Day four- Charlotte Buch workshop


I have my laptop back. Its not fixed, I am using it through a separate monitor.  But I don’t care … I can surf and blog and twitter and flickr ’til I drop.

This also means I can finish my posts on Charlotte’s workshop.

Day Four.  The last day……

We were in at 7.30 today.  I was so happy I had made all the pieces of my jacket and they had worked. I think after all my doubts about the prefelting in the tumble dryer I am actually seeing ways that it might be useful.  I’ve tried it before and I didn’t like the unpredictability of it, but having the opportunity to explore it with sample after sample, I feel I know how  to make the technique work for me. That is key I think. Working at it until you find how it works for you in just the same way as you have to work at wet felting to find the techniques that work for you.

The issues we had with one of the tumble dryers was good. If it had worked perfectly then I wouldn’t have struggled and questioned things, heat, time, load etc. and I wouldn’t have the deeper knowledge this gave me.

I thought I would put my jacket together first thing, but when I had finished prefelting the night before I had put it straight into a plastic bag and so it was still wet. I knew I would have to let it dry before I used the sewing machine on it and so I hung it to dry and decided to put it together at home.

This was good for a couple of reasons….

  • There was only one sewing machine.

I hadn’t thought much about it until R2W pointed out everyone would be ready to use it at the same time. Thankfully Bev came to the rescue and learnt her machine to the group. I am amazed at what she had in her car. Mary Poppins of the craft world and very generous.

  • I could spend time watching other people work.

This gave me an opportunity to see  all the different Charlotte techniques being applied to different pieces of work. Some times I was lucky enough to be asked to help, getting hands on experience and time with other makers. A real treat as usually I am so wrapped in my work and getting it finished that I wouldn’t get this blessing.

Today there was a buzz of excitement. There was something wonderful about watching people put their pieces together. I must be honest here, there was also a feeling of fear. How would something SO big ever become something normal sized never mind fitted. Charlotte was a constant source of positive encouragement and reassurance.

Pieces were HUGE.

dump 22.06.09 447 dump 22.06.09 478 dump 22.06.09 518

Like magic ( well not that quick – with lots and lots of elbow grease ) every ones jackets took shape.

Each time someone tried on their jacket for the final time there was excitement and wonder. Everyone made something unique which added to the anticipation and wonder.

We had a final chat with Charlotte. She was a great tutor and so patient, even when the properties of the needle felt were causing issues because they reacted differently to hers, she remained positive and professional using encouragement to spur us on. Determined to help us get it right.

I haven’t touched much on what I actually learned. As I said previously I don’t wan’t to share Charlottes techniques as they are not mine to give away. This might disappoint some ( I have had a comment) but unless it is already out there for you to look up on her site then I can’t. Sorry. Please except that it is a matter of respect for me and not a judgement on anyone else. We all see things differently.

It was sad saying good bye to everyone. It was a fantastic week and if you have been thinking about doing a workshop – on anything- make it one that lasts a few days.

I am inspired.


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