Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year: 2011

Why is it that having a forum to express myself (this blog) overwhelms me?  I'm sure this is not uncommon... where to begin?  How far back to go?  How to summarize one's thoughts in a concise manner that won't put a reader to sleep?  Fears about punctuation and grammar, sentence structure and spelling (should have listened more closely to my teachers).  When all I want to do is share the things that excite me!  So with appologies to all for my lack of skill in all the above, here goes!

Sister Love at Silver Bay: Polly & Robin
Sachiko, Robin, Polly

Ori-Kiri Felt by Sachiko Kotaka
Sachikio gives June her suggestions for healthy felt
2010 was an amazing year for me, and I have to capture the highlights because they won't ever be repeated.  This may be out of sequence, no matter.  As I wrote about in an earlier post, I organized a June retreat to bring Australian/Japanese felt maker Sachiko Kotaka to the states to teach for the first time.  As things evloved, my sister Polly Stirling planned a trip "home" to NY at the same time.  I got really excited at the thought of  having them teach together at Silver Bay on Lake George, presenting "the Mothers of Nuno!".  My project began when I was Luckystone Studio, and took place when I was in a partnership as Florafauna Textile Studio, LLC.  The retreat was a huge, crazy, busy success.  The felters and instructors and I worked like mad for four days in Sachiko's Ori-Kiri workshop and Polly's Comfort Blankets.  Amazing what can be accomplished in just two sessions of two days each!

Sachiko's FF Workshop  
Patricia and Al: resting BYOF felters
That June retreat was followed by Sachiko's workshop, Felting Techniques at Florafauna- a mix of Calamari, Wild Turkey's Nest, Fire Works and variations on Ori-Kiri.
what felters can do at our BYOF
Then at the end of the month, it was a group mentored retreat, or BYOF (Bring Your Own Felt)

at our family cottage The Woodlot, on Skaneateles Lake.

The Woodlot, home base for BYOF

The Shirt Factory, Glens Falls, NY, home to Luckystone Feltworks Studio & many others
A few more workshops at Florafauna were followed by my reestablishing my sole proprietorship Luckystone Feltworks Studio (I added "Feltworks" because some people thought I was a sculptor). 

We closed Florafauna Studio and I moved one door down the hall of the Shirt Factory into my own space.  I felt like Goldilocks; my first studio was too small for two, my second studio was too big, and my THIRD studio is just right!  Being Luckystone Feltworks Studio allows me to focus on what I love- teaching, bringing  feltmakers together and felting!

my happy nuno scarf students from Florafauna Studio

Terry with his Ammonite at SensibiliTeas

Terry's felted ammonite
Terry at Luckystone Feltworks Studio
My first student in my new space was surprised with private felting classes for his high school graduation gift from his parents.  We had a great time realizing his conceptual ideas in felt.  It reinforced for me that you can figure out anything when you have the foundation of felting skills.  After we discussed his earlier goal of felting dinosaur skin, we focused on a new goal- he wanted to create an ammonite for his Dad.  I had no idea what that was so he pulled up an image for me on his iPhone, and I said we can do that!  I showed him how to felt dreadlocks for the tentacles, keeping one end unfelted; then we rolled and coiled brown batt wool (like a cinnamon bun) for the body, and needled it together at the joins.  He attached the tentacles to the head by needle felting; and we wrapped red merino top around to form the head with glass eyes.  Terry really wanted to add linen top to the surface, which he needled in and slightly wet felted. He and his Dad were thrilled with the outcome.  He also made a nuno scarf with an eye on it for his mom to wear, representing her Mom's eyes in the back of her head, and a resist bag for his sister, monogramed with a finger crocheted chain he made of yarn, felted into the surface.
Students on the deck of the House of Trix, Wiawaka, Lake George

Wiawaka on Lake George is one of my very favorite homes away from home, I had a lovely two days teaching there last summer.  You should visit their web site, and make a point of going!

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