Meg McGarvey selects colored roving as part of a workshop in wet-felted fiber beads. Photo by Brandy Argir

Participants in Audra Christie’s back-to-back wool felting workshops on April 27 and 28 immersed themselves in gloriously colored and textured wool roving and batting, hot sudsy water, and a special camaraderie as all engaged with the near-magical material in the transformation process of wet felting. The Saturday group learned to make spherical beads and the more complex sushi roll beads, similar to millefiori glass work. Necklaces, key fobs and earrings were then formed from the beads. Sunday’s group (which had six in attendance from the previous day) took on the lengthier task of creating a wet felted vessel, and spent nearly four hours in carefully building up the layers of malleable material, then shaping the resulting forms. Some attendees became so enamored of this process as a result of the felting immersion weekend that ongoing felt experiments are a new passion. Learn more about Audra Christie, a returning EAC instructor who taught us the art of Painting with Wool in May 2018 (needle-felting an image onto a wet-felted wool sheet) at her website, audrachristie.com. And watch for a wealth of summer workshops opportunities coming soon!

A felted wool vessel, product of a satisfying if laborious process, is shown filled with experimental felted cording made the day after the workshop by a participant who just can’t stop felting. Photo by Lauren Koss

For more information about EAC education and outreach programs, please visit our Education page or email Alison Brennan, Education & Outreach Director, at alison@eastportartscenter.org. EAC workshops are partially funded by the Maine Community Foundation’s Belvedere Handcrafts Grant; a sliding scale for fees is available by request.