Location - Anstey Village Hall, Buntingford, SG9 0BY 10am-4pm
Vivienne Morpeth Designer Feltmaker:
This spring ERTF hosted Vivienne Morpeth, internationally renowned felter, for a talk and all-day workshop on felting. Vivienne treated us to a fascinating 45 minute talk on the origins and history of felt, describing how felt is the oldest known textile. In clothing it is durable, water-resistant, warm in winter, cool in summer and an incredibly useful and beautiful renewable resource, completely biodegradable when at the end of its useful life.
Vivienne is a wet and needle felter, using this versatile material to construct wearable art as well as 3-D sculptural felt items. She makes beautiful dresses, skirts, jackets and scarves as well as 3-D needle felted birds, playmats for children and other items. She incorporates silk that she hand-dyes herself into her designs and described to is the best weights of silk to use and how to migrate wool fibres into the silk to create fabric.
The members then selected a colour scheme from the vibrant dyed silk pieces that Vivienne supplied for the workshop, along with a selection of fine merino wool tops (also called roving) to accompany it. Colour choice could be anything we chose, and we set to work to produce our personalised scarves. After laying out the design, the piece was wetted down with soapy water and rolled up to agitate it and encourage the fibres to combine into a seamless piece. This magical process is the hard work, rolling the piece back and forth in different directions hundreds of time to achieve the final piece.
What pieces they were too! Every one different, stunning in their own way and deeply satisfying to achieve.
Vivienne was a generous and attentive tutor, ensuring that each one of us went home with a lovely piece to treasure. Our grateful thanks go out to such an inspirational and motivational speaker and teacher, and to everyone involved in organising such a successful day.