Updated: Oct 25, 2021
I was one of the lucky individuals to have won the lottery! Names were drawn for 24 talented felters to be a participant (from approximately 200 applicants) for this intensive retreat which provided us with not only an opportunity to learn, but to be part of a special community.
Participants came to this serene camp setting on Gambier Island, from across Canada and the United States and one felt maker coming from Tasmania! Fiona Duthie organized and facilitated this exceptional gathering; the premise being that we all had knowledge and skills to share with each other. I would like to acknowledge her for this vision and presenting such an opportunity for us all to grow as artists.
Fifteen individuals presented demonstrations over the three day period on September 8-11th, covering a wide range of techniques that they utilize in their felting practice including dyeing, sculpture, surface design, millinery techniques and small garment/wall pieces. Between presentations, participants worked on their own pieces and had the opportunity to explore new methods, work with different materials and explore new concepts.
There was as much sharing of information in the time between studio practice and demonstrations. Participants were together in this secluded camp setting day and night and the camaraderie during meals and in the evening presented a chance to share more information about each other’s work, past workshops, additional techniques and to learn more about each other.
The Gathering ended with a circle where each participant showed their final creations/samples and talked about what they found beneficial to this retreat format. It was unanimous that having a strong community of felters together in this remote location – sharing a common passion, their expertise and such a range of skills resulted in a once in a life time experience. Many friendships have emerged; the community of felting has expanded for all of us.
felt :: feutre canada