Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Recently we asked felt :: feutre canada member, Alice Pallett, to discuss her time at the Wollknoll Workshop with Kerstin Scherr in Oberrot, Germany. Alice attended the program from April 25 to 27, 2019 (3 days). We are grateful to Alice for sharing her experience with us.
Alice had this to say: “While visiting Germany this April 2019 I finally had the opportunity to take a felting workshop at Wollknoll. I had seen their ads in Filzfun magazine and been drooling over their program for years. Wollknoll is a family business in Oberrot. They started in 1997 by processing fleeces, creating their own high-quality carded wool. They now offer for sale and ship worldwide a broad product range around wool and textiles.
Visiting their warehouse in Oberrot I felt like a kid in a candy store. Since 2000 they are also a Felt School and offer individual workshops to anyone interested. Check out their bilingual website at www.wollknoll.eu.”
Who was the workshop with? And why this workshop? What appealed to you about it?
Our instructor for “Baskets and Bags with Exciting Surfaces” was Kerstin Scherr, a graduate of the Felt School and felter since 2002. Before enrolling I checked out her work at www.trollino.de. Her course description talked about using a variety of materials and the reserve technique to create surface patterns, and learning to calculate the amounts of material to achieve the desired size and effect. But she also mentioned unlimited possibilities and surprises. A nice balance of planning and “letting happen” that appealed to me.
What were the highlights?
I had admired Kerstin’s work online, but as our group of ten women clustered around her many samples of bags, baskets, and hand-dyed merino, there was much buzz and excitement. I decided to make the bag that had both tiles and folds. The first day was spent measuring, calculating and making samples. It took us two more days to lay out, assemble, and felt the bags. After much rolling and dropping on day 3, my bag was finally ready to rinse! Although we had no leather handles to attach, we all finished our bags. We arranged them on a table and admired everyone’s work.
Based on your experiences would you recommend an overseas workshop to others?
Wollknoll is a unique place that has so much to offer! While it is a bit hard to get to, I know I will go there again. They offer accommodation for participants and simple meals. Their workshop instructors come from many corners of the world and are experts.
(And there is a fully automatic espresso machine in both workshops for unlimited consumption – I just had to mention that.)
What are some of the skills/techniques you learned?
Kerstin Sherr taught me how to simply calculate the weight of wool needed for a specific thickness and area. I learned a better way to create surface tiles. The technique for creating folds using short haired merino batts and merino prefelt was new to me, and I used hemp fibre and shredded sari silk for the first time.