the leftover dyes they took home.

Jigsaw Weave & Felt with Martien van Zuilen

Workshop – Nov 2017

Presented by Martien van Zuilen, a FeltWest member and international tutor, participants spent a very pleasurable 2 days learning her unique Jigsaw Weave & Felt technique. With its strong visual impact, the opportunities to include this woven effect in handmade felt are endless – homewares, accessories and wearables or as accent pieces for larger projects. Inspired by slumped glass techniques and the calming process of re-piecing jigsaws, her technique involves using fine merino pre-felts, which can be commercial pre-felt but which Martien often makes by hand using her hand-dyed wool. After selecting a colour palette to produce the desired effect, pre-felt is cut and re-pieced.

The first day was spent making a sample and coming to grips with the technique. Colour selection, the thickness of the pre-felts and the degree they have been pre-felted, play a key role in this technique. Martien had brought an amazing array of prefelt and many samples to get the creative juices flowing. She guided us through the planning and specific process of cutting to ensure a well-defined result. The actual method of interweaving and re-piecing the cut pre-felts had some unexpected elements, but it soon became apparent this was essential to the process. Paying attention to detail in the early stages is very important, but with immense benefit to the final result!

The 2nd day was spent working on individual larger pieces which included bags, cushion covers and table runners. Embellishments and fabric can be incorporated and minds were over-flowing with many ideas on how to create texture, optical illusions and functionality. Specific ways of dealing with resists for hats and bags were covered as well as emphasising her specific felting and fulling methods she uses for the Jigsaw technique. Her gentle approach to felt making is evident in the smooth, high quality felt pieces that were created.   

Those who attended really enjoyed trying out a new technique. The technical process gave everyone an opportunity to achieve precise results as well as refining felt to a new level. A very knowledgeable and sharing tutor who had some memorable ways of remembering her tips and tricks!

Martien van Zuilen (PhD) is a felt artist and dyeing artisan living in Perth, Australia. She exhibits her high-quality and distinctive felt art nationally and internationally and through her dyeing business Colourant Dyeworks she supplies the finest hand-dyed Merino wools, silk fibres, yarns and fabrics to felt makers and textile practitioners worldwide. Since the late 1980s she has delivered felt-making workshops at all levels of experience throughout Australia, as well as in Europe and throughout the USA. Martien is the founder of the Victorian Feltmakers and for 18 years coordinated the Australian National Yurt Project. She is the Convenor of Fibres West Inc. and the editor of FELT, Australia’s national felting magazine with international reach. Her artwork is published in numerous international publications, including Showcase 500 Art Necklaces (book), Textile Fibre Forum, Felt Matters, ViltKontakt, Fiber Art Now, Yurts Tipis and Benders (book), FELT, verFilzt Und zugeNäht, the 2015 book Pots and Pods for Feltmakers, Adventures in the Third Dimension, and the 2016 book Worldwide Colours of Felt. www.martienvanzuilen.com

Marvellous Muslin Jacket with Jan Manning

Marvellous Muslin Jacket with Jan Manning August 2017

The aim of the workshop was to produce an economical jacket based on the design principles of the ‘Bog coat’. This was a simply constructed garment found on ancient bodies preserved in 4000 year old bogs in Denmark.

No knowledge of pattern making was required for this garment. Each student came prepared with a large rectangular piece of nearly felted nuno felt, using heavier weight muslin as a base. The muslin creates a more textural look than silk and is very warm. Every piece was quite unique depending on the colour and amount of wool coverage, surface embellishments and the weight of the muslin.

Jan illustrated how a few simple cuts could turn this yardage into a functional and versatile jacket. Various samples of jackets and vests were on hand to illustrate a variety of design possibilities with variable sleeve and body lengths. Folding a paper template helped to visualise the concept.  

Although the technique involves only 2 basic cuts, Jan demonstrated a variety of ways to finish off edges, join seams and shape the garment. She shared her knowledge and problem solving experience in how to deal with various issues and adjustments.

Students were keen to explore different things – variety of fabrics, different wool layouts and intriguing surface treatments possibilities.  There were many tips along the way.

Jan has a herd of alpacas and lamas on her property, and she explained in depth about the virtues and variations of alpaca fibre. She could even tell you the name of animal whose wool she had used in her various projects – it doesn’t get more personal than that!

It was a very enjoyable day, where participants learnt the skills to make a custom fitted jacket, share ideas and be inspired to create further masterpieces at home. Thank you Jan for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

Reporter: Sara Quail

5 August 2017