So here I am engrossed in teaching needlefelting. A workshop I often run for patients I work with in hospitals. We had the great news this week that funding will continue for another year. So I can continue to dream up crazy installation ideas like this recent one…
Patients wrote on the rainbow to share what or who helped them get through Radiotherapy, we needlefelted rainbow coloured raindrops to add to the pom pom clouds – patients always find needle felting therapeutic 😉
Sometimes you find something surprising almost on the doorstep! Often walking across the beach at Seaton Sluice, I’d look up to the headland and think ‘That looks almost like Brittany – whitewashed buildings on the headland, seas all round’ and wonder whether it was worth exploring. One evening early last Summer, we finally went along for a look – it was fabulous – the sun was setting over the hills as we followed footpaths over the grassy headland, stumbling across crazy driftwood and flotsam sculptures and discovering the tiny Watch Tower museum. We walked around the headland and back along the riverside before a well earned (!) pint at the pub (the biggest white building).
Inside the pub we found information about the history of the area – 13th century salt manufacture and 18th century bottle works, and learnt that what we thought was a river passage was man made! The Cut had been blasted out in the 18th century to make a better entry to the harbour for bigger boats to take coal and salt, south to London.
It was so lovely that we went back the next morning with a breakfast picnic of hot (veggie) sausage sarnies, a flask of tea and the children! Then we discovered the next bay along Collywell Bay, with fantastic rock structures standing proud on the beach.
This weekend adventure inspired me to get sketching, and the first result can be seen above. It is created with hand dyed fabric, appliqued and stitched to capture the texture and detail of the scenery. I’ve called it Spring Tide – Seaton and it’ll be on view at Gallery 45 in Felton from this Saturday, 5th March. I’ll be at the gallery the following Saturday for their Meet the Maker event when I’m promised there’ll be tea and cake!
In the meantime, I’ll be getting on with that commission…..
Another introduction to needle felting – with a bigger group this time! The trick with needle felting is to get the stabbing action correct. Keep the needle straight or else it’s all to easy to snap the shaft. And remember – the foam block is for protection, the needle should only just go into the foam not drive right through it.
Once again, a beautiful range of brooches emerged after a couple of hours tuition. Some people chose to use the cookie cutters, a great way to quickly build up a shape and protect the fingers! Others took the plunge and went freestyle. That gives greater freedom to design a unique piece. Details were added with finer gauge needles – check out the dotty welly!
Ideas and conversation flowed – along with tea and biscuits! Well done everyone. 😄
Once again people enjoyed the workshop and I hope that they will continue to explore the wonderful world of needle felting.