Felting workshop with Violette Amendola

I came across Swiss felter Violette Amendola’s work in the book FeltPassion. I just sat staring at her Metamorphosis piece (the one on the left) for about 10 minutes, trying to work out how it was done.

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So when I saw that she was running a Vrou Wolle workshop in Belgium I enrolled immediately!

Turned out I was not alone – there were 13 other enthusiastic felters in the studio when I turned up the first day. Violette had brought her friend Dorothea with her as an assistant, who was just as charming and helpful, so nobody lacked attention.

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Violette (left) and Dorothea (right)

The studio is a lovely space, with lots of wonderful felt pieces on display along with bags of every type of fleece you can think of, silk, fabric and other materials.

Delicious lunches, largely vegetarian, were cooked by Hilde, and there were plenty of drinks, biscuits and fruit to keep us going when energies flagged.

Violette explained that all the pieces we were going to make were inspired by pauwlonia seed pods she found in Paris. Because creating complete pieces is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience, the workshop was more about learning the technique rather than having a finished work to take home.

We started with a husk. Violette had made samples in different types of wool, but we used Valais Blacknose wool.

Image: Marleen Prion
Image: Marleen Piron
Image: Marleen Prion
Image: Marleen Piron

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After we mastered the basic technique Violette showed us to use it in a slightly different way, to make “icicles”, necklaces and garlands.

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Image: Marleen Piron
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Image: Marleen Piron
Images: Marleen Prion
Images: Marleen Piron

Then we moved on to the technique she used to make the Metamorphosis piece. We started with the less complex version used to make these gorgeous bracelets and the elaborate neckpiece that Violette is wearing.

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Image: Marleen Piron

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Finally we learnt how the Metamorphosis piece itself was constructed, though given the time constraints there was no way we were going to make one of these in the remaining day!

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But here’s a pic of the small practice sample that I made.

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I loved this workshop. Yes, the techniques are time consuming, but so is a lot of what I do. The facilities were great, and the challenges of running a workshop in Dutch, French, German and English presented surprisingly few problems!

And although many of the participants seemed impressed that I had travelled all the way from London, the connections by train were very easy.

I also had the opportunity to use a new wool for me – Valais Blacknose. Look out for a future post about this!

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13 thoughts on “Felting workshop with Violette Amendola”

  1. The workshop and the pieces are truly inspiring, I’m very jealous. How do I go about finding out more about the yechniques used?

  2. Oh my goodness! I wish there were workshops like these online. These are fascinating. I would love to try to make them (along with the ultra cool Kaleidocycles). If you ever hear of online workshops for these types of 3D felting, please let your followers know. I live in Oregon, U.S. and cannot easily get to workshops in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, etc. much as I would LOVE to. 😀 Beautiful, and creative work! Thank you for sharing.

  3. To those who have expressed an interest in learning the techniques: this was the first workshop Violette has run, so hopefully we didn’t put her off doing more in the future! 🙂 You can contact her via her website at http://www.amendolavioletta.ch/kontakt/ and maybe if there’s enough demand she can persuaded to run some more. She doesn’t speak much English, but has friends who can translate,

  4. Wow. Breathtaking, Immensely jealous. Awed.
    Those are a few of the thoughts that come to mind. I would beg, borrow, and steal whatever is necessary to attend a workshop in the US.

  5. Looks like the perfect workshop for you, taking you in the direction that you seem to be going with your work. Can’t wait to see how you use the techniques in the future.

  6. Very interesting and beautifully done stuff. I am glad I came across your blog ,will look forward to see your next post . Thanks

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