I really enjoyed the 5 week course Cherise and I attended – well, we all did! We started out with maybe a very vague idea how felt was made and now at least 3 of us are going to continue at home and all of us would like the course to continue so we can learn even more 🙂

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Clare was very careful to explain there are no mistakes, only learning and to check our strength and mobility – it turned out three of us have fibromyalgia and some other conditions affecting our strength. She was very positive and supportive about troubleshooting – taking breaks, standing up or sitting down, getting help with rolling out the felt and generally thinking round problems. So we all ended up with a towel, bubblewrap, a bamboo blind, some net curtain and a pile of floaty, wafty clouds of colours to wet with warm and bubbly washing up water [clean!] Another stage Cherise particularly liked was carding, where the fluffy bits of wool could be custom colour blended on giant dog brushes 😉 well, those pads with pins anyway…

A second layer of net curtain, a rolling pin and lots of elbow grease reduces the clouds to flat sheets, which can then be embroidered as pictures, made into journal covers, flower brooches and corsages… whatever you like:

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I really wanted to make a pot/vessel and one whole class was spent on this – having learnt to make a sheet, we learned how to shape fibres round a template and blend edges and make a smooth pebble that then gets cut open. To decorate it, you need to remember only the base layer and top layer will show, but when you cut the pebble open, there’s a lovely reveal, and if you make the opening big enough, the inside decoration will show a little 🙂 Cherise and I got hooked on this and made different colour effects on our pots, Candy went for dense glowing colour but different textures and Nicole made beautiful landscapey/ abstract patterns on hers, so annoyed l didn’t get a better picture of her vessel:

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This pot is now on my windowsill being embroidered and embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons, beads and a tinkly bell, because the curled edges make me think of jester’s hats 🙂

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I loved June’s use of colour, her bright green flowers really made me smile 🙂

Playing with colour was really good for cheering up on rainy days and the finished pieces feel really pleasing, so if you get the chance, l would recommend having a go, just bring along someone to ‘roll’ for you if you are a spoonie. I think we were all really pleased with what we made and it’s a shame l don’t have more photos, Candy always left early because of work, and l had quite tired, shaky hands by the end of a session, so my photos were a bit disappointing… Cherise may be able to share some of hers and we will be continuing – we already bought more fibres and some pre-felts to help cut the rolling down for me. What are they? Soft flexible sheets of fibres waiting for top layers – this is how people can afford to sell embellished covers etc, l realise, they have ‘bought time’ by investing in the prepared sheets – aha!

So a big shout out to Nottingham Women’s Centre for holding the course and choosing such an empowering tutor, thanks!

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