Four days this week were spent at the Royal Alberta Museum with Tracey Kuffner, a wet felt artist from Duchess AB. The first three days were employed in making three- dimensional shapes. First we made a four-sided shape, that is the little white hershey kiss shape. This was my first effort at this kind of dimension using a resist. It was also resist in a new medium, a piece of soft spongy plastic to stop the layers from felting together. From that sample we proceeded to a six sided figure. This time much larger. It could be a sculpture and I do like mine well enough to use it as that but I also have another idea. That idea needs some mulling over to see it if is worth pursuing. On the third day we made circles that are basically accordion shaped with a hollow centre. This piece could become a lamp shade. Several hours with another workshop participant at Ikea didn’t produce a table lamp of the right height. However I also gained a couple of ideas for that concept. A tam or a necklace. Now just to find some time to work on these concepts..
Sunday, today we made a scarf using silk pieces to create an interesting shape. This was by far the workshop part I liked best. I did complete my scarf. There are several techniques that need to come together in order to create a great scarf. Mine will benefit from being repeated but it is wearable and I like it. Tracey showed us how the scarf can be used decoratively and convert with a little arranging to a very practical winter scarf.
Tracey makes these scarves, with a new twist each year and sells them at shows she travels to each year. So keep in touch via her website – The Wool Mine or on Facebook to find a show near you. She does many different items as well – mittens, gloves, jackets, slippers and other items besides scarves.
It was a delight to work with Tracey. She is very knowledgable about different wools, how they work and very experienced in obtaining good results. She worked with each one of us individually to help solve problems and made creative suggestions so that each scarf was unique to the maker.
Tracey brings in a wet felt artist each year and if you are interested in working with some different artists do keep in contact with her.
This workshop was offered through Focus on Fibre Arts Association. This is an umbrella group that supports development and education of all the fibre arts and has a bi-annual show. Check out the website for information on the 2016 show with the theme “My Heritage”.
One last note – a hidden gem – the cafeteria at the Royal Alberta Museum. Great wraps and sandwiches, sweet potato fries great pastries, generous portions and reasonable prices. Worth checking out.