A Felting Workshop and Fiber Fun

Earlier this year as mom and I started to think more seriously about our weekend together we thought it would be nice to do something crafty together. Maybe even learn something new. Mom contacted her friend, whose home we stayed at, to see if she knew of any artisans/craftspersons who offered workshops in the area.  

We really lucked out that where we were staying, St. Andrews, NB - a artsy community in its own right, was close to the home/studio of June Cable, Wizard of Felt (located in Pennfield, NB).

I knew the day held promise when we arrived and were greeted by June, wearing this totally cool, thrifted, recycled sweater dress. The photo does not do its awesomeness justice.

For an amazingly good price mom and I had a six hour private workshop that included lunch and all materials. We even came home with extra wool and the basic tools of needle felting to make more on our own.

So... what did we make? Glad you asked.

In the morning we learned wet felting technique (using easily sourced and recycled materials) and each of us created a landscape of sorts. We didn't know first off what the end result was going to be. We didn't think to ask and June didn't elucidate more than the step at hand. In some ways this was good. I think I would of over-thought the product and not enjoyed the process, which is very physical and tactile. On the other hand I might have chosen a different concept if I knew what the intended product was going to be. 

Regardless, I like the birch tree landscape I created. It reminds me of spring in the mountains. And of course I love being in the mountains. Purple wildflowers, melting snow, blue ponds and sky. I intend to stitch bright green beads sparingly on the branches, to sparkle like jewels just as the leaf buds do in nature

My mom's green pear is a stroke of creative genius if you ask me as it represents her so well. Mom is the best kind of foodie there is - a gourmet cook studying to be a holistic nutritionist (I know, I'm crazy to live twelve hours away from her kitchen). That her objet d'art is a piece of fruit is simply perfect.

After lunch shared around the artist's kitchen table - mom supplied the black bean based, gluten free fudge cake - we were back in the workshop. This time learning to needle felt comfortably seated on a couch around the wood burning stove.

From a pile of wool and a bit of yarn we created little ladies. The first "doll" I've ever made for me! 

Miss Andrews, as I affectionately named her after the town we visited, has received many oohs and ahhs in this handmade-doll-loving home. But she's definitely mine. Even mama's allowed to have a doll.

Working with wool in this way is very rewarding and I can see how my needle felting friends enjoy this so much. If I ever discipline myself long enough to sit (not at my computer) I'd love to make this kind of art more often.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • debbie

    debbie on May 7, 2010, 2:49 a.m.

    i am loving that you did this with your mom. what beautiful pieces! this is something i have on my "to learn" list...i'm glad you're taking time to fill your cup!


  • Claudia

    Claudia on May 7, 2010, 9:33 a.m.

    Beautiful creations and stunning photography, Renee!

    My son and I enjoy felting, repurposing thrifted wool garments as well as wet and needle felting. We visited an amazing artist studio yesterday in Saint John who specializes in creating incredible wearable artwork out of thrifted felt. She was thrilled that a 7 year old really understood her work.

    Since she is so close by and we are always on the lookout for new opportunities, I will check out June's website. Thanks for including her link!

    Sounds like an amazing weekend! :)


    • renee

      renee on May 7, 2010, 11:18 a.m.

      I thought of you when I included her info. I don't know if any other readers are from NB. So you're a felter (or whatever they're called) that's really cool!


  • Claudia

    Claudia on May 7, 2010, 12:40 p.m.

    Thanks to your link, Aiden and I already made a date to a gallery in St. George next month, where June and another local fiber artist will have an exhibit. Our area is pretty limited on resources, so I am extra grateful for any information about things like this. Thank you! :)


  • Molly

    Molly on May 7, 2010, 6:19 p.m.

    BEAUTIFUL! Your first doll? It's hard to believe, it's like something out of a magazine! I love your idea of sewing on beads to represent leaf buds! What a great creative outlet for you and your Mom. PS would she be willing to share her black bean cake recipe?


    • Karen

      Karen on May 7, 2010, 8:02 p.m.

      I'd be delighted to share the recipe. I've been thinking of posting it on my blog http://www.toewsontherun.com. It's a very basic site; I spend more time studying about food, trying recipes, and eating the 'results' than writing! This will be a good assignment/deadline for me: it'll be posted Monday, May 10th.


      • renee

        renee on May 7, 2010, 8:45 p.m.

        Thanks mom for chiming in. I'm having a week of eats here at FIMBY next week. I will link to your post on one of my posts. I'll also be sharing my chia pudding recipe, which I talked to you about, talking about green smoothies and other fun stuff.


    • renee

      renee on May 11, 2010, 11:40 a.m.

      Molly, the recipe for Black Bean Brownies is available at my mom's blog.


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