In the Begining

In the Begining


In the beginning;

In 1989 I joined the OVWSG at their annual general meeting and became their librarian. I did tell them I was Severely Dyslexic and was assured by the executive that would not be a problem. I was given 5 boxes of books that had to be entered into the library before the September meeting which I did with a bit of help from Glenn. Things went on quite well until I built them a subject catalogue and they discovered what dyslexia was. Isn’t Urope always filed under U? E-Urope sounds like a burp not a continent. Annoying English! I think you should all convert to dyslexia and spelling would all be phonetic with occasional decorative letters you stick in because you likely forgot to use them earlier.

In 1993 I went back to school and Clara took over the library at the guild with the goal of fixing the subject catalogue by making cards with the “English spelling” -See – “Dyslexic version of the word”. I returned to Ottawa in 1996 and got the Library into a Database with fewer spelling errors or foreign languages.

I am pretty sure that somewhere between the 1989 start with the guild and the return to school I took my first felting class. It was with Maggie Glossop. She has had the starting of many of us into the addiction of fibre accumulation both for Spinning and Felting. When I checked on line to make sure I spelt her name correctly I found her resume Impressive!

The workshop I took was making a small bag in felt over a resist embellished with an image. Mine were Iris, a bit stylized, but definitely flower-ish. I discovered I was entranced by laying out layers of wool, making pictures and not so fond of wet hands. But it sparked enough interest I took more workshops with other teachers as they were offered but Maggie was the first to introduce me to this medium (so it’s likely her fault you are reading this).

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I had thought she was a pretty amazing person but hadn’t realized just how many people she has touched with her teaching. To illustrate I should tell you what I was up to yesterday. Friday (which was yesterday) was the first day of a 3 day demo at the Carp Fair. I was organizer (Just don’t blame me for today’s weather. I didn’t ask for rain / drizzle and mist). Friday we had Elizabeth and Cindy who are both Master spinners (OHS spinning certificate) and myself, who is not one but does a lot of felting, spinning and occasionally weaving.

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Maggie was at the Fair and stopped by the demo to say Hi! We were all very glad to see her. In her teaching career of both spinning and Felting Instructor, we realized she had taught all three of us.  For me she had ignited an ember of interest that grew to include wet and dry felting both 2D and 3D.  Without her would I have discovered this art form or would I have listened to myself “ick Water” and avoided wetfelting? I don’t remember what her workshop description was but it was enough to get me curious (maybe she omitted the part about getting your hands wet) and started me on this path.

I want to thank Maggie for her patience with this student and her obvious deep enjoyment of her art which has started the path of interest I am now following. Teachers can be such a strong influence on their students. By sharing their knowledge with a student their information can inspire them into totally new and interesting directions and adventures. Seeing Maggie made me think about my first class, my first time laying out wool, my first flower. I still have that piece and look at it as I walk by the bookshelf it sits on.


8 thoughts on “In the Begining

  1. I can’t spell either, but I’m not dyslexic, so no excuses. I loved the story of how it all began. I started with a short 6 week course in wet felting, and I have a vase. I also made a small landscape which I use as a bookmark, and we made beads, a snake and felt balls. She made us work hard for two hours!

    1. DIslexia isnt all bad, i miss read billbords and signs regularly which are often hallerious. i seem to make puns which i dont see but amused my teachers at univeristy a lot. i even got prazed for the use of humer in an esay (the word Sole/soul) i ment flat fish, etherial being and bottom of foot. i didn not get any of them conected with the rite spelling. she got the meening and i got a good mark that time!

      After Maggie’s class i took about 5 hat makeing workshops with Ann, jsut besoe thay were fun and i didnt usauly have a hat that looked like anone elses when i was done. i would have loved to start with a 6 week course it would have showed me so many teckneeks to try and misinterperate and come up with some thing difernt but intersting.

      Sorry it is getting on to 6am, i am still vary tiered and have one more day of demoing at the carp fiar so spelling is worse than usual. i hope you keep enjoying Felting and all the fiber related arts

  2. What a lovely story Jan! Your first piece is very pretty – no wonder you got hooked.
    The fox is absolutely beautiful.

    1. Thankyou! Maggie seemed please to see i had continued. the little vessle was a day long workshop which seemed like a long time but a cool way to paint with fibers. the fox is at 40 hours and needs rewhiskering so still a bit more time till he is done.i was looking at him and thinking he needed an edge of an old barn or tree he was peeking around……. putting a pice aside to think about meens you may think about it and give yourself a lot more work!
      have fun felting im off to the fair, oh better finish getting dressed its is going to be cooler today and pants would be a good option.

  3. I enjoyed reading how you got started Jan. Yes, teachers have a lot of power….hopefully always to inspire!
    Looking forward to seeing your fox finished, up & looking at us….he is amazing.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with Maggie Jan. Teachers are such important people in our lives. Your fondness and gratitude for her clearly shine through here in this “English “ written article. You are a gem yourself. Your skills as an art felter leave many in awe.

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