Since being asked to join the International Feltmakers Association Committee, I have attended a number of meetings to find out more about how this organisation is run (entirely by volunteers) and what my role as Communications Officer entails. The highlight of my felting year so far has to be this year's AGM and Conference held in the stunning location of Landskrona, Sweden.
The Conference was organised by our International Officer, Carin Madsen Kollberg, in collaboration with Asa Stentoft of Hemslöjden i Skane, an organisation promoting handicraft in the region.
The days were full of excitement, ranging from workshops to talks to excursions to fine dining. I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Swedish people, the friendliness of the other delegates from around the world, the beauty of the region and the fabulous spring weather.
I attended a workshop with Yvonne Habbe on sculptural objects, using a technique I had heard of but not used before. She also gave a fascinating talk about the large-scale project she worked on whilst contemplating the life of a nomad.
I had plenty of opportunity to walk around the town of Landskrona, with a tour and also with other delegates. An elegant, calm town, it was a real pleasure to visit.
Not only is there fine architecture in Landskrona but a tremendous interest in gardening, with lovely allotments (each with its own summer house), parks and avenues.
A couple of trips into the countryside gave me a small taste of the region...some of us even stayed on a couple of days after the conference to visit the island of Ven, where the Swedish astronomer, Tycho Brahe, had his observatory.
All in all, it was a very successful conference. Personally, it gave me the opportunity to visit a beautiful country, meet people who share my interests, make new friends, and appreciate just how much work goes on behind the scenes to organise a brilliant conference. Thank you to everyone involved. I loved it!
Alpaca Scarf Workshop - in pictures
Photographs by Ian Storie
The next Alpaca Adventure in Latvia takes place in June 2018. If you'd like to know more, get in touch.
Catch up with our hosts, Griezītes Alpakas and their amazing alpaca farm on Facebook.
I first found out about Karen Haggis and her Nepal Textile Adventure last September. It had been a very hard time for me and my husband, as we both lost our fathers in the summer. We hadn't had a proper holiday for a while, and this trip to Nepal (including the far east of the country) promised so much: discovering the art of dhaka weaving and 'counted thread' embroidery, participating in workshops on feltmaking and blockprinting and photographing one of the most colourful cultures in the world.
I signed up, met Karen and the 5 other women in the group and, in April, embarked on one of the most exciting trips of my life.
If you follow my blog, you will know that Susan and I go way back. We have holidayed together countless times and, most recently, made several trips in pursuit of exceptional feltmaking experiences. A couple of years ago, Susan gave me a copy of Catherine O'Leary's book, From felt to fabric. Imagine my delight when I saw that, not only was Catherine to be teaching a 3-day workshop on Bodywraps this summer, but that it would take us back to the Netherlands...this time to Atelier Fiberfusing, run by feltmaker, Dorie van Dijk. The location for our felting sojourn on the banks of the River Amstel could not have been bettered, despite the heatwave of the first couple of days and the ever-hungry mosquitoes at our accommodation.