Day one started with everyone finding their working space and being introduced to Charlotte. I must admit to being a little star struck. (so much so that despite being one of the first there I didn’t talk to her until well into the first day!) We were in a huge hall at the Elsecar Heritage Centre which was already set up with materials and workstations. There was a great tea/coffee area which was always well stocked thanks to the tireless work of Liz.
Very important to me – Regular access to tea.
There was a table piled high with needlepunch ……OOooo it was beautiful.
And the back wall was tops, tops, tops. With a smattering of yak, tussah and other fibres. We were all really excited and couldn’t wait to start. Charlotte had pre-prepared handouts on shrinkage ratios and after a tutor session on patterns and a Q&A session we were up watching her stretch needle felt and layer fibres and fabric. I would love to share what we learnt, but it is not mine to share… you will have to go on a course with Charlotte. And anyway I couldn’t do it justice as she is a very generous teacher who really knows her craft. And then we were off. Everyone set off to make samples and try different techniques. The atmosphere was so creative and ideas were bouncing around. I wanted to understand all the technicalities of the materials we were using and set to making samples exploring shrinkage and scale. I worked in the same colour for all my samples to free myself from the distraction of colour. I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore and learn. We were free to try what ever took our fancy and some students were creating amazing samples – good enough to frame. Art pieces in their own right.
I had blisters from my wellies at Rockness and so when 5 o’clock came I was ready to go. I hadn’t been to sleep at all the night before and was looking forward to bed. Red2white and I set off for food and rest. Heads full of ideas and possibilities.