Thelma R.

I’m a feltmaker -  I have to be able to handle the piece I’m making when it’s wet and very heavy, so there’s a built in size limitation unless I can draft a band of muscular helpers ! Felt also has that pesky habit of shrinking up to 50% from the size I started with.  The positive side of this is that it forces me to find creative ways of extending or joining individual pieces to make a larger whole.  The piece in the photos is currently 22 x 48 inches, which is about the limit that I can easily make on my 30 x 60 inch table.   It started from lesson 1’s ‘just do something’, and progressed by limiting myself to working with rectangular shapes.  I wasn’t too happy with it after I felted everything together, so I went on to ‘use what I have’ and found a pile of triangles I’d cut for something else, which I’m stitching over the bits I don’t like. I think I’m going to fold some of the triangles and stitch them down with buttons, and I may still extend it by adding borders or something, when I see how it looks after the stitching’s finished.

Through doing this course, I’ve come to realise that I am not a planner by nature;  it bores me, and I don’t get many ideas that way.  I would describe myself as a problem solver (or a ‘reactive’ artist, as a friend puts it). Usually I start with one basic activity, eg ‘I’ll make some prefelts’.  That leads to a problem : ‘what shall I do with them?’ – ‘I’ll cut them up’.  ‘Now what will I do with them ?’  and so on and so on.  Each solution throws up another set of problems, and it’s solving them that really engages my creative spirit.  Then I end up with something I wouldn’t have imagined when I started;  in effect I’ve tricked myself into it.

When I was pondering on the committee, (which I think is just Me) I realise that I often respond to compliments by saying: ‘it was just an accident!’,  so I’m going to try very hard to stop doing that.  I also started making a list of my good and bad points and guess what, I filled a page with bad in 2 minutes, but could only think of one good !  Makes me laugh thinking about that though, so that’s a plus.