Hello. I believe I’m back. Hopefully with more regular and frequent posts than the rest of 2011 has produced. The months of August and September were unbelievable here in the northeast. The land of benign weather (unless you’re talking winter snow storms) saw an earthquake, a tornado and finally Hurricane Irene. Top it off with a month of just about non-stop rain. In the midst of it all, Finnish friends of mine, also felt makers extraordinaire, came to teach and visit. I was lucky enough to have their company for 5 weeks. In between teaching gigs they lived and worked in my studio. Here is a not so good picture of Karoliina leaning next to a piece she’s just started.
Don’t think I managed to get any of Rod. Or at least none where he’s visible. But let’s give this one a try, just in case. That’s him in the right hand corner, sitting at a desk doing some computer work. And again Karo is more in the center with an armful of wool.
Here are a couple of shots of Karoliina’s latest series. She is such a talented artist.
And another shot, neither of which does them justice.
While Rod and Karo were here they decided to try making a rug using some Icelandic fleece I had. It’s not a wool they’d used before and they were interested in seeing how it felted. My dog, Wallace, quickly adopted the rug as his. Rod and Karo were generous enough to leave it behind for Wallace.
While Wallace got his rug, I got lots and lots of wonderful mentoring. First off Rod worked with me and my rolling machine quite a bit. I think I finally have a good idea of how to use it, and how to make it really work for me. That alone was fantastic. I’ve had that machine for years now and was never able to get it to do what I hoped it would. Now it does!
I also had lessons from both Karo and Rod on how to improve my rug making. Much of it was review; I’d forgotten so much since I first took a rug workshop from them 5 years ago. And some of it was new to me after I’d been experimenting (often unsuccessfully). I took a rug I’d originally laid out in April 2010 (my gosh, almost 18 months ago. I will not feel embarrassed or ashamed. I won’t!). You can see the original layout in the post of April 28, 2010. It was a piece my mother just loved. When I asked her why, she replied, “the colors”. Here it is, modified and felted.
And another shot. If I was a better photographer 1 picture would do. But I’m not and I’m hoping you can get a little bit of an idea if I give you more than 1 lousy shot.
I have promised Rod I will make 12 pieces to be sure that the technique gets ingrained into the very cells of my brain. I am working on a set of placemats at the moment. I don’t know if those count as 1 or as 4 pieces. I thought starting with something small would be helpful. Size aside, it’s the same technique. Next I’ll move on to larger rugs. I don’t have a picture of the placemats yet. Soon, I promise.