Well we were ahead of the game on day three. R2W is the perfect workshop partner. Like me she felt we had travelled a long way to attend/learn and so the thought of getting up and in at 7am was not an issue for her. Yippeeee. And she was delighted at making the most of our time.
We had asked our landlord if we could get our own breakfast. He seemed a little surprise, but happy.
I am a lark, getting up around 6am and so is R2W. Brilliant. In fact on day two I was up at 5.30 and went for a walk to pass the time.I was too excited to sleep. Later R2W had said she was too and had been up earlier than me!
So this is what lead us to the early start. We were first in which gave us time to get another load of samples in the dryer.
This was the one main issue on the first day- one dryer, 12 students and a million samples ( slight exaggeration). There was a real back up which held things back a little. by day three there were 2 dryers and two spins. Much better.
So back to day three. Most of the group were already well into making their pieces. Some people had lengths of fabric designed, laid out and pre-felted! Others worked on each piece of their pattern – front left, front right, back etc. Placing their design exactly. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such creativity and colour. Everyone was supporting each other and bouncing idea around. Charlotte was so patient and knowledgeable.
I didn’t even really know what surface design I was using. So I set too.
I had attended the workshop a) to meet/learn from Charlotte b) to learn new techniques c) to spend time focusing on felt and the atmosphere of being away at a workshop.
Thinking about what I wanted to produce I decided I could play to my hearts content with samples and surface design at home. I didn’t need Charlotte’s expertise or support for that, but the technicalities of Charlotte’s techniques were where I would want her there.
I decided to work on something concentrating on that.I made several samples working on a simple design with only a small amount of pattern somewhere. I wanted texture and if I could sneak it in, then a little sparkle. Just a little, I am not a blingy kinda girl.
Some of the samples worked well. Some didn’t work at all and that was mainly because we were using chiffon and I like to use pongee. I settled on a mix of two samples.
I liked the uniformity of bottom lefts circle and the tiny sparkle and texture of top rights centre ( your right).
The relief was huge. Now I knew what I was doing I could relax and enjoy learning. I was way behind everyone else ( one person aside) but I knew as long as I made something simple it would be OK.
Around me everyone was getting on great guns, well other than Bev. She had made and amazing front for her jacket. I don’t have the words to describe the beauty of the work.
But she left it for too long in the tumble dryer and it felted. It was so so beautiful and I might have been tempted to go to a dark corner and have a wee sob, but Bev was amazing, she just made another.
I quickly cut out all my pieces and placed my simple design on each piece. There were different ways off cutting out depending on the design off your jacket ( this is Charlottes technique and so sorry- you would have to attend to learn them, although they are on the whole common sense).
I laid out my embellishments and then rolled it all up. When working on such large pieces there is an element of hope and trust that the piece will be OK. But as I had exhausted the sample part I felt pretty sure I had my timing and technique as close to perfect as I could. It helped to stick to the same dryer with every piece to get uniformity of agitation and heat.
A few of us decided to stay as late as we could manage and Bev gave us the most wonderful gift of a meal. An Indian take away. It was great fun. Scuttling about trying to improvise cutlery, plates and glasses. We pulled two large tables together and chatted as we ate. It was a wonderful evening and I can’t thank Bev enough. Not just for the meal, but the companionship and intimacy it gave us. As I said- GREAT FUN. I could have sat and chatted all evening. We were all from such diverse backgrounds and even different countries ( I thought R2W and I would be the farthest travelled, but there were students from Ireland and NEW YORK).
We ate and then back to work. I managed to get all my pieces done and so did R2W.Some people had already put their pieces together and were fulling their work. Their jackets were alarmingly big and although I work with felt and Nuno all the time and always work with shrinkage, I was struggling to see how they would come down to the correct size. But Charlotte was very calm and sure. She spent time working one on one guiding everyone through the issues they found. I just kept my head down and worked as quick as I could. I was luck as I didn’t have any problems.
We finished around 10.30 or 11.00. I was very very tired and content with what I had done. We didn’t see the land lord to arrange our own breakfast….