Fibreworks workshop

Last Saturday saw me at the Fibreworks in Chipping Norton - not too far from where we live and one of the best things to happen to 'Chippy' in a long time. Claire, one half of the shop, dosed me with coffee and I popped out a few bits and pieces for a display, including a couple of sketchbooks and some of the 'Puddletown Tales' toys, very excited at being out of their storage bags.

I had seven lovely people attending, including Emma - an old work colleague from Waterstones bookshop whom I hadn't seen for nearly ten years, and two travellers from the other side of the country, who came over specially. Which is the hugest compliment. Frances of 'Felting Needle' and Jenny of 'Renragged', both of whom I know through blogs/Twitter/Facebook. After a brief intro from me, everyone began making birds and soon a familiar peace reigned as everyone became absorbed with their work.

It was only a short workshop, about four hours long, but I was very pleased with the results. Jenny had made her own version of one of my birds, finishing it beautifully -

'Tasha made a lovely nautical bird and then designed her own sweet sloth -

A hare was begun -

After making a delightful little 'posty' bird, Emma went on to make her own heart brooch

Someone made an amazing peacock -

- which she finished off at home. I give you - 'Gorgeous George'!

At the beginning, some of the class were a little unsure, having never needle felted before. After an hour or so, they were off and flying on their own, and I could rejoice in passing on the very benign bug of needle felting. Because they did not even stop when biscuits were produced, preferring to carry on working.

Afterwards, Jenny and Frances bought me a pint at the nearby pub and we talked shop for an hour - not only was Frances invaluable during the workshop for wool-facts (she is an expert) but she brought me some Devon Longwool from a sheep called Dilys, which she had dyed herself. My photo does not do it justice, but it is a scrummy pale lime and will be used for something special.

As I write, there are just two spaces left on my Winchcombe workshop. I've sourced some Cotswold Lion fleece for making sheep with; now I just have to design a sheep. I'll also be demonstrating this Saturday the 14th of April at the Winds of Change Gallery in Winchcombe, from 11-4.30, so pop in if you're in the Gloucester/Cheltenham area and say hello.

One of the blogging toymaking greats, who I've admired for many years, is Abby Glassenburg. Her blog 'While She Naps' has been going for even longer than mine - and I'm really proud that she has featured my work in her 'Softies for Sale' series, so if you want to know a bit more about the nuts and bolts of how I work, her post is here.


Lin said...

Ooooooh, drats! I live so far away. :(

Kim said...

I read the article at "while she naps" - what a nice read! Congratualtions!!!!!

Biba said...

I looooove the peacock, gorgeous!!!

Vintage Jane said...

Nice article about you. Glad the workshops are doing so well and wish I lived nearer! Hope you had a good Easter break. M x

Tasha said...

Hi Gretel, just wanted to thank you for infecting me with the needlefelting "virus" - I love it.

It was an absolutely lovely day, and really enjoyed myself!

Anonymous said...

I wish I wasn't too far away to get to one of your workshops, I'd love to try needle felting one day!

Fab work that your students produced, I especially like the sloth!

Frances said...

Gretel that room looks like a lovely place to introduce a new technique. The photos of the students' creation once again show you are a fine teacher!

It was also so interesting to read the other blog featuring the interview with you.

Best wishes for continued success in all your endeavors/endeavours. xo

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

Hello Gretel,

I WILL be in one of your classes...someday!!!!

Looks like all had a grand time and produced lovely little felted treasures. You look to be an excellent teacher. Why am I not surprised.

Janet xox
The Empty Nest

Anne said...

Hi Gretel, wish I could have been there -it certainly looks like a great time was had by all! I shall of course be buying Mollie Makes - I think it comes out tomorrow! Anne x

BumbleVee said...

I can't believe how well they all did and how much they accomplished in short time.....

ooooh.... I'm with Lin and Janet....WANT to be there to do a class in person....... I'll figure something out...just see if I don't.... hey...why don't you make a video tutorial for us to buy??? it would almost be like being there..or .... an online group to come to..or .... well, there must be some thing!

Julie said...

A great read! Cannot wait to go check out the shop!

Julie x