Everyone was pretty tired and hungry at the end of day one and straight after the workshop finished a few of us went for a tasty Italian meal nearby with Jeanette. Refuled and ready to go again I drove straight back to Alan’s small Dublin pad and proceeded to lay out my surface design and felt my bag. As already mentioned I had made some provisional sketches giving ideas of where I wanted to position my silk fabric and flax fibres. It quickly became obvious to me that I needed to adjust the positioning slightly if I wanted to get a balanced and pleasing look once the resists were opened up and the other layers of design exposed. I spent quite a bit of time cutting around the edges of one of the flower motifs and some more time cutting out small splashes of red and grey silk which I laid out underneath some of the silver flax. If anyone is interested in ordering dyed flax I bought several different colours online from Filzrausch. The last descision I made was choosing to lay out three strips of the hand rolled edge of the scarf on the front of the bag, my design was now complete and I was ready to felt.
Felting the bag did not take long at all. Because it had already been wetted out and left sitting in the trunk of my truck while I ate my food the wool fibres were nicely relaxed and everything came together very quickly, probably no more than 30 or 40 minutes rubbing and rolling in total! Even though I started the project with the intention of using less wool and having a slightly more ‘flexible’ bag than usual I still worked the wool firmly and finished when I was happy that plenty of shrinkage had occured. I was really happy with how the silk combined beautifully with the wool and almost melted into the front of the bag. Next time I will post some pictures from the workshop and write about a wonderful exercise (with trees and yarn!!!) we all did outdoors at the start of day two!