Monstrous Felting Retreat

Monstrous Felting Retreat

A few weeks ago I experienced the delight that is the Auckland Fun Felter’s Retreat, 2 full days of felting bliss! 🙂

We were 13 like-minded ladies at a retreat centre, tucked away in a quiet and leafy corner of west Auckland, we had the entire centre all to ourselves and were blessed with some lovely weather.

Jenny, our organiser extraordinaire, asked if anyone would be willing to teach / lead a short workshop on Saturday morning. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t had the chance to teach face to face since 2019 so jumped at the chance and then immediately panicked that I had nothing to teach this incredibly creative and experienced group (most of the members have been felting at least as long as I have!).

After several weeks mulling it over and talking to other AFF members I settled on “animal textures in felt”, I thought this would lend itself to a series of pre-prepared samples that we could discuss the potential pitfalls and then each member could incorporate one or two into their own project. This group is so experienced I couldn’t imagine any of them wanting to waste their precious felting time watching me laying out fibre over a resist.

We all arrived on Friday afternoon, settled into our rooms and started playing with our fibres in the main hall. After talking to a few members I realised not everyone would be happy for me to share some samples and tips on how to achieve different effects, they wanted a project to follow…. my heart sank, I hadn’t planned for this, how was I going to come up with a project that included, fur, scales, eyes and locks before tomorrow morning?!!

So it was that Fugly was born….

A little pod critter, with eyes, scales on his back, a lambs tail and an unfortunate ear-hair problem – for the record I would never normally recommend trying to cram so many different techniques onto one item but now he is finished I do find Fugly quite endearing 🙂

To my surprise most of the group also made pods that incorporated most or all of the techniques and we ended up with a ?gaggle, ?fright, ?laughter <insert collective noun of your choice here> of funny little monsters:

A couple of members applied to techniques to small bags with great effect…

This weekend was such a success we agreed to do it all again in just 6 months time! 🙂

16 thoughts on “Monstrous Felting Retreat

  1. What fun! And good on you for being flexible and coming up with a project at the last minute. Such personalities in the results.

    1. Thanks Ruth, it was good fun and I can’t wait for the next retreat!

  2. What a wonderful group to be a part of Teri. It’s amazing what we can pull out of the bag at short notice when we have to….as a workshop sample Fugly, and his creator, certainly inspired some interesting work.

    1. I confess I had some really strange and lucid fever dreams that night! 🙂

  3. The retreat looks like fantastic fun. And we’ll done you for putting together a (very cute) Frankenstein’s monster from all your animal techniques at such short notice.

    1. Oh that is a much better name Lindsay…. Maybe he should be called Frankie?

  4. How great to have met a like minded group in your newly adopted country Teri. Lucky them to have you tutoring this fun workshop – and what great results. Well done.

    1. Thanks Janine, I do feel very grateful to have found this group almost as soon as we were released from MIQ, they have been a godsend, providing not just friendship but so much information about local suppliers and opportunities that it would have taken me years to find on my own. My move to NZ would have been a very different (and less fulfilling) experience without them.

  5. Sounds like everyone had a whale of the time Teri. Boys oh boys, can you think on your feet! Fugly is the cutest. I am so pleased for you that you are now part of such a group. So much has happened in the space of one year. 🙂

    1. It has been such an amazing year too, what an adventure Chris and I have been on. I had so many worries about moving so far away from friends and family but now we are here and settled, no regrets 🙂

  6. I love Fugly, and all his birth friends. What fun you all must have had. I love a retreat for crafting – especially if someone else is doing the catering, then you can spend all your time creating. I’m not surprised you’re all going to do it again so soon.

    1. My thoughts exactly Ann – it is so nice to have someone else doing the cooking so you can focus on crafting and socialising! 🙂 I have already volunteered to teach at the next retreat too, back to the same quandary of what to teach that most of them don’t already know 🙂

  7. I’m loving the Fright of Felted Fun Monsters 😀 Can I say, what a fabulous way to experiment with different techniques, and well done for finding a way to give the other members the opportunity to try new techniques.

  8. sounds like a fun 2 days. Kicking myself that I didn’t realise it was on. Am a kiwi Feltmaker who was back in Auckland for first time in 3 years & flew back to Sydney 11/5. would have stayed longer if I had realised. Maybe next time.

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