Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Felt like a change

Being creative is often a solitary pursuit, ensconced in our studios (aka back bedrooms, sheds, corners of living rooms), absorbed in our latest projects. This, for me also usually means working under varying degrees of pressure as deadlines, show opening dates or class schedules grow ever nearer.
As a result I find it all too easy to become completely hermit like. Sometimes though, you just have to throw on a coat, run out through the door and get involved in the real world; or even better, someone else's imaginary world.
The pod that might grow
Last week I took a delicious treat of two days out to go work with a group of friends. We invited artist, illustrator and dry felt genius Gretel Parker to come give us a workshop. Armed with her camera, Gretel has put up a lovely account of the event on her blog here. That's me fourth in on the group hug photo and lurking behind Merlin the curious cat. I, of course, forgot my camera, sigh!
I'd dabbled with dry felting before, but here was a great opportunity to learn from a really talented expert. Day one saw me struggle with a strange pod like creation... which could turn into something interesting with a lot more work, some beads and a story to describe, maybe, one day.
That evening I realised I was in danger of missing out on a whole bunch of things. I had another long browse around Gretel's website, thought about everything she'd talked about that day and arrived the next morning with the fresh eyes of someone willing to be a beginner and start learning for proper.

my little ducky
I spent the whole day making a little ducky. Gretel had prepared the duck as a beginner piece. It was intriguing, and yes, it does take ages and forever to make really smooth, firm dry felting. Yes you really do felt from the outside inwards and yes it is really hard to keep pale yellow fleece clean!
Gretel's 'Tommy' with my little Ducky

At the end of day two I had finished
my own 'Gretel Parker' duck, it has pride of place in my cabinet of curiosities. I'd slowed down and actually listened to someone else, been inspired by Gretel's quirky and unique creativity and, bliss of blissfulness, escaped from my world into someone else's completely.
At the end of class Gretel gave us each a set of postcards of her creations, I'm loving Tommy the Dog.
Thanks you Gretel!