Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Felt for Interiors in British Columbia

My trip to Maiwa in Vancouver BC is over, we have returned home from a great class and a stunning trip through the Canadian Rockies, and I now have a moment to think about how great this class was.  Firstly, the folks at Maiwa are spectacular.  The founder, Charllotte Kwon has quite a vision, and her textile connections around the world not only are creative and rich but her vision and partnerships are uniquely sustainable for those communities involved.  I would like to thank Anne Babchuk who moved and grooved everything so my being at Maiwa was seamless and perfection, Charllotte's daughter and son who were my video tech gurus and Tim, the master of ceremonies, who spins words like a chef stirs a pot.

I turned this Felt for Interiors class, which I had done once before for Felter's Fling, (in three days) into a four day class and with 15 students (Yes 15!)  There were folks from Vancouver, the Yukon, New Brunswick, and other parts of Canada and the States.  We used correidale fiber from roving so laying out our backgrounds was definitely more time consuming than in my classes where I use my dyed batting.  But the colors were great and the fiber makes for great heavy use fabrics.

The way I structure this class is so gently progressive.  Day One is Color Theory.  My style of Color Theory is approachable and intuitive, rather than scientific, and based on my many years in the textile industry as a colorist, designer and design director.  It builds from ones personal style and helps in identifying why certain colors work well together and others less so.  With six specific exercises and individual critiques (Think 6 x 15) everyone sees so many interpretations of color use.

Day two is pattern design, a little bit of the history of the use of pattern through the ages, and then getting into the nitty gritty of what it is to stylize and create stylized motifs as well as creating a dynamic and well balanced design or composition.  

We did a fun coloring exercise that played with the effects of making a design look different by changing the colors in each position, and then stepped into day three by designing 3 coordinated fabric designs.  The student's designs were rendered on paper for me to see and guide them in the best way to achieve their concept in felt, and the rest of the day was spent laying out their trio of fabrics.  


Day four was a frenzy of felting and a HUGE group critique at the end, where everyone enjoyed not only seeing their accomplishments but everyone elses.  I feel so proud to do this class, and can see even more time spent of each days' element! 

The final critique!  FABULOUS!! And also thanks to my Maiwa Angel, Jenny, you were a great right hand through the four days, and to Tom who came in on day four to make sure 15 students all had hands on attention for the critical felting day.
(For more photos of students pieces and day shots check out the Flikr slide show)

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