Once a year, the lovely Tracy Kuffner from The Woolmine brings in some top-notch instructors from the felting world and opens her workshop and home to 12 students for an intensive eight day workshop. Always game for an opportunity to do a bit of professional development and to hang out with a fabulous group of fibre enthusiasts, the workshop is something we look forward to each summer. This year, Tracy brought in instructors Irit Dulman, of Israel, and Anne Gunnarsdottir, of Iceland.
Irit Dulman is a felt artist most known for her use of the eco-printing technique. Eco-printing is the process of transferring pigment and tannins from leaves and other plant materials to fabric. If done properly, the results can be extremely detailed; almost like a photocopy. Over a five day course, we learnt several different techniques for eco-printing using iron, rust, and alum mordants. We also each made and dyed a fabulous felted jacket.
Anna Gunnarsdottir is a renowned artist famous for her huge felt sculptures, some of which are so large that a person can fit inside. With an extensive portfolio of internationally toured pieces, Anna is securing felt and fibre work a place in the world of fine art. Over a three day course, we learnt how the felting process differs between fabric making and sculpting, how to create moulds for three-dimensional felting, and how to solidify the felted sculptures into sturdy pieces suitable for standalone and outdoor display.
All in the all, it was a wonderful time, with much learnt and fun had!