Spiral Studio Workshops
- Feltmaking – basic, includes colour blending and design
- Fleece tapestry technique
- Two-shaft weaving
- Inkle braid weaving
- Introduction to weaving – basic skills, up to six-shaft
- Specific techniques for various projects, includes nuno and hatmaking
Classes tailored to individual/group requirements.
- Growing good wool for handcraft use
- Selection and preparation of wool for handcraft use
- ‘Adventures with Wool’ (on farm workshop)
- Dyeing and use of colour
- Knitting and knitting without a pattern
- Diagonal weaving
- Basic weaving
- Needle felting
- Wet felting
- Rug hooking
I learned to knit as a child and was lucky to attend a school that had rigid heddle box looms and really enjoyed weaving. I later learned to crochet, tatt and macramé but it was when my lounge suite needed recovering and I found NZSWWS in 1972 that my crafts flourished. I availed myself of many workshops to hone my skills in spinning, weaving and dyeing and made many lasting friendships. In the 1990’s I learned locker hooking, pine needle weaving, needle woven beadwork and embroidery, felting and latterly kumihimo Japanese braiding. It is now very gratifying to share the different facets of these skills in various workshops tailored to requests.
- Bead weaving
- Beginner Kumihimo
- Crochet including Tunisian
- Diagonal weaving
- Dorset buttons
- Felting including nuno and lace felt
- Inkle Weaving
- Locker Hooking
- Navajo and bead crochet
- Needlewoven beadwork
- Pine Needlework
Kate (formerly Kate Buckthought) is a feltmaker, craft dyer and spinner who lives in North Canterbury. She has taught feltmaking to fibre groups throughout New Zealand.
After a (partial) break from woolcraft during which she studied and then taught photography at Otago Polytechnic, Kate has returned fulltime to dyeing, spinning and feltmaking with enthusiasm.
Kate has a particular interest in Wearable Art and garment design, and has had garments exhibited at Creative Fibre events and in shows such as the Hokonui Awards, WoW and Fibre and Fleece.
As well as the listed workshops, I’m happy to discuss any combinations or variations. I generally supply all fibre for felting workshops (at a discount); this is to make sure that there are no disasters caused by unsuitable fibre – I learned this from experience! I will advise fibre costs when you book a workshop.
Beginner’s Delight – Never done any felting? Learn about the properties of wool felt and nuno-felt; the best fibre to use; techniques, ways and means. Make a simple felt scarf. This is a starter workshop that should prepare new felters for any of the beyond beginners workshops I offer. ½ day.
Ir-resist-able – A little, fun workshop exploring the use of resists to create small bags, pockets and 3D surface design. This workshop is to build skills; expect to produce samples or small pieces. All skill levels: ½ day taster or 1 day.
Template of Doom – Making hats, bags and other warm lovelies using a template. Sampling your fibre to make accurate templates. Expect to produce at least one template-based item. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Bag me up, Scottie! – A handsome tote bag over a template, using a woven technique. This is a full day’s work, requiring some finishing at home later. Illustrated instruction booklet included. Advanced, 1 day.
Scarves and Wraps
Stash to Treasure Using wools, yarns and fibres from your stash, make a light, airy, one-of-a-kind felted scarf. Fun for would-be felters, experienced felters and non-felters. All skill levels. ½ day
Wrap Up Warm Nuno scarf or wrap. Combine fabric and fine wool to create a sensuous, warm textile scarf or wrap. Explore how design can influence shape and texture. Best suited to beyond beginning felters, although keen beginners will enjoy the challenge! 1 day (depending on time, wrap may need to be completed at home).
Wool all around! Make a versatile circular scarf wrap for yourself from 100% wool, embellished any way you like! It’s easy to make and can be worn in a number of ways. (Just) beyond beginners, 1 day.
Boots and bootees
‘Potato’ baby bootees Simple (but cute!) baby slipper made over a potato. Intro to wet felting, then make a pair of bootees over a potato; these can be finished in a variety of ways. Beginners. ½ day.
‘Sandwich’ slippers Incorporates an introduction to wet felting over a template. Learn how to make an ankle-height or clog-style slipper on a template. Beginners, 1 day.
Boot Camp Short slipper boots made on a template. (Just) beyond beginners, 1 day.
Boot It To Me, Baby! Make a pair of shaped, soled felt slipper boots to your own requirements, with suggestions for finishing techniques. Advanced felting skills; hand sewing skills required to complete project. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Anything from the simplest beanie to a sculptured wonder!
Ball Beanie. Simple beanie on a ball: the easiest hat to make, and can be decorated, shaped and generally tizzied-up. Beginners, ½ day.
Warm Toppers. Hat on a template: find out how to make a more elaborate hat in a brimmed or earflap style. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Brim-tastic! Double-cap Hungarian style brimmed hat. Not for the fainthearted; this style of hat is quite physically taxing to make, but, following simple steps, it’s achievable for advanced felters. 1 day.
Hataganza! Using the template process, make a shaped hat that incorporates imaginative pzazz! Folds, pleats, protuberances – let’s get together and make some zany, fun hats – or elegant, chic hats with flair. For experienced felters who are afraid of nothing! 1 day, or could be extended into a fun weekend! From March 2013.
Waisted.1-2 days nuno-felt waistcoat or jacket with built-in fabric shaping. Make a one-off felt garment on cloth backing, fitted to your body. Design discussion, pattern making and production. If sewing machines are available, a more elaborate design method can be used, taking the workshop to 2 days. Beginners plus; previous experience with nuno-felting flat pieces is advised.
Seamless Jacket Construction 1 day: Make a completely seamless garment from 100% wool felt (not nuno). This workshop is for a mini garment – baby to toddler size, to demonstrate the techniques. Instruction includes method to upsize this to adult. Adult jacket workshop can be given – this will take 2 full days.
Although I am primarily a felter, I can and do teach spinning. I offer spinning workshops for those groups who might want to offer their members both technical areas from one tutor.
Get Twisted! How to use your wheel to get the optimum from your fibre. Explore ideas of twist per inch, z-twist, s-twist, end use of yarn and other mysteries such as Navajo plying. Fibre supplied. Beginners, 1 day.
Get Twisted II! Matching technique to fibre. Spinning several fibre types using differing preparation and draw styles to get the best out of each fibre. Expect to produce samples from wool of different types, carded and uncarded, as well as exotic fibres. Fibre supplied. Best for spinners who have a little control – beyond beginners. 1 day.
Art Yarn 101 + Get Batty! What makes an art yarn? What is art yarn good for anyway?
Incorporates: using your drum carder wisely; how to best combine fibres in a batt; spinning from batts. Bring your own fibres to combine into one-of-a-kind lovelies. Spin coiled yarns, supercoils, slubs, noils and neps, boucle, thick & thin. Uses of Art yarns.
1-2 days, depending on requirements of the group. The two parts can be taken independently as one-day workshops, or two shorter workshops can be given in the one day.
Photography for Craft
As a photographer, the question I most get asked is ‘How can I take better photos of my work?”’ Well, it’s not rocket science – although it is science, mostly.
- Photographing your craft work. Improve your understanding of photography: explore correct presentation, lighting, framing, exposure, uploading and resizing. Using a small point-and shoot camera, explore different ways of presenting your work. 1 day.
Angela tutors feltmaking processes and design, from dyeing the materials through to samples exploring colour and design layering, to garment or art piece planning and making considerations. Her classes are limited to 10 people maximum, often fewer, and the content is adjusted to the participants and the time and space available. Her main fascination is the layering of colour and texture, and starting students on their own voyage of discovery and creative expression. She also stitches, and paints on layers of applied texture on canvas. She used to weave, and still spins for her own enjoyment and use! http://www.art2enjoy.co.nz shows cv and course information, and the work by her and her sister, and http://www.art2enjoy.blogspot.com shares the work of their students and tutoring activities as well.
- Dyeing (wool, silk, cotton, including wax resist and other techniques)
- Felt making: from wool to stitching and making, including nuno, hats and art pieces
- Mixed media options
(Will travel to run classes)
Heartfelt Bernice Mitchell
I love working with wool and silk to create surprising and beautiful felt garments and accessories for women. Felt as a medium is so strong yet uniquely shape-able to create form without sewing. I enjoy using the creativity that God has placed within me to express the colours and textures of His creation into fashion art, which is both practical and fun for women to wear.
I also love to teach, to inspire and encourage others to explore their own creativity and develop their skills in felt making.
Having attended workshops both in NZ and overseas, run by NZ and International tutors covering a wide range of styles and techniques I feel competent to teach others how to make well-constructed, high quality felt garments and accessories.
- Nuno Felt Waistcoats/Long Vests
- Nuno Felt Tunic including Godets
- Nuno Felt Tunic with Surface Embellishment Design
- Nuno Felt Short or 3/4 Jacket
- Nuno Felt & Eco Printed Scarves
- 20″ Square workshop creating multiple accessories
- Felt Accessories including Hats, Mitts, Brooches, Necklaces,
- Shibori Felt Yoke/Necklace
- Hot Water Bottle Cover or Tea Cosy
- Felt Bag or Cushion Cover
- Beginners Felt Class
- Sheer Vest/Shawl with Painted Silk Flowers
- Wild Fibres Surface Textures Shawl Collar
I became involved with the felt medium 15 years ago after a long background of spinning and weaving. The ‘one-off’ nature of felting, together with the opportunity it offers for creative and innovative design and technique I found to be extremely addictive. I am particularly interested in the potential of felt to inject a new dimension in to high quality fashion garments and accessories.
Over the past 6 years, tutoring has played a major role in my life. Students love the instant rewards that felt offers – the surprise and excitement that they have created for themselves. In 2004 I opened a Felt Textile Gallery in Te Aroha where I have my studio and also run regular workshops. Since 2004 I have also been tutoring in Australia on a regular basis teaching beginners through to experienced felters. I enjoy the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills of felting and hope to continue to do so in the future both in New Zealand and further afield.
- Feltmaking from the beginner to the more advanced plus designing, making, fitting and finishing felted garments.
- A large moulded felted bag will be decorated with textured prefelts to create a very individual design.
1 Day Workshops
Felting Techniques & Tips
Two classes available – 1 for beginner felters and 1 for advanced felters
Students will create a Felt Dictionary which incorporates many different surface and 3D embellishments.
Using the resist method of felting students will learn techniques which can lead them to create hats, bags, boots or sculptures.
Blend a Fabric
This is a very different way of layering colour, fabrics, yarns to create a very textured piece of fabric which can be used in a garment, accessory or wall hanging
Cobweb Felt Wrap and Flower
Students will learn to lay out 1 fine single layer of wool to create a luxurious wrap which will be fastened with a fun flower broach.
Felted Lattice Techniques
Students will learn a number of different styles of felted lattice to create a wrap or scarf.
Felted Pocket Bag
This involves straight techniques incorporating a number of different sized pockets to create a very useful decorative bag.
2 Day Workshops
- Felted Mosaic Bags
- Felted Flower Cushion, using 3D techniques students will create an amazing flower cushion