Monday, May 7, 2012

Making a Nunofelt Jacket with Lizzie Houghton

The second workshop I attended at TAFTA's Contextart Forum was a nunofelting workshop with Lizzie Houghton. Lizzie is a phenominal felter (and wonderful woman) from England and very well known internationally, so it was a special experience being able to attend one of her workshops.
Twelve of us gathered in the canteen and gym area of our venue and over the next four days achieved nothing short of a miracle under Lizzie's patient direction.
We began with 5 or so metres of silk. I hand-dyed mine some weeks before.
After cutting out the pieces and laying out the wool and surface decoration we began to see something taking shape.
A bit of prefelting
and drying, not easy with the torrential downpour we experienced for 2 days but the sun did finally come out, and we had the makings of some very interesting fabric.
But when we stitched it up and tried it on, it was hard to believe that we hadn't got something wrong. Lizzie assured us it would be okay.
I wasn't until another day of hard work felting and fulling that we saw the wonderful results of this fascinating technique. Who would have believed the shapeless thing in the picture above could turn into the beautifully fitting jacket below.