Recap: Basic and Beyond FI Vessel Making Workshop 05/03/2023

Yesterday, our Guild Treasurer, Artist Annika Berglund, led the wonderful “Basic and Beyond” workshop. We made a versatile double-walled vessel.

An early start at 10am had us all rushing for coffee and tea, and the committee and some participants provided an array of lovely buns and cakes. Some participants had travelled from faraway places such as Galway, Kilbeggan and Slane.

Annika showed us samples of the finished piece, and asked us to choose 2 x10gr bags of tencel, a fibre which she had dyed in a variety of colours. Each participant was also given a kit bag of merino wool, with the resist already cut out in the shape needed for our vessels. 

Annika then gave us  a series of demonstrations to help create our vessels step by step.

1st: She showed us how we would lay out the tencel for our colour pop.

2nd: After another short demo and we then laid the white band and the black bands of our wool. (Layer one). This “inside-out” lay out was explained, and several committee members, Marian, Clare, Deirdre Crofts and Fiona helped the 18 participants.

Then, we had a lunch break on the premises with tea and coffee provided. This allowed a very warm-hearted social interaction between long standing Guild members and some new arrivals.

3rd: After lunch Annika again demonstrated the second layer of wool and how she wished us to rub and  roll our pieces. Hard rollers were provided by the committee.

4th: The next demonstration was how to make  slits or cuts with sharp scissors, after which we each designed how we wanted our final pieces to appear. 

5th: This demo was how to “cure” our slit edges, and we continued to roll until the whole piece was well felted. This was a reminder to all of us  how physically energetic actual felt-making is!

6th:  This demonstration was how to style our pieces, showing us ways to strengthen the base and to give a stylish finish to the ‘frames’ of our window slits. Annika showed us further samples of the variety of ways to use this skill.

All of us were very satisfied indeed with our beautiful vessels when we finally saw the double wall with the inner pop of  colour through the “Windows”. Each person’s piece was different to the next. Group photos were taken before we left for the journey home. 

As a final bonus, Annika presented each of us with notes so we can make it again if we like!

A huge thank you to Annika and the committee for a wonderful day.

Clare Brophy 


Feltmakers Ireland