Back from sunny Spain, I decided to waste no time and set-to tying up pebbles with rubber bands in cotton sheeting,
wrapping more sheeting round a drainpipe and securing with string and thread,
and sewing circles and pulling up the thread to wrinkle the fabric.
Ready to dunk everything in an indigo dyebath.
Look what came out -
clamped with clothes pegs
concertina folds clamped with bulldog clips and pegs
marbles secured with rubber bands
here are the stitched circles
the drainpipe wrapping
marbles and drawn-up stitching (looking mightily like dental x-rays!)
Although I loved the workshop and simply can't wait to try it again at home, the day didn't end well. We had been told to wear old clothes and shoes and to take quite a lot of 'props' for the various techniques we would be trying out. So when a misunderstanding seemed to have arisen about my being collected and driven home at the end of the day, I set off walking, expecting to meet the car at any moment. I ended up tramping all the way home. 'Tramping' could not be a more appropriate term, bearing in mind my tattered and faded combat trousers, gardening shoes and old grandad shirt covered in big splotches of red paint. I looked as if I'd had a severe nosebleed, or been stabbed. And of course I was carrying a collection of plastic bags, drainpipes and a bucket full of pebbles. Three miles is a long way to try and keep your head held high and remain dignified when the passengers of every passing vehicle obviously recognise you as a dangerous and probably pongy old bag-lady. No, don't ask me why I didn't have a mobile phone with me.....that's not helpful.
That was Monday. On Tuesday things definitely began to look up when friend Charlotte and her daughter came to learn how to make felt. What a wonderful time we had - they were keen and quickly picked up the technique and had lots of ideas about colour combinations and things to add to and trap in the felt. We started off making bobbles and 'sausages', to get the feel for the process and soon the kitchen was full of glorious drying felt. It was a very rewarding and inspiring day for me and I loved seeing how the girls wanted to use what they'd learned.