A Spring Update from Down Under

A Spring Update from Down Under

It has been a very busy few weeks with online teaching, two face-to-face teaching events, a dye day and prepping for the Christmas markets that all seem to be happening in November rather than December this year.

The first event was the Auckland Fun Felters retreat where I planned to teach felted vessels with feet and lids but that soon morphed to include triangular plates with feet, using a book resist. Everyone achieved awesome results, unfortunately a couple of people had to leave before I could get images of their pieces but as you can see from those I did manage to catch, we had a very productive weekend!:

Purple and orange combos were popular
This skull vessel was made by Margaret, she has only been felting for a few months but is already making some incredibly creative pieces

In between the two teaching events Margaret (who made the skull vessel) and I had a dye day, she has been learning to spin and wanted to try dyeing some of her hand-spun yarn.

We experimented with a few different dye techniques, all gave beautiful results

The second teaching event was the Creative Fibre Spring Festival in Orewa. This is a new 4-day textile festival north of Auckland. There were classes from a wide range of textile disciplines (eco-printing, crochet, spinning, weaving and indigo shibori to name just a few) and it has proved to be hugely popular, I am pleased to say a repeat event is already being planned for 2025.

I was teaching a 2-day bag making class, we had a range of experience levels from relatively new felt-makers through to several who have been felting for years but they all did amazingly well. Making well-made felted bags is physically demanding but a couple managed to finish their bags in just 2 days and everyone else was very close to finishing.

This photo was taken half way through the second day.

The grey wool in Jenny’s bag was from 4 different fleeces collected over 4 years from one of her Romney sheep, it is interesting how the wool lightens as the sheep aged.
A few of the sample bags I took along to help demonstrate how some different designs can be achieved

Time I got back to work making stock for those Christmas markets…. how is your holiday prep coming along?

If you are in Auckland over the next month or two, you can find out which markets and events I will be attending here. Would be lovely to see you if you can pop out for a couple of hours and who doesn’t love browsing at craft fairs?? 🙂

17 thoughts on “A Spring Update from Down Under

  1. That’s a talented group of students – their felting shows skill and imagination.
    The dyed skeins are beautiful!
    The 2 day bag making must have been tiring but the bags are amazing.

    1. I love teaching at the felting retreats, everyone comes with their own ideas and they are much more experimental, rarely does anyone “just” follow the demo.

      There speaks the voice of experience re the bag workshop 🙂 Thankfully I had my friend Lynn as the “gofer” helping the slower students keep up and the were an excellent bunch, very hard working and enthusiastic. Making bags is very physical and there is no way I could make 8 half bags in 2 days!! 🙂

  2. I love those pots with feet, Terri. When I started reading your post, I was expecting to see pots literally with feet, but I love the results you’ve shown us. I particularly like the shape of the brown one with the sparkly blue-ish cut aways and is that a lid?
    I don’t suppose there’s any chance of you doing an FFS class on pots like these? I’ve been puzzling from time to time how to put this sort of base on to felted pots. (I’d also like to learn how to put actual feet onto pots too- any ideas here?
    Margaret’s spinning looks very good, especially for a beginner- much better than I ever achieved, and the dyed skeins look beautiful.
    I only wish I was near enough to visit your events, one can dream!

    1. Thank you Ann, this is really helpful to know. I am always on the lookout for skills / techniques people want to learn. It will likely be the New Year before I have time to work on a new tutorial but lidded pots with feet is on the list! 🙂

      Adding “actual” feet to pots….? I think I would try needle felting the feet shapes but leave some fluffy fibres at the top and use those to attach to what will become the base of your pot. Do share if you decide to have a go 🙂

      I think the pot you are looking at was Bev’s, she used a beautiful piece of fabric with metallic threads running through it and also included some of the same fabric in her lid. It looks beautiful in the sunlight, my photos don’t do it justice at all.

  3. Love looking through the students’ works. It looks like it was a terrific couple of days. I too would be interested in a class (online, I am in Canada) making your footed vessels with lids. So creative, and what a wide range of applications. Happy making and thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Deb, I have added these vessels to my list of tutorials I really MUST make time to write! 🙂

  4. You’ve been busy, Terri! Well done. I bet everyone had fun felting. I particularly like the Romney wool bag, because of the story behind the lightening of the fibre.

    Also, lovely dyeing! What type of dyes did you use?

    1. I think the whole class was smitten with the provenance of Jenny’s wool, even more so that it was one of her own sheep. She made a beautiful bag but the story behind it was just as beautiful! 🙂

      For wool, I almost exclusively use the Eurolana dyes (acid fast) from World of Wool. They are very reliable but the palette is quite limited so I occasionally indulge in small pots of Jacquard acid fast dyes too.

  5. Looks like successful classes and dyeing session happened. The results are fantastic. I hope your markets and events go well, wish I could be there. Beam me up Scotty!

    1. Thanks Ruth, I will be glad when the Christmas lull comes. November is always crazy but I never seem to feel any more prepared for it with each passing year.

      Maybe we should have an FFS felting retreat in NZ?!! 🙂

    2. I wish! New Zealand is the one country I’ve always wanted to visit (or even move to). Anyone got a flying carpet?

  6. Teri, you’ve done wonders with your class as the results show. The students’ work is wonderful I had one favourite after another.

    I too like the back story of the Romney bag.

    How did pots with feet turn into triangular plates with feet? I know I can be ‘creative’ in workshops but this is a much bigger leap!

    Wow, Margaret’s achievements are spectacular.

    We need a huge flying carpet to take us all to NZ!

    1. Thanks Antje, the diversion into triangular plate was mine own fault, I took an example along as another way to add a foot, knowing that a couple of the group are enthusiastically playing with book resists at the moment, but then of course everyone wanted to try it…. 🙂

  7. The pots are great. I think I can work out feet on a reg shaped pot in a pot but not sure about on the triangular plates. I agree with Antje pot to plate is a big leap. I love the scull. I only see one bag picture am I missing something?

  8. Thanks for spotting the missing photos Ann, I tried to link them from FB posts but somehow the links appear to have broken, hopefully you can see the other pictures now?

    The triangular plates had most people scratching their heads, even after seeing the resist most people struggled to imagine how it would become a triangle with a foot. Maybe that is another one I need to write a tutorial for…. 🙂

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