Bloomfelt Workshop with Marjolein Dallinga

I had the absolute best weekend ever! I treated myself to something I never get to do – go to an art workshop. I am usually the one teaching workshops but it was so refreshing and full of spoils that I actually got to attend one by someone who inspires me so much – Marjolein Dallinga of http://www.bloomfelt.com. She is an incredible felter, originally from Holland, who now lives in Canada and sometimes teaches workshops. Her work is incredible, so much so that she costumes for Cirque de Soleil. However, all of that aside, I found Marjolein to be a wonderful, kind and sincere person who is able to bring people down from the speed, stress, and obsessiveness of a consuming environment. She basically puts into perspective how you should enjoy the process of everything you do, think about what you are giving of yourself in your work, and how you can define yourself as an individual artist or maker. I still have many of her poetic words swirling in my brain and I just want to run, or perhaps stroll, with all of the inspiration she filled me with.

Marjolein taught us so much about the felting process, pre-felts, and taking care. I feel really good about the pieces that I made in the workshop but I also know where I need to strive for improvement and search to become closer to a fine, finished, piece. She gave us really great artistic challenges including restricting oneself to only consuming the smallest amounts of fiber, working with colours we disliked and transforming our visions. We did 3 projects and they took every bit of the 3 days. Felting is hard work but I can’t wait to jump back into it!

The first day we made gauntlets – these are mine – we were to use about 30g of merino for the entire project although mine are over by almost 20g as it was my first time ever wet felting. They look, feel and fit amazingly though I will work harder for finer material.

The second day we created both of our pre-felts for what would become our finished sculptural pieces on the final day. The first one we worked on from a circular shape and it became this amazing felted pod like piece.  The challenge was to use colours we loved on the inside and colours we hated on the outside then to determine if we felt differently about them at the end of their transformation. I definitely do – I now love the colours and find them very soothing and oceanic – very close to my happiest inspiration.

The final project was this shell like sculptural piece. The inside was done in a variety of colours that make us happy with the outside being a range of colours that represented the range of our moods. I really love this one. It started as a giant egg shape and became very erotic at the end of the process.

There are more details in my Felt set on Flick here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/studioloo/sets/72157627172188958/

I have so much more to blog about but it is time to get off to Stitch n Bitch. 🙂