For obvious reasons I’m not going to give details of how the Spiral and the Twistie were made. But I will say that I found both methods extremely innovative, and Pam is to be applauded for her ambition in trying to teach them through an online workshop.
Unlike face to face workshops, the tutor can’t advise during the making process that, for example, you need to lay out the fibre more finely. She can only judge from the finished piece, and Pam was very good at doing that.
Here’s my first Spiral, made using one colour. The curvaceous bottom led to it being named a Beyoncé spiral!
Then I had a go at a double ended version, with a colour change.
The final piece was the Twistie, and I had few problems with the structural support for this. I also probably laid out the fibre too thickly. Like the Spiral, it relies on a lot of shrinkage, so I might have another go at this on a smaller scale.
Like buses, workshops seem to come along in groups. No sooner had I signed up to the course with Caroline Bartlett at Morley College than I heard that Australian felt artist Pam de Groot was running her first online workshop on textures and dimension.
I’ve long admired Pam’s sculptural felt, so I signed up immediately – and lucky I did, because it sold out within 24 hours.
The course runs over six weeks, with a new module every week containing written instructions, videos and downloadable PDFs. There’s also a discussion board where you can post photos of work in progress as well as finished pieces, ask questions and get feedback, and learn from other students too!
The first two modules featured the Splash, representing the movement of water when something is dropped into it.
This was a great exercise in creating form through varying the thickness of the fibre, the direction of layout and the direction of rolling, and it was great to see the variety of colours and shapes that everyone produced. Here’s mine.
As I finished this early in the second week, I decided to experiment with making a multi-layered Splash to resemble a flower.
I only had three felt balls left from the first one and didn’t want to make any more (I hate making felt balls!) so I used them to create three “stamens” in the centre of the flower.
Without the stamens it reminds me a bit of a protea flower. I’m already wondering if I can produce an artichoke, pine cone, chrysanthemum or thistle by varying the length and shape of the “petals” – very exciting!
Next up – the Spiral. 🙂
Pam’s next online workshop is in April – more information on her website.