We had a great response at the fiber festival held at Washington County Fair Grounds. Harry helped me load the cars and answer questions at the booth. Couldn't have done without his help. He's gotten very good at felt talk. It was trial by fire when I came down with the flu before my first open studio. He stepped up to the plate and won a gold star from me, but this is where I know he'd rather be, with his bike on a mountian:
In its second year, this fiber event about doubled in the number of vendors. Nothing like the sea of people at Rhinebeck, but the visitors seemed happy about that! We took a lot of names on the Luckystone email list, and it was great to learn that everyone seemed familiar with the Shirt Factory- home to my studio. There has been a big effort to promote and improve the building to increase visitation and improve the visitor's experience and it appears to be paying off. The general feedback is "what a cool place".
Demo- took me much longer than I expected to finish a nuno scarf. I should have known it would... I enjoy the methodical but spontaneous lay out process. I laid out a fine layer of merino and silk on shibori dyed silk fabric for my demo. Answering questions and the usual interruptions in public slowed me down even slower. My plan was to demo nuno in the morning and make bracelets with kids in the afternoon. I kept to schedule but it took me both mornings to finish the scarf. It's always funny to answer how we get the wool to stick to the fabric and let people know that no, it isn't boiled.
I displayed a lot of felt as examples of workshop topics I teach. Strong interest in the felted and stitched pieces I had out as samples for the Artfelt Techniques workshop I'll be teaching at Rhinebeck's NY Sheep and Wool Festival in October. I think people relate to stitched work more readily than felt alone. I believe it is the element of the familiar. I planned the workshop to encourage people to have confidence to explore. An alternative to feeling that they aren't artistic... I just want them to feel when they create their felt. Always my band wagon, to coax people to trust in their abilities, if they have an instinct to try.
I owe a word of thanks to Fiona Duthie who included info about my studio and a blurb I wrote about teaching at these two NY fiber festivals in her Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts Guide to Fall Fiber Festivals in the US. A couple of visitors to my booth came from reading the article in this Canadian publication. (Fiona was a student at the June felting retreat I organized at Silver Bay with Polly and Sachiko).
I apologize that this wasn't posted after I wrote it. Still learning about posting technicalities!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
For a few days after the Silver Bay retreat, Sachiko hung out in my studio. She was so energized from teaching, she just wanted to felt. I worked on dull paperwork while she spent hours on an intricate double sided layout that she felted. It was as gorgeous before felting as it was after. We had fun, she was a wonderful visitor. Always some wisdom or humor from her, and we had long talks about her life and artistic philosophy. I'm always curious and eager to hear about unfamiliar places and experiences so I loved it all. Here are some images of Sachiko at work in the studio, and during a break at the fabulous Chocolate Mill in Glens Falls!
|Sachiko's intricate layout, prefelts, fabrics- double sided|
|detail of Sachiko's layout|
|serene Sachiko with her beautiful sweet at the Chocolate Mill|
|Emily laying out calamari felt|
|checking out Emily's felted calamari piece|
|Sachiko showing her Ori-kiri to the class|
The next June felting retreat was the "BYOF" (bring your own felt), held in Kelloggsville, NY, in what Polly has dubbed the "Odd Felter's Hall". It was a mentored retreat, organized as a fund raiser for our family cottage, The Woodlot. Mentors included Polly, Cher Benda, Sachiko and myself. Felters stayed at the Woodlot, about a mile from the Odd Felter's on Skaneateles Lake. Our nieces (and family members) contributed by catering our dinners. It was great being with old friends and new in such a familiar place- I've attended many of Polly's retreats at the Odd Felter's Hall over the years. Our participant's work was diverse, as always. Here are a few images from our week...
|Early morning fishing and canoeing on the lake|
|Alyssa's finished piece, her 1st felt!|
|Polly and Rosanne hang show & tell|
|Jack & Anna Featherly of www.absutton.com, our chefs du jour!|
|Sherry's coat yardage|
|Emily with her beautiful felt|
|Patricia shows her piece|
|The odd felters!|
|Ali and Linda's silk|
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I always have a lot to say, but having a forum to express myself in is intimidating. I feel like I need to back up, and chronicle past events, but I will try to focus it, to be relevant.
|Sachiko models her Ori-Kiri|
|Sachiko & Polly on Silver Bay, Lake George, NY|
I planned and organized for over a year to host a felting retreat held at YMCA of the Adirondacks at Silver Bay on Lake George NY this past June. It started with my invitation/request to Sachiko Kotaka to come here to teach for me in the US, and evolved into Sachiko coordinating her visit with my sister Polly (Stirling). From there, I got excited about the prospect of the two of them teaching together at the retreat. They had never taught together in the US. Sachiko had never taught in the US at all. Polly agreed to teach, but they each wanted separate sessions. With the economy as struggling it has been, I wanted it to be affordable to students, so I decided on a four day retreat. There was a lot of interest from people from the start, and registrations filled rather quickly.
|Sachiko Kotaka, Ori-kiri detail|
|Polly Stirling in Comfort Felts Workshop|
|June Green listening intently to Sachiko's critique|
|Anna Finzi's Ori-kiri layout in progress|
|Sachiko leading class discussion about "healthy" Ori-kiri|
|Student's Ori-kiri layout|
|Ori-kiri, Sachiko Kotaka|
|Fiona Duthie's Ori-kiri blanket|
|Irene's comfort blanket|
|Kathy Korin's Ori-kiri|
|Susan Blakney's Ori-kiri window panel|
|Sara West's Ori-kiri|
|Wendy the Weaver's Ori-kiri|