A Sneak Peak at Surface Design Class Samples

A Sneak Peak at Surface Design Class Samples

I’ve been talking about Fiona Duthie’s Surface Design Online Class for months.  Ruth Lane first announced a class giveaway on February 19 on the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum.  I entered, but didn’t win.  However, I signed up immediately after learning I didn’t win because I was intrigued by what the class had to offer.  The class was a big commitment for me — six weeks long and more than 21 different techniques to learn plus a final project.

Over the following few weeks, I found I wasn’t the only one from the Forum to sign up. Cathy (Luvswool) and a few other members also registered.  Since Cathy and I live in the Chicago area, we started excitedly messaging about our preparations, supplies, resources and after the class started our plans and progress.

Part of the class agreement was not to share Fiona’s techniques because this is how she makes her living, but we are free to share our class work.  So, today Cathy and I are sharing several of our favorite samples.

I had never taken an online course so this was a totally new experience for me.  However, Cathy has taught online, but I think we both agree this was a unique experience.

Here are Cathy’s favorites:

Cathy’s Wool Breed Inclusions


Cathy's Pockets and Loops
Cathy’s Pockets and Loops
Cathy's Spikes
Cathy’s Spikes


Cathy's Nui Shibori
Cathy’s Nui Shibori

Now a few of my favorite samples:

Marilyn's Carvings
Marilyn’s Carvings
sdo 5 anemones
Marilyn’s Anemones
Marilyn's Tiles
Marilyn’s Tiles
SDO 4 spikes flower
Marilyn’s Spikes and Iris

Since I’m always looking for functionality, I chose to use the spikes above as ring holders in case you’re wondering why there is jewelry hanging around.

These are just some of the wonderful techniques we learned during the class.  It was a great experience doing the assignments then seeing the different interpretations of the techniques by other students on our weekly discussion site.

For more information on Fiona’s workshops check out her website http://www.fionaduthie.com/

Of course, I couldn’t complete the course without including a panda and bamboo in a sample (which are not felted, just the background.)

Marilyn aka Pandagirl's Loops and Pockets
Marilyn aka Pandagirl’s Loops and Pockets

Thanks to Cathy for sharing her work today. Anyone else who is taking the class, please contact me if you’d like to share your samples or post them on the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum.

What new techniques have you learned lately?


26 thoughts on “A Sneak Peak at Surface Design Class Samples

  1. Thank you for posting photos of your work. You’ve learned a lot, haven’t you and enjoyed the class? In the future I am planning to take her class too. From the pictures I think I know how to use two of the techniques, others are new to me.

    1. It was a lot of fun. There were a few disappointments, but now I can go back and try those again. You’ll really enjoy it. Let me know when you take the class.

    1. Thanks Judy! It was an amazing experience for both Cathy and I.

    1. Thanks Carole! We have more. We just picked several of our favorites.

  2. They all look great, Cathy and Marilyn, I hope you enjoyed the course and I’m looking forward to seeing what you make with the techniques you learned 🙂

    1. Thanks Zed. We did a final project, but I think we both want to take our time in learning to incorporate these techniques into future projects. I think I speak for both of us.

  3. As a fellow classmate must agree that it has been wonderful course! Who would think such a tactile experience such as felt could be taught so well online?! Also, good to expand one’s comfort zone of techniques. Great to see everyone’s work too. There were some really established felters amongst us, whose input was amazing. Especially enjoyed your final project Marilyn. Quite intriguing how you managed to successfully use so many techniques in your landscape.

    1. Thanks Juliane! I wasn’t sure who all was from the blog or Forum. There were so many of us. I love your hat in the profile pic. I especially liked your fabric manipulation. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about my final project. 🙂

      Like you, I was amazed at the variety of levels of felters in our group. Everyone did a great job. It was fun seeing everyones interpretations of the various techniques.

  4. Looks like a fun course. Thanks for sharing your samples with us. I too look forward to seeing how you include what you’ve learned in your future work.

    1. Thanks Ruth! It was great fun. I really learned a lot and enjoyed the format. While there were a lot of assignments, I was able to work at my own pace and if I couldn’t finish within the week, there was no pressure. There were quite a few joining the class as some of us finished.

  5. Looks like it was a lot of fun! 🙂

    (And thanks for adding that panda, it reminded me that I need to make one soon!)

    1. It was Leonor. I love to experiment and learn new things!

  6. The samples look great Marilyn, my favourite is the “carving”. Can’t wait to see how you incorporate the new techniques into your work.

    1. Thanks Teri! I did manage to incorporate quite a few in my final project. It really takes a lot of thought and planning when using some of these techniques. I’m sure I will be finding ways to use these techniques in future projects.

  7. I was also in the class, and, as a new felter, felt a little intimidated at times by all the experienced ones. I learned some amazing things, and haven’t completed and posted all my samples yet, but am building quite a portfolio of samples! It was a great class–so glad I took it. (my class name was LauraAnn).

    1. Yes, I remember you Laura. You made all the wonderful vessels. You have great felting skills! Vessels are something I need to work on. I look forward to seeing the rest of your samples and final project! Good luck.

  8. I really enjoyed the class and managed to keep up with it, week to week. I dropped off a little towards the end and still haven’t done my final project. However, I really enjoyed stepping outside my comfort zone. Some of the techniques that I left til last because they didn’t thrill me ended up being the ones I enjoyed most. You can read about new techniques but doing the class makes you get off your butt and create the samples – and that makes it worth the money!

    1. You are right Felicity, the class definitely had us out of our comfort zone. But I’m happy about it as well. I learned a lot and yes, some of the techniques were a surprise as to how much fun they were to do. Good luck on your final project! I look forward to seeing it.

  9. Great samples ladies. Your panda is really cute. I think I like the tiles the best. I have done some in the past and wasn’t thrilled with mine. I hope we get to see your final projects soon. I hope the other class member go to the forum and post pictures of their work.

    1. Thanks Ann! My tiles weren’t exactly as planned, but I really liked how they turned out. As you know, I like an organic look and that certainly has it. It would be great if some of our members posted their work on the forum. We all worked hard and had some great outcomes!

  10. Thanks Jenz! I’m sorry you didn’t get in. I believe Fiona is having another Surface Design Class in November. I hope that works out for you.

  11. The samples are lovely and so varied! A course like that really gets you going – we all need a bit of chivvying along time to time to achieve stuff.

    1. Thanks Lyn! Yes, a little kick in the pants never hurts once in a while. It’s nice to have some more tools in the old felting kit!

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