The view as we are felting from Manon's front "yard"
Making a Beret by the fire on a chilly morning
Well, I am home from a lovely 3 long, lingering, peaceful days by the sea with friend and wonderful (international award winning) hat maker, Manon Lortie.
Manon is interested in creating felt hats and received a grant for me to take the long 12 hour train journey to her in North Eastern Quebec and spend 3 full days making felt. I arrived at 2:30 A.M. and getting to sleep was difficult with the anticipation of the day to follow. Our work was interspersed with walks on the beach with her dog, mid-day naps and treating ourselves to desert at every meal.
I showed Manon how to lay out a fine felt with some beautiful superfine merino she had in natural colours. To see them come together with a delicate, fine pebbled surface was new for Manon and a real pleasure for me to share. We spent lots of time reflecting on the process. We had tears and laughed (mostly over our French/English translation issues! very funny!) and decided on the last day to lay out some wool and give her newly acquired felting machine a go.
We made 2 samples. One of corriedale and one of merino which we wet out and started right from square one on the machine. It did not save felting time, but we then laid out 2 berets and hand felted them a bit ready for the machine next. I fulled them in the evening and Manon has them ready to shape and block how ever she may decide using her significant skill. Manon gave me a beautiful straw hat that I will treasure and wear with pride. It really is beautiful and she found the right one for me with the first hat she selected.
The train ride home was long and started with a late train at 1;30 a.m. and arrived home in time to pick up where I left off, picking up children and driving to music lessons. I am to attend a precious metal clay workshop tomorrow and deliver some art, but look forward to staying in this peaceful place the beach (and Manon) has left me and spending some time with some wool.
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