Our Craft club went to Tire where we had arranged with Arif Cön, one of the very famous felt makers in Turkey to have our felt workshop. We gathered at 09:30 and divided ourselves into two cars to make the trip. There were nine of us in total.
Arriving at the workshop we were offered tea and those of us who had not bought our own silk to use were given a choice of scarves. The pattern I originally wanted to make was not available in a suitable weight for the technique so I settled for a paisley scarf in blues and purples.
We were shown how to pluck the wool and lay it, first on the mat then, having spread the scarf over that layer, onto the scarf itself. Everyone, of course, had quite a different idea of what they wanted to achieve so there were a variety of directions to the creative effort.
Once the wool was laid onto both sides of the fabric, we watched it all being sprinkled with soapy water then rolled up in the plastic mat and put into a pounding machine. Traditionally the mat would be pressed with feet and rolled around – the machine takes some of the hard work out of it.
Even more so for us. We went for lunch whilst the machine worked its magic…
Back at the workshop our work was carefully removed from the machine and unrolled. We had the opportunity to add more wool and correct minor flaws in our concept before it got resprinkled, rolled up into the mat and put back into the machine.
We were then taken out for tea… Or rather we were directed to an extraordinarily pleasant park area with a number of tea gardens. We strolled around for a while (during our stroll I discovered that it is acacia that makes me sneeze) admiring the scenery then had a glass of tea before heading back to the studio.
We claimed our scarves, settled our bills and headed for home. The instructions were to wash the finished work at 30%, subjecting them to a spin cycle should we wish the felt to shrink further. I carefully washed mine by hand in cold water. Quite a lot of dye came out. When the water ran clear, I took it up to the roof to dry on the line… I was quite happy with the final result.