Monday, April 12, 2010

Fibre Forum at Ballarat

I have just spent an exhausting but exciting week at the Ballarat Fibre Forum, run by Glenys Mann.  I enrolled in a class taught by Leeanne Davis and we experimented with surface design on pre-felts that we made, then felted some more to make small samples. We tried a variety of fabrics, many that do not felt well, and looked at ways to make them attach to the felt as well as observe how they ruched when felted, giving some very interesting textures.
I do not like white very much but Leeanne got us to work with white on white to try the technique without getting bogged down in colour choices.  This worked well for me, despite my initial resistance (being an ex-teacher, I was able to employ many of the work avoidance techniques that I had observed over the years). Our pieces were small, so that we actually completed a few samples, allowing us to experiment and see more than if we had tried to do a large piece.

Leeanne gave us a pack she had prepared, so the initial step of making the prefelt was not done by us.  Here is my first application of fabrics to the prefelt.  Some of them will not felt but they are attached by the stitching.

Then we felted the piece to another prefelt.

Some of the stitching felted in interesting ways also, depending on what threads we used. 

Finally, we sewed more decorative stitches after it had dried.

I was not happy with my piece but Leanne gave us an exercise to do, drawing lines to show our path to the morning class, and it helped me pull my piece together better.  I am not sure it is finished but I finally declared it so.  (Actually, I have done a bit more since this photo.)

I am still to be convinced that I like white on white.  I think I need to loosen up a bit also, perhaps I can make my stitching more 3D, as Leeanne showed us on her samples.

Leeanne emphasised that this technique is for decorative pieces and might not work for pieces that are going to get hard wear.

I really appreciated the fact that we were experimenting and not expected to finish a large piece, the pressure was right off.  Some people produced more work than others but there was no pressure about that either. We just worked at our own pace and had a lovely week.


parlance said...

I like the little shiny beads in the triangular section.

Mary said...

Thanks Parlance, that was a piece given out by our teacher. She had found it in an op shop and didn't cut it up till she knew exactly how many people were in the class. She didn't want to waste any of the precious fabric. We were all delighted to use it.