Meet Jo Storie.
She and I first met a couple of weeks ago, in Latvia, where she and her husband, Ian, own an alpaca farm.
But long before that, we started corresponding on social media. First, it was about some workshops she wanted me to help promote. Then, we started to knock around a few ideas that might involve me running a couple of feltmaking workshops on the farm in the summer.
Many, many conversations later, we had come up with a plan to offer a week of feltmaking and cultural activities in June 2017 to give visitors some insight into this little-known country.
Below is a photographic documentation of how our week went. A week of snow, animals, friendly people, wonderful food and, a little bit of magic.
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.
Isla is going into S6 and is already preparing for her upcoming A-level in Textiles. Her textile project for the year is Organic Forms, for which she really wants to learn about feltmaking. And so, this week, she joined me for a 2-day course. Our focus was Flowers in 2-Dimensional Felt, using merino wool and silk.