Pat and Marilyn went to Summer School............................................
Regional Summer School 2012
With a bit of a hiccup at the start from me, which meant we couldn’t share a lift, Marilyn Hughes and I both made it to Alston Hall on the Friday evening for our first meal, and we then went quickly into the classroom for a demo and talk from Sheila Smith – Author and Expert Felter. The plan was to make beautiful textured felted pieces, with stitching.
On Saturday morning, after a good night’s sleep (probably due to a visit to the bar at 10pm on Friday night when the class finished!) and an excellent breakfast, we set forth on our creamy-coloured piece, using silk tops, threads, waste, cocoons, hemp, linen etc and a white merino backing, lightly felted. We hung our masterpieces on a string washing line outside the classroom, in the sun (!), and from then on our colleagues in the other tutor groups could view the work as they went by. Stitching was added once dry, and then another lot of felting produced quite a fine piece of felt for the washing line.
We then embarked on a very brightly coloured piece which included pieces of crumpled silk fabric, making yet more texture. The day was fairly relaxed, even though we learnt a lot, and we had the opportunity to create quite a few pieces of work, including yet more texture beneath the surface silk chiffon on one piece. Our tutor, Sheila, was ‘on the go’ all the time, giving us advice and suggestions, and was a delight. Lovely food was interspersed with felting and total immersion in a favourite pastime, plus sunny breaks in the garden.
Sunday morning continued in the same vein, but we exhibited our pieces in the classroom between 2 and 2.30pm and went to look at the work the other two classes had been pursuing. There was a Stumpwork class and a class making ‘maps’ in machine sewing (featured in Stitch this month). Both classes had produced beautiful work.
I can recommend the Summer School to you. The accommodation was good and clean, the food was brilliant (and no preparing or washing up!), our Tutor was kind to us, and the company was good. Everything went smoothly, and it was a real break from the usual. Not least, the chance to pursue an interest non-stop for two-and-a-bit days was excellent.
Report by Pat