Canberra Region Feltmakers open their exhibition Rapt in Felt: Reflections to the public on the June long weekend. The exhibition showcases the best new work of members and their interpretation of the theme Reflections. In addition, a retrospective display showcases pieces representing innovations in felt making over recent decades. Finer wool, technical innovation and sharing of ideas across the world has made a big difference.
The much loved exhibition shop will be open alongside the exhibition. Visitors will be able to choose from hand felted garments, accessories, gifts and homewares made by a variety of local felt makers.
A map for the location for the Exhibition can be found at the end of this entry.
More about some of the work in the exhibition
The pieces chosen for the retrospective part of the exhibition include pieces made by members in the early 1990s as well as significant pieces that show the progressive development of felt making techniques and skills. Some of the changes were possible because of Australian wool industry research and innovation including production of finer micron wool. Mohair, alpaca and other fibres have also become available for use in felting.
Sharyn Steel has been making felt for 10 years, learning both from online workshops and felting workshops and activities run locally. Her sculptural work ‘Reflecting Woman’ made for the exhibition shows a voluptuous figure deep in thought and was created using wet felting techniques where wool fibre is transformed into felt using water, soap and friction. This work is an exploration of how memories change slightly over time. With each retelling, embellishments may be added and other details fade until the new telling is subconsciously embedded into the memory.
One example on exhibition is ‘Never Felt So Good’, made by Philippa Leask and Shirley Capon in the mid 1990s using their knowledge of garment construction and sewing in addition to felt making to piece together their version of a stockman’s coat when other felt makers were making garments all in one piece with no cutting or sewing. The coat was made for an exhibition Classy Clobber held at Treadles Gallery held in Kingston in 1998. It features a pictorial depiction of station life in Australia made with locally produced wool in colours of the Australian landscape. The coat is lined and extremely heavy in contrast to modern felt garments made with fine Merino, viscose fibre and silk.
Where to find us:
This is a repeat of the workshop scheduled for 29 May. In the workshop you will use almost felted prefelts or softly felted pieces to create free form cut away felt. You will cut and sculpt interesting shapes which can be appliquéd to stretch garments or can stand alone small artworks/adornments.
a follow up workshop for those interested in learning machine appliqué techniques is scheduled for 20 June.
Chris White has a background in garment design and custom manufacturing in her small business. Follow her passion in this workshop, making cut-away felts to create new appliqué embellishments which can be added to existing stretch garments. This method can be extended to making borders, scarves, jewellery and trims.
From advanced beginner. You should have done a beginners workshop before registering for this one.
Basic felting equipment for a small project, extra towel.
Scissors, a medium general cutting pair and a small sharp pointed pair.
Practice pieces of felt for cutting, from leftovers, roughly A4 but odd shapes can be fun too. An old piece of blanket or wool fabric is OK.
A piece of felt for your project, about 50cm x 50cms about 80% felted but should be a little bit spongy. Can be used to decorate a garment, stretch, knitted or woven or pieces. Your felt could also be a stand-alone collar, scarf or neckpiece.
You may have time for more than one project.
Sewing machine in good working order, your sewing equipment with thread of suitable colours for top stitching. For hand stitching bring thicker threads and suitable sewing needles.
Garment of choice for reinventing.
The felt layout starts with a medium thickness of dark contrast wool tops or prefelt. The second and third layer should be in a design and colours suitable for your project. Coloured prefects work well. After cutting and felting to finish, the under colour will surround your cut work giving a profile to the design.
COVID plan: CRF has a COVID plan in place at the venue. If we are unable to run a face to face class due to sudden COVID lockdown, participants will be offered the alternative of an online workshop using Zoom.
Don’t forget to bring your lunch and snacks.
Cancellations: see Workshop Terms and Conditions.
This is a follow up to the Appliqué workshop, where you will appliqué your felt to your purchased garment. The additional materials and equipment list will follow.
To be provided. You should bring a purchased stretch top. Chris will also have some stretch fabric to sell.
Members of CRF and Canberra Spinners and Weavers are invited to a workshop with textile artist Maris Herr as a catalyst to creating collaborative textile works for our Transformations: Hanging By A Thread exhibition for Design Canberra in November.
The one question Maris is asked all the time is 'How do you come up with your ideas?' generally followed by a lament that 'I could never come up with that!' It would be great to be able to say that her designs spring into her head fully formed, she can only wish it were so. For the most part, they are evolutionary with one idea feeding another. For the rest, it is a combination of things, a phrase here or a colour combination there and she is off and running or she will get half way through a piece and another ten variations on the theme will emerge.
Over the course of the day Maris will be sharing some of the tips and tricks she has used over the years to get past the staring at the wall stage of planning work for an exhibition. Exploring what it is that motivates you, be it a situation, a colour, a mood, a feeling or media. All of these are valid reasons to create. You just need to decide where to start.
This workshop will guide you to develop your ideas, enabling you to start creating afterwards. Participants are also welcome to collaborate making work, starting from ideas developed. There will be other meet up sessions later where pairs and small groups can discuss their progress on specific works.
Growing up in a fabric and fibre oriented household, there was never any doubt that Maris Herr would work in textiles. The only debate was what area of fibre fluff or thread would be settled on.
Returning Wagga in 1990, after a stint in the rag trade, Maris enrolled at Charles Sturt University, completing a BA in Visual Arts majoring in Textiles. After completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, she worked as a Textiles/Design and Technology teacher at a local high school until the end of 2019.
It has now been five decades since Maris' introduction to the sewing machine and over that time her love of Textiles has changed but never dimmed. From dressmaking to felting, knitting to sprang (yes, it is a real thing) she has sampled many media and techniques. Today, her primary medium is silver and other metals, often incorporating fibre and stitch.
Workshop level: All levels, this workshop is about ideas
We are excited to bring you this new concept combining fun, a little mystery, some novel felting techniques and the opportunity to display your work in an exhibition. Here is a chance to try something a little different.
How does it work?
Each week, for five weeks, you will be given clues by a different feltmaker for making wild and wacky beads for a necklace. The clues will include short videos demonstrating techniques or written notes and photos. You will be able to ask questions if anything needs extra explaining. There are no set times. You can work on the project when it is convenient to you.
While these clues will take you through the overall process, there will also be the opportunity to use your own design creativity. This is not an exercise in everyone creating an identical item although there will be similarities.
The profits from the Canfelt Along will be provided to the organisers of the Southern Hemisphere Feltmakers Convergence following the Felt Road convergence planned to be held in Canberra, ACT Australia in 2023.
Before the Canfelt Along for Convergence begins you will be given a materials list including some ideas for colour combinations. Many of the materials can probably be sourced from your stash.
A basic knowledge of how felt is made is assumed. The instructions will be in English.
Registration is essential. Entry in the exhibition is included. This event is open to all felt makers.
Canberra Region Feltmakers offers one day workshops introducing those new to wet felting to the basic skills needed to start creating your own beautiful felt pieces.
In Basics and Beyond your tutor will guide you through techniques for laying out wool, wetting down, rolling, fulling, creating 3D shapes and most importantly, how to tell when your felt is fully felted.
After introducing you to the magic of felt making, your tutor will assist you to create a unique project to take home.
We look forward to sharing the magic of felt making with you.
Lynn has been a feltmaker for 20 years. What she loves most about felt making is that it is a very forgiving art form and often surprises her with unexpected results.
Lynn has worked with a wide range of people to help them discover the joys of feltmaking: from workshops at the National Folk Festival, demonstrations at the Kingston Bus Depot Markets, classes with school groups and leading community felting projects to create large scale works including banners, a 'nesting tree' and a reading cubby. Her current interests include exploring how felt making can intersect with other art forms - particularly live theatre and film making.
Workshop level: Novice, beginner
What's included in the fee: your pack of wool, one day workshop in small class, loan of some feltmaking equipment.
What to bring: please refer to this list of requirements that you will need to bring with you to participate in the workshop.
Backup plan if COVID restrictions are in force: if we are unable to run a face to face class due to COVID restricitions, participants will be offered an online alternative workshop using Zoom.
In this workshop suitable for feltmakers of all levels including beginners, we will experiment with the network felt method to make a scarf of your own design that is light weight and surprisingly warm.
Network felt is a fun wet felting technique used to create felt with deliberate holes. It is also called felt lattice or felt lace and your explorations with line and embellishments can take it way beyond a simple felt lattice if you choose.
We will begin by laying out wool to create a lattice pattern. To this we will add your choice of yarns, prefelt, silk or plant fibre. We will also look at incorporating light weight silk fabric and making felted fringes. By the end of this workshop you will know when your felt is properly finished.
Sharyn Steel started felt making 10 years ago and loves to share the tactile nature of this craft. She enjoys the versatility that felt making offers and the way it can be incorporated into her drawing and graphic design practice. Sharyn has also worked professionally as a workplace trainer and facilitated many adult training sessions.
Sharyn was Felt Champion of Champions in 2020 at the Royal Canberra Show and has received first place for many of her entries in the Felt section over several years.
Workshop level: Beginners and up (completion of a Beginners Felt workshop would be helpful)
This exhibition will showcase collaborative artworks made by members of Canberra Region Feltmakers and Canberra Spinners and Weavers.
Open Studios will be held by both groups at Textile Works in tandem with the exhibition. In the Open Studios visitors will be able to see textile artists at work.
Visit our Exhibition Shop where hand made felt items including garments, accessories, gifts and homewares will be available for sale.
This event is presented as part of the annual DESIGN Canberra festival (8-28 November 2021) which celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design.Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre initiative.
Canberra Region Feltmakers Inc
Meetings: 19/70 Maclaurin Crescent, Chifley ACT
Post: PO Box 455 Curtin ACT 2605
ABN: 16 718 242 055
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