Monday, December 6, 2010

Messy play

What do you get when you throw together six women ranging in age from 16 to 53, several silk chiffon scarves, yards and yards of bubble wrap, a bunch of old towels, some really hot water (and really cold water), a jug of dish detergent, and enough ziplock bags of unspun fibre to fill an entire couch?

A good time, that's what.

And some unbelievably beautiful nuno felted scarves, each one as unique and fascinating as its creator.

A couple of years ago, Rachel and I took a one-evening course on nuno felt at Wabi-Sabi, and ever since then, I've thought it would be cool to do some more. And recently it dawned on me that there is really no reason not to (other than the fact that I was a little foggy on the details of that first workshop...but hey, that's what the Internet is for, right?). Further, it dawned on me that if nuno felting is fun for two, it should be exponentially more fun for, say, six people.

I don't think I can do justice to the afternoon's festivities, other than to note that it's a good thing Rachel remembered that towels were involved in our first nuno foray: each time I poured the hot water onto someone's scarf, a mad scramble would ensue, as people lunged for their towels to sop up the inevitable excess.

Isabel massages her scarf: Round 1

Oh, and while I thought I remembered that we used some kind of rubber mat for the final part of the felting process, we wound up using those little bamboo sushi mats, which worked just fine. (Valuable life lesson: if you rub your knuckle repeatedly across a bamboo sushi mat, it takes almost no time to wear the skin away, leaving a fairly painful blister. Next time, I'm using a rolling pin.)

Patti massages her bundle; sushi mat of doom in foreground.
The rest of us had gone in search of cookies at this point. I should mention that cookies and a delicious bundt cake, courtesy of Isabel, played a large role in the festivities.

It was amazing and beautiful to watch everyone's scarves evolve from plain white chiffon strips into colourful, delicate works of art. I'm not identifying the scarves and their creators here, since I know some will be given as gifts; suffice to say, they were all beautiful. By the time we were ready for the final photo shoot of the day, though, the sun had set and the light was awful, so my apologies to everyone for the poor quality of the shots here:

Here's another view of my scarf, dry and in daylight:

The red and white squiggles are bamboo; the purple is a mohair lock, combed out.

My thanks to everyone who came over and made Saturday an amazing, exciting, and most of all fun ride!

(Sunday was no slouch in the fun department either, as Zayde came for a visit. Latkes and gelt were consumed, candles were lit, blessings were sung, a computer was fixed, many hugs were exchanged. Most satisfactory, if a bit on the brief side. Till next time!)