OCTOBER 2019 – Report by Renita Mroz + Sara Quail
Soosie opened the workshop by talking about the importance of connecting with what we love and bringing this passion into our work. She stressed that it is the stories behind our work that makes them truly resonate with us, transporting us in time and place and connecting us with others.
Soosie brought along her award-winning Campfire Beanie and read the story that had inspired it to demonstrate this. Participants had been invited to bring along something that they loved as a starting point for their work over the weekend.
During the first day of the workshop Soosie talked about exploring design themes then went on to demonstrate transfer printing, stenciling, direct painting onto felt and masking as well as the use of embossing powder. Participants then had the opportunity to explore these techniques on felt samples, vessels and other finished items they’d brought along.
The second day of the workshop started with a bit of bling – applying foil to felt. Soosie demonstrated ways to achieve a variety of stunning effects with foil sheets, from subtle to seriously shiny.
During the day she covered more design theory including the magic of numbers. Using odd numbers, Fibonacci and fractals and how these also occur in nature.
Another transfer technique with fabric crayons was explored creating more wonderful surface design options.
Stitching and beading methods were covered in the afternoon with Soosie demonstrating 4 of her favoured stitches and a few beading basics. Participants then spent a relaxing afternoon continuing to embellish their various felt pieces.
Interspersed with all the various surface design techniques and theory, Soosie also shared tips on laying out, fulling and shrinkage. Participants finished this workshop armed with an arsenal of techniques and samples to give them embellishment ideas for a long time to come.