On February 12th after a couple of cancellations due to snow, the first class in the Currents series of FREE art workshops finally took place. The eager participants with experience levels ranging from, “Well I’ve sewed on a button” to professional level fiber artist, gathered items from the extensive range of supplied materials and began to develop a project after the first demonstration of dry needle felting. This felting technique is an easy one to master and uses minimal, inexpensive materials. It also provides a surface that is receptive to further stitching and embellishment techniques.
While most people worked with the dyed and natural fleeces provided, one person had gathered brushings from a dog and felted that into a small 3D portrait of THAT dog! Others used their initial felted object in combination with a diverse range of fabrics, yarns and threads and created; a medal of love, a very personal memorial portrait of a friend, a ritual figure, small felted ‘paintings’ of color and texture and repair ears for a beloved stuffed lamb. It is always so fascinating to see how individuals interpret a project that uses similar materials and a simple technique and then take it off down such unique and personal pathways of exploration.
Throughout the day other demos covered the workings of a sewing machine, lucet made braid, fabric strip cordage, fabric beads, and some simple embroidery stitches. A couple of people brought along some favorite clothing that was in need of mending and patches for continued use. So heads bent down over the clothing while possible solutions were considered.
At one point during the day I heard……nothing. Everyone had their heads tipped over their work, caught up in their project, fully engaged in the process of creating.
The day wasn’t always silent though. An aspect of the workshop so appreciated by all, was the opportunity to meet together in a space to share, chat and get to know others outside of our now so limited covid networks. Old friends reconnected and new ones were made.
Once again we experienced the importance of ART in all of our lives.