Felting Workshops - NSW/Northern Rivers
Creative freedom - the art of felting
The ancient craft of felting has been practiced by many cultures around the world and has its share of legends that date back to biblical times. One tale has Moses filling holes in the arc with sheep wool, which, when mixed with sea water and matted, made the boat watertight. Another tale dates back almost as far; a monk on a pilgrimage in colder climes fills his leaking shoes with pieces of discarded fleece, which when mixed with the monks sweat and the friction of walking, created the perfect pair of warm and waterproof insoles for his thin, worn shoes. Whatever the truth, felting has been around for a very long time, with most academic accounts quoting the first century AD. The Mongolians still use it to construct their yurts (nomadic tent-like homes), which are incidentally impervious to rain, snow and wind – pretty handy if you live in Mongolia! Many nomadic tribes from the Gobi desert to Central Asia have an ancient history of felting, living on the wealth of their herds of sheep, camels or goats.
Felt is a non-woven textile and is made by placing clean carded natural wool fibers in the shape or mass desired, then matting, beating, condensing, heating & pressing & fulling them to the required thickness. While some types of felt are very soft, felt can be tough enough to form construction material and may be hard enough to turn on a lathe or soft enough to be sewn. It can be of any colour & made into any shape or size, it does not ravel or fray and is water repellent.
One of the great things about making felt is that it requires no fancy or expensive equipment. The most valuable and hard-working component in the process will be yourself, so prepare yourself for the day of attending a feltmaking workshop being well rested and nourished, ready for a day of creative and physical activity. The transformation of wool into felt is magical and great fun to do. Anyone can make felt!
Using Australian merino wool you will be able to make a long flat piece of felt using techniques such as nuno or flat felting and how to add other materials such as knitting yarns, silks and materials to give effect.
Suzanne Mc Gauley - Felt Artist in the hills of Nimbin NSW
Born and bred in Germany Suzanne has been living in the Northern Rivers over the last 19 years.
Having painted and making ceramics since childhood, she is now studying Visual Arts.
Suzanne McGauley mosaic artist, painter, ceramicist and felt artist striving for excellence in the arts and deeply passionate about all things mosaic.
She devoted herself to learning mosaic skills and exploring new methods and created lots of decoratve mosaics in gardens and houses.
Developing her own artistic style, Suzanne dedicates her time to creating unique mosaic artworks and is planning to teach her whimsical and traditional styles in her workshops.