For those of you wondering why I have not been advertising dates as promised for my American workshops in September/October I have been having a few (read panicing here!) blips with finding out the correct info for my Visa application. At last I have the relevant data as of Friday morning and have been told I may travel under the Visa Waiver Programme providing I have some relevant letters with me to produce in case of questioning. Whew, that is a HUGE load off my mind and now I am going to contact all my great friends and co-organisers during this week to re-open talks about potential workshops and venues. You WILL be the first to read confirmed details here and as a little taster I can reveal that I will be facilitating a ‘Complex Felt Bag’ workshop on 25th and 26th September at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA and a ‘Nuno Mosaic’ workshop on 27th September, also in The Tin Thimble, another ‘Complex Felt Bag’ workshop on 11th and 12th October in Kalamazoo, Michigan and a ‘Felted Accessories’ workshop on 13th October, also in Michigan. San Fransisco and hopefully Berkeley workshops will take place between 29th September and approx 8th October with something special in the pipeline for World Felt Day on 2nd October, watch this space!!!
Continuing on from yesterday, the next thing participants at Jeanette’s workshop did was sit down quietly for about 20 minutes to write down the thoughts and feelings evoked by talking about our objects and memories. At this stage we were also looking for a working title, this was not set in stone but could be ammended and adjusted through out the course of the process. Initially I jotted down ‘Isabella on my mind’ as a provisional title and by the end of the weekend decided to run with ‘In search of Isabella’ which I now hope to develop further into a body of work inspired by my grandmother and possibly other relatives in both Scotland and Ireland.
Although I had brought quite a selection of granny’s silk scarves with me the one pictured here being held by Natalie is the most evocative for me colourwise, therefore this is scarf that I choose to cut up and rework into a new piece. It was a very nervous moment for me cutting into the beautiful hand rolled silk but once Jeanette had encouraged me to wield the sissors all was well and I got stuck in with a good will. Because I had such strong memories of my grandmother and a clear idea of where I wanted to go it was not difficult to select a bag as the project I wanted to felt basing the shape on the little suede jewellery pouch of hers I had brought with me. I know that sampling can be a very important part of any project but because I have been working a lot recently on bags and inclusions I decided to jump straight in and cut out the template having already planned where I was going to use the various cut outs from the silk scarf.
I wanted to use the largest flower motif intact in the inside of the bag and then nestle various pieces of silk within the wool before adding surface detail with more silk flowers and strips of the rolled edges. My idea was that the bag would be equally beautiful inside and outside, seen and unseen, and I was further going to embellish the surface with both raw and dyed flax (linen) fibres. To be cont …..