Thursday, 23 September 2010

woolly thinking

When we were in Swaledale I went to see Andrea Hunter's studio, she is a Felt artist, mostly black and white animals - sheep, horses, running hares.

She draws in charcoal so perhaps that influences her style, lots of movement and drama.

She uses marino wool and wasn't very impressed when I said I had a plan to knit up some Wensleydale wool I had bought and then washing machine that into felt [hopefully] and then stitch it.
I thought it would be nice to be able to have a piece of work from my holiday, but she wanted me to use [and buy] some marino wool. Sadly she wasn't very interested in chatting, but i guess when you are dealing with customers everyday it soons loses it's novelty.
fortunately the knitting and felting worked out and the pre dyed curlies I did buy from her studio are going to form the basis of a waterfall, I hope.

The wool has felted to a lovely rough and bobbley surface and is satisfyingly thick.

Maybe I will send her a pic of the finished opus, and maybe I will felt up some marino in the washing machine, now I have seen how well it works. It does gives a lovely soft fabric to stitch into.
Yesterday I went to my first of a short course of Hand stitching classes. I thought it would be nice to have some structure and my knowledge of suitable stitches is very unsteady.
Marian the tutor is relaxed and friendly, the class is small and so far unthreatening [I am pathetically paranoid or just plain grumpy] and I really enjoyed having a day when I just sat and stitched with out too much challenge.

There were two sisters, foreign born but have lived here so long there is no telling them from any other middle class Suffolk in-comer.
It was quite amusing to see the tension between them, as they has fallen out over their mum's will, some years back. Now bridges were being built but every now and then I glimpsed the spark of flashing steel as they crossed swords, then drew back There is ten years between them which I guess either works really well or doesn't. It was a hot day, amazingly in the 80s, so at one point we had to draw the blinds.
Today we went to Felixstowe and it wasn't quite as sunny.
The poor old cafe has had it's window broken by the local gentry [I assume] so we eat our fish and chips in more shade then we really wanted. An old fisherman was sat outside, grumping about the vandals, which was fair enough.
But I said I thought that if the local lads were working now on the fishing boats [no more] or even could be taken fishing etc. they may not act so meanly to the community that probably seemed to them to be ignoring them.
He wasn't impressed.
No doubt the situation will get worse with the credit crunch and the poor ill educated young unemployed will get the worst of it. It's been Battle of Britain week - these same vandals would have been drafted in the war and proved just as brave as any young men that fought then, but these days the only battles seem to be the wrong ones.


carol said...

I love the sheepy thing and your waterfall-so-far.

How do you get a nice piece of felt like that from the washing machine? I would have expected it to come out in a big soggy ball. Please get the Useful Male to film you felting and attach the opus in this place.

Gillian said...

I love the sheep work too. One go at felting leaves me in great admiration of other's achievements in that medium. Do your felting projects have a plan or are they create-as-you-go.

chillsider said...

Just knit up a big square of wool that is not treated [i.e.handwash because it shrinks]. Put it in the washing machine at about 60 for a full wash and stand by to be amazed.

I am largely a plan free zone Gill

Sue said...

I don't like the sheep thing at all - much too dark and threatening for me. I love the waterfall though, beautiful colours.

Feltmaker said...

You never said it was Andrea Hunter that you went to see!

Now I have envy in bucket loads - she is one reason why I started drawing classes...

Never seen her work in the flesh though (grumble grumble)

You lucky woman !