Exciting Times We Live In

Last week Ruth sent her usual reminder that I am scheduled to publish a post on the Felting and Fibre Studio Forum, a reminder that I am always grateful for as life often gets in the way and activities like writing blog posts always seem to be the first to fall through the cracks. I can safely say the last month or two definitely qualify as “busy”!

There are so many exciting things happening at them moment, where do I start…?

The New Studio

This one has been an emotional roller-coaster, flip-flopping between ecstatic excitement at the thought of having my own light, bright area where I can work and teach to feeling overwhelmed by living in a topsy turvy mess, never being able to find anything because it was moved to make space for builders to work or because the cupboards where it normally lives have been ripped out…

I have been working out of our double garage since we moved to New Zealand 3 years ago and while the space is (just about) big enough, it has almost no natural light (its still quite dark, even with the lights on), it’s drafty and very cold in the winter. A purpose-built, insulated studio is long overdue ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not convinced ensuite paddling pools will ever catch on…. The builders have had to remove some of the weatherboard cladding to pour the concrete floors, leaving us with 2 walls that are no longer waterproof, so every time it rains we end up mopping the bedroom floors… It rains a lot in Auckland!

Just after the concrete slab was poured

I have plans to install large cupboards with sliding doors along the wall nearest the camera, there will be two large laundry sinks on the right hand wall with drying racks over them and electrical sockets (with retractable leads if I can find some) in the middle of the ceiling.

As it looks this week

What is the one thing in your studio that you wish you had or couldn’t live without?

Auckland Felters Group Exhibition at the Franklin Arts Centre

We have hired a gallery space at the Franklin Arts Centre in Pukekohe for 3 weeks. The exhibition will actually open on Tuesday June 18th but our main opening event will be on Saturday 22nd June.

Lynn Hefkey

We will have traders selling various fibres, felting equipment and finished felted items, felting demonstrations and free “have a go sessions” as well as live music all in a beautiful centre with a lovely cafe.

Teri Berry

Places on the “have a go” workshops will be limited so please arrive early to book your place and avoid disappointment. The event will be open from 10 am.

Sarah Ritchie

Everyone exhibiting has very different styles, you will get to see an eclectic mix of wet felting and needle felting, 2D and 3D art works, textural pieces, homewares and wearables.

Lots of Teaching and Fairs!

When I started teaching face to face again (after the lockdowns ended) I pictured maybe one or two classes per month but I have been blown away by the number of requests I received from groups and individuals to host extra sessions this year. Most of them are open to everyone but places are limited, so please drop me a line if you would like to join any of the classes.

Here are some photos from a few of the most recent classes (I keep forgetting to take photos):

Exploring different techniques and materials through samples, these ladies had never made felt before!
Felted Flowers at the new Textile Hub located on the Corban Estate in Henderson in collaboration with the Wool Revolution
A few of the name badges made by the lovely Waiuku Spinners
Envelope Hat workshop in Pukekohe

Two of the students from the hat class made a short video too, you can view it here.

I have several big fibre fairs coming up too:

This Thursday (9th May) is the Cambridge Fibre Fair:

And Saturday May 25th is Woolfest’s 10 year anniversary – if you can only get to one fibre fair this year – I highly recommend this one! There will be about 80 traders selling everything from raw fleeces to yarns and knitwear and everything in between, along with crafting equipment, demonstrations of a wide range of fibre crafts and of course the eternally popular pre-loved equipment stand. Entry is free.

Southern Hemisphere Felters Convergence 2025

Is coming to Auckland!!

I am so excited to be attending my first SHF Convergence I could burst! But confess I never expected to be organising the first one I would get to attend!! At least I have some awesome partners in mischief, Christine Roxburgh and Jenny Forrester along with the amazing Auckland Felters.

We have booked The Parnell Hotel and Conference Centre and Hotel and we’re confident we will be able to secure the school across the road for wet felting activities too. This combination of venues proved to be a hit at the 2015 Convergence. We have been talking with some incredible international tutors about what they could share with us, I so want to tell you who they are and what they plan to teach but until we have contracts in place I really can’t…. but I am sure you will be impressed!

One of the most wonderful things about Convergence is the generous sharing of ideas and techniques, while the headline tutors are certainly a key part of that, we also have a small army of volunteer tutors who give up an hour of their time to share an idea or demonstrate a technique. I have to say, I am just as excited to attend some of the volunteer sessions as I am the headline tutors! We have already received some really intriguing offers but are looking for more to fill all of the time slots, if you plan to attend Convergence and have and idea you’d like to share or a technique you can demonstrate in under an hour we would love to hear from you! Please contact us here

If you’d like to be among the first to hear who our fantastic tutors will be, you can sign up for email alerts about Convergence here.

Dates for your diary: Thursday (registration will open in the afternoon) 25th September to Monday evening 29th September 2025.

Hope to see you there!

The 30 day Folding Challenge Part 4

My productivity for this challenge has really slowed over the last few weeks because I treated myself to taking Fiona Duthie’s Felt Illuminated online course. While it has been a substantial time (and financial) investment it has already sent my thoughts off in new directions. Some of these ideas involve how I can combine paper in my felted sculptures but also wondering if I can also illuminate some of these folded structures too….

Spoiler alert! I am definitely going to finish this 30 day challenge, but not all of the days will be consecutive ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 22

Revisiting the Kaleidocyle designs from Day 19 to see if I could make a cardboard one that turns like the felted ones do. This one was double the length of the first paper kaleidocycle attempt. It cycles really easily but doesn’t look as pretty when folded up, perhaps it needs an extra segment, or two?

Day 23

Inspired by Fiona’s Felt Illuminated class I tried using paper in place of some wool layers, this first one wasn’t too successful, the area where there was just paper and no wool became extremely fragile and limited how much I could full the piece.

Day 24

Trying again, but this time cutting the paper where I wanted to place the folds. This piece was much more successful, although I could definitely full this tiny bowl some more. I have added a few stitches at the top of the pleats for security but the paper in this bowl allows it to keep its shape without them.

Day 25

While searching for origami books I found another awesome book in the Auckland Library catalogue: Folding Techniques for Designers From Sheet to Form by Paul Jackson.

He makes no apologies for starting with some really basic shapes and forms but they get more complex as you progress through the book, this is where the clear diagrams / maps he provides invaluable.

This shape naturally wanted to form a bridge or trough depending on which way up it was placed

Day 26

I’m curious to see how this form will behave if the pattern is repeated?

Day 27

What if I used a 5 point symmetry instead of 4?

Day 28

I love the architecture of this form, it looks lovely from all angles, I’m wondering if I can make it into a bowl form…

Day 29

This one is screaming, “Christmas decoration!” at me, I imagine the felted version of this one will involve some bling ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 30

I started playing with the shape from Day 29, exploring what would happen if I reversed some of the folds, so mountain folds became valley folds…

Unfortunately someone else requested this book before I could get any further, so I could not try out all the forms I wanted to before I had to return it. I will borrow it again though, it is an inspiring book!

While my original 30 day challenge complete, this idea still has lots of mileage left in it and I plan to continue exploring, especially taking more of the paper sculptures into fibre… Watch this space!

Have you been playing along? If so, please share where your journey is taking you, links in the comments to a FB page, IG or blog post should work if you have any images.