Lesley began by showing us some of her work and explaining that we were going to create a bag with a two colour layout, one colour for the inside and one for the outside. We were shown an ‘upside down bag’ that became a hat, an art deco hat that she had made for an exhibition, and a stripy bag. Lesley explained that for those who were beginners, using the two colours would help to define which layer of felt we were working on. The more experienced felt makers could feel free to use whatever colours they wanted to use.
We then lay a net on top and sprinkled water on top and rubbed with olive oil soap, then began to rub the wool in a circular motion until it was all done. We then turned the piece over, rolled the overlapping edges in and repeated the layering, watering and rubbing.
Once we had completed the inside layer, we were then ready to start the whole process again for the front layer. Those who were using an integrated handle, split the ends of the handle, laying one half on the top of the lining and one half underneath. We then Layered two layers of wool and rubbing it in with water and the olive oil soap, turning, folding in the edges and layering two layers of wool again etc. We could also decorate with various colours to make a pattern before finishing the piece. Once completed, we could cut the top half of the bag to open it up and remove the template that was still inside.
1st place was Ann – 'Along The Cami' – based on 'The Way of the Horse' in Menorca which is known as 'The Cami de Cavalls'.
Lesley showed us that by ‘stuffing the bag’ and pressing it into the stuffing, gave it shape before it was dried overnight.
We all had such a wonderful time and were amazed at the results – we had managed to make a ‘seamless’ felted bag!
Here are the end results!