Jean Gauger's Butterfly Shawl class that I took at Felter's Fling was so much fun! We worked in a large tent, starting out with drooling over some of Jean's shawls (which I'd long admired on her website, Sugarplum Originals- one is shown here, above) and getting a feel for the steps we'd take to create our own shawls over the next 3 days. Jean showed us lots of inspiring examples, and we were encouraged to look at photos of butterflies for ideas as well (although none of us were trying for an exact duplication)
Jean showed us how to make "eyes" on our wings, and we each made sample squares to get a feel for how the silk and wool would interact upon felting/fulling.
Laying out our fibers and silk took over a full day, as we used silk chiffon, habotai silk, merino, tussah silk, and scraps of silk gauze to achieve the effect. My back has complained about this laying out phase ever since, as there was lots of leaning, climbing on the table, etc!
Terry's shawl, nearing the end of the layout process.
Deb's gorgeous piece, wetted down and ready for fulling.
Most of our shawls, completed (a few people had to leave early)
Close up of my butterfly shawl.
Proudly modeling my finished shawl
Jean was such a warm and enthusiastic teacher, I truly hope to stay in touch with her. Her talent and artistry is truly original. She put together this awesome YouTube video of our class during the process, I hope you enjoy it!
It already seems like a dream, but this great event was punctuated by the threat of Hurricane Irene (my first hurricane!). It became apparent by Friday that we were in line for the storm, and we got word that flights out of all of the nearby airports were being cancelled for Sunday (the day when those of us from out of the area were flying home). Fortunately, everything was well in hand at home so I never really panicked over my delay, and my husband advised me to simply "be flexible." I was rescheduled for a flight leaving on Tuesday morning, and resigned myself to lots of reading on my trusty iPad (which I was so grateful to have for monitoring the weather radar, skypeing to home, and confirming flights to name a few things...)
Snow Farm and Sharon Costello did a great job of keeping us informed, providing flashlights and water in case of power outages, and rearranging our airport shuttle schedule. The storm hit at about 2 AM on Saturday night after light rain, and all it amounted to for us was about 18-20 hours of HARD steady rain and moderate, steady wind. I feel so sorry for those in hard-hit Vermont and other areas.... and grateful that we didn't experience the same!
Somebody with a bubble-wrap rain poncho!
There were only about 25 of us left at Snow Farm on Sunday, and many of us had the chance to take a "bonus" class with Marjolein Dalinga of Bloomfelt, which seemed to make it all worthwhile! I had long admired her work, and was so impressed with her presentation given earlier in the week, in which she shared her artwork, philosophy, and sources of her own inspiration. Marjolein has a unique career of creating amazing costumes and prop pieces for the Cirque de Soleil. Here are a few photos of the piece I created during her enjoyable class... you can decide what it is!
I was invited by the "Colorado ladies" to spend the day with them on Monday, and had a wonderful time shopping (we visited Osgood's huge fabric warehouse and raided their silk stash) and returned to New England Felting supply (and yes, I found some things I'd missed on the previous visit!) Rather than an anticlimatic end to a great trip killing time at an impersonal airport, I had a fun-filled day with these energetic and interesting ladies (Cathy, Fran, Deb and Barb- the only other alpaca breeder at The Fling).
I'm so thankful that I had the chance to attend Felter's Fling, and I can already tell a huge difference in my skills and creativity in my work here at home! (Just what I was hoping for....)