Saturday 15 May 2021

Online Learning and a 100 Day Project

Hello there!

Hope you’re keeping well…thought I’d pop along to share what I’ve been up to since my last blog post. I mentioned before about signing up for an online felting course, so I guess I’ll start there!

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Right, on with the blog!

Online Learning with Fiona Duthie 

Something I’ve been interested in is incorporating paper into the felting process and I was lucky enough to be able to get onto Fiona Duthie’s online class where she shared, most generously, her discoveries and techniques in making ‘paper felt’.

It really was an excellent and thorough introduction to the whole process and Fiona’s mentorship throughout the course was beyond what I had expected. The video demonstrations, feedback and group discussions were so useful and I have taken a lot from it…definitely worth the investment. Not only did I learn new skills, but the course also made me go back to review the very basics of felt making.

Fiona is a wonderful teacher and it worked really well online. Fiona is a Canadian and the participants of the course were from all over the world…isn’t the internet wonderful for getting like minded people together? I would thoroughly recommend one of her courses if you’re interested in either beginning felting, or advancing your techniques. Her website is here if you’d like to find out more, or even just admire her work:
Fiona Duthie

Creating paper felt is quite different and we made lots of samples to experiment with different types of papers. We also made a vessel.

Possibilities are opened up using paper in felting…using inks, paints and texts for example. I’m really looking forward to exploring this more in future work…lots more sampling required I think!!

There is another gem of a challenge that Fiona has made available to members of the International Felters Association which I want to have a go at called ‘Creative Sparks’…I will share when I’ve completed it!

100 Day Project

I’m not sure what possessed me, but I decided to take part in the 100 day project…you can choose to do anything but just keep it up for 100 days. Historically, I’m not very good at keeping sketchbooks…I might do a few scribbly drawings in preparation for a felted picture but I tend to just dive in and see what happens!

I thought I’d see if I could just ‘turn up’ each day and create something, anything, to put in a sketchbook. Well I soon discovered that I don’t like working directly into a book and much prefer to have loose pieces of paper which I then stuck into a sketchbook.  I also quite liked messing with watercolours and inks, so most of the ‘sketches’ are made with that medium and tend to be of landscapes - some inspired by my own photos, and some that just happened when paint and water hit the paper.

So I did manage to turn up every day, sometimes just for 5 or 10 minutes, and I completed the challenge.  I won’t bore you with all 100 sketches, especially as some of them are a bit awful, but I’ve picked out a few of my favourite efforts.

Was it worth doing? Well, I’ve learned that painting is never going to become a ‘thing’ for me, but I do feel that those watercolour washes on paper could be useful preparation for textile work and could maybe become part of the process. This means slowing down, taking time to consider colours and composition a little more and use paint, ink and paper as perhaps a way of sparking an idea in the first place or to consolidate an existing idea.

I have a lovely, fat sketchbook bursting with 100 days’ worth of ideas…I may well revisit some of the sketches and use them as inspiration, so yes I’m glad I did it. Some artists’ sketchbooks are works of art in their own right…not mine I fear…however I must not compare and despair!

Have you ever done a 100 day project or something similar? Did you find it useful?

New Work

I have made a couple of new pieces below, and I’m hoping to get those framed up very soon. One of them even includes some paper! The first quite obviously inspired by the Cornish moors and the second inspired by a bouquet of pink flowers that we display at home every year to remember someone we lost a few years ago. I love the contrast between the pink and green and it was really fun to make. I’m considering adding some hand stitching for more surface texture.

Oh, and I also have a few cards and prints available in my Folksy Shop of some of my floral felted pictures.  It was something I wanted to try to see how they would turn out, and I’m really pleased with the quality.
Folksy Shop

Well that’s it for now, thanks for reading and I’ll hopefully have more to share with you soon.

Best wishes 

xx Tanya xx