Felting in Portugal

I’m here on a felting holiday with Nicola Brown. My technique is improving in leaps and bounds. One of the things we are learning is Eco printing which is different to dyeing as Nicola keeps emphasising.

Here is our first experiment being laid out to see what result we get from the eucalyptus and oak we have picked.


In an Art Nouveau Style

Went to pick up my two glass panels yesterday from the Rainbow Glass Studios as I know there is an open studio for past students on most Monday and Tuesday evenings.  Richard emailed me earlier in the day to say that the greens had turned out as blues – he had mixed the colours for me himself as I was in such a hurry at the end of the Sunday session and had no idea why this had happened! We certainly hadn’t had time to do a test firing.  What did I say about not being able to see the actual colour when you are painting it on….!

Anyway to correct this he had silver stained the back of the leaves to add yelllow and turn them green so was I happy for him re fire?  I was… and by some happy accident as he admitted it had turned out the most beautiful colours and very art nouveauish.  I had used a book of free use Art Nouveau designs as a starting point so it was particularly appropriate.

Here is a link to the Rainbow Studios website where Richard has posted the work finished by myself and other students in the class (no ‘J’ panel as it’s not finished yet, but mine are the ‘T’ and the owl.)


Although this blog was started to discuss feltmaking embroidery seems to have taken the upper hand of recent times – mostly as it’s easier to carry round and grab the odd half an hour here and there.

I did a feltmaking course with Heather Belcher at the City Lit in March, which didn’t really get a mention despite being tremendously useful.  Coming at feltmaking from a fine art and sculptural perspective really suits my style and gave me a number of new ideas and ways of working…

However apart from those four Saturdays I haven’t really done anything worth mentioning until the recent bank holiday weekend.  I go to Portugal next month for a week long feltmaking holiday with Nicola Brown, and I thought I really ought to get in some practice – so I felted a new hatband for my straw hat (I am hoping the weather will justify wearing it!!)  The design is based around a bowl I produced in Heather’s course.


The grey background references stone walls and lichen, and the flowers are made from some of the naturally dyed wool I brought back from Wild Rose in Scotland last year.  I carded this together with some bought Shetland and silk mix.  They are primroses although a bit big to be naturalistic – I really must get it into my head that Shetland doesn’t necessarily shrink as much as Merino!  But I am pleased with their delicacy. I decided as they were on a hat I didn’t need to felt them as hard as I might other items.  I even used some embroidery wool to add a properly primrose like yellow centre.  I debated whether to put some leaves in, but ultimately thought that the more two tone yellow and grey was rather lovely and I didn’t want to disrupt it with any green.