Friday, September 2, 2011

Felter's Fling 1

Sky over Chicago
I know it's been a while! Between getting the kids settled back in school and then my trip to New England for Felter's Fling, time has literally flown by!  What a great experience I had at "The Fling", which was held at beautiful Snow Farm (The New England School of Craft) in Williamsburg, Mass.  Organized by Sharon Costello, this biannual event was all I could have possibly hoped for, and more!
I had been looking forward to this sabbatical for about a year since first learning of it, and was scheduled for the classes which were in high demand since January.  It would be a great chance for me to really focus on my art, learn new skills, and connect and share with other feltmakers (with 90 people participating from 22 states and 4 countries).  I got all I'd hoped for, and more!
My friend Dawn Edwards with her cool hat
Elynn Bernstein with her peacock hat
The first day began with a Mad Hatter's Party with wine and cheese, with many participants wearing handmade hats and competing for prizes.
Deb Naremore and I at the end of the Fling
I was fortunate to share a room with Deb from Taos, NM- it made me feel like I was back in college as we compared notes and told stories each night.  We got along great and I look forward to staying in touch with her.
My first class was with Chad Alice Hagen on resist dyeing and book binding.  Using undyed wool prefelts, we clamped various items onto the folded felt before putting into a dye bath, and each piece went through a series of up to 3 dyes with changes in the folding and clamping in between. Here are some of my results:
One thing about workshops is that you learn a lot about teaching from the teachers, and I hope to schedule some new classes here soon.  Chad Hagen was a master- enthusiastic and funny but extremely organized and methodical.  When one is teaching something as detailed as bookbinding, keeping everyone together and on the same step is really important, and she seemed to anticipate our every move and question.  There was something so reassuring about her approach, and I had flashbacks of the joy of being in art class in about 4th grade with colorful materials before me and just waiting to create!  It was a wonderful feeling to relive.

Here are my two finished books, which I will always treasure as mementos of this trip.

We had a great side trip to New England Felting Supply in Easthampton, a feltmaker's paradise!  (We got to drive through the beautiful campus of Smith College in Northampton, too).  Situated in an old theater, they had everything one could want and need for felting, gorgeous wools in every color, hand-painted silks, hundreds of tiny bags of treasures for including in felt pieces to add interest, books, tools, and more.  And yes, I did load up! I am anxiously waiting for UPS to arrive with my big box of treasures today.

Dawn Edwards and Andrea Graham, in the gallery of NEFS, creations by Andrea

Every day was scheduled to the max with optional activities besides the classes, beginning with a morning stretch/yoga and ending with either "show and tell" or presentations by the mostly international instructors who shared informations about their countries, cultures, and felt pieces.  
These presentations were interspersed with an exhibition of student work and a fashion show- all so fun and inspiring!  We were welcome to visit other classrooms any time, and there was a sincere spirit of generous sharing between the instructors and all of the students.
Sculpture made in Marjolein's class
Awesome vessel by Ohio feltmaker, Pam McGregor

Rug made with Finn wool by Deb
In my next post, I'll write about my second class, Nuno Butterfly Shawl with Jean Gauger, as well as the impact that Hurricane Irene had on my trip!  Enjoy the photos of beautiful Snow Farm, and I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend.

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Clasheen said...

Oh my goodness Lindy, how I wish I had been with you!!! Your resist pieces are fabulous, can't wait to see more! X

Loco Lindy said...

I thought of you a lot, Nicola, and about how much you've taught me! It would have been SOOO fun to have you there :) It is so amazing how felting has connected me with new friends around the globe.

Dawn Edwards said...

Fantastic blog post Lindy...I have been thinking about what a fantastic time we had at Snow Farm...What a supportive and creative environment. I came away with so many ideas, so many great memories, things to think about, wonderful new friends and getting to know better our old friends;-) I so enjoy your company Lindy and it was great to spend time with you. Thanks again for letting me use your phone. Hope your return travel home wasn't too stressful (though you seem to handle stress well and don't let things get to you, which is a great trait to have). Will look forward to reading your next post and hearing all about it.

Hope you're settling back in at home and that all is well.


WonderWhyGal said...

ooooh, I am so envious. Does everyone know Dawn? I am so glad that you had a great time and thank you for the great photos. One day...when my bears grow up (which I don't want to rush) I hope to take classes and retreats like this.

So...are you coming to Michigan in a couple of weeks for the felting fun here in Battle Creek? If you have to see me! Seriously, I am minutes away from all the fun but unfortunately have to work so can't take any classes.

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

It looks wonderful! I can't wait to hear all about it.

Spinster Beth said...

Those books are great! I love them ... I must try that ! Thanks for sharing :)

Heather Woollove said...

Lindy--What a great post about our wonderful week!! Missing you already! XXO-

Loco Lindy said...

Andrea, I met Dawn at Nicola's workshop in Kalamazoo last fall! It was fun to meet Heather finally, too, feels like I've known them both for a long time! You and I will definitely meet sometime, but I'm not going anywhere else for a while! I hope you have a great weekend!

Fallingladies said...

wow, wow wow, You must have had such a great time, I'm jealous, the hats are too cool and the photos are all wonderful!I'd so love to learn some of those things, my daughter and I just started felting this year and really don't know what we're doing, except having fun!

AllyB said...

Holy Moly! Those are incredible projects. Looks like a heavenly place to hang out with creative folks. I absolutely love your little books. Happy weekend to you.