Planning for ASWD’s Online Guild workshop

A posy of felted flowers, with Patricia M Greaves February 2022

What we will do – In this workshop we will explore a variety of ways of making flowers through hand felting – mainly traditional wet felt making, but needle felting can be used for further embellishment when the pieces are dry.

We will be  exploring ‘real’ flowers and their structure and colours, with the aim of producing  a naturalistic or ‘fantastic’ bunch of flowers by the end of the workshop. In the first session we will consider how we lay down the fibres, including carded fibres and mixed fibres for a painterly application. The first piece will be ‘flat’ and then moulded into shape by judicious shrinking and manipulation  into a simple bloom. Over the sessions we will use  a variety of making methods to develop more complex shapes through the application of a resist within the fibres to make a hollow / self supporting 3D form. The making of stems and leaves will also be included to compliment the flowers when gathered together in a posy

Choice of materials for the workshop – It is advisable to use merino wool fibres for the main structures as this  will help  ensure smooth flowers rather than hairy ones! Silk, Blue faced Leicester, Wensleydale and embroidery yarn can all be used in the decorative layers; in fact pretty well anything can be trapped into the form including open weave fabrics, and even plastic vegetable netting – depending on how outlandish we are feeling.

As this is a winter workshop photographs and drawings maybe useful if favourite flowers are unavailable in February; similarly spring flowers maybe a focus, ready for the celebratory season. The goal is to have fun exploring making flowers from wool, with the scale and scope of the project up to each individual, from petite nosegay to profuse floribunda!