Friday, July 9, 2010

Every summer Mohonk Mountain House features craft demonstrations in their Barn Museum. The museum curator, Jim Clark, has cultivated a comprehensive roster of craftspersons whose demonstrations include basketmaking, caning, stained glass, beadwork, and feltmaking. Incredible as it sounds, Jim and I figure I've been participating each summer for more than 20 years! Yikes.

On reallllly hot days, like Tuesday was, most folks sought a cooler past-time than trekking down to the barn museum. So, when Julia showed up eager to learn about feltmaking, I offered her the chance to work on her own piece after I showed her how to hand felt a bangle bracelet using fine merino wool fleece, a Turbo Felting Board and hot soapy water. Julia revealed that she is home-schooled. No surprise there. She is motivated, interested and a quick study! She went on to bead her newly felted bangle with the few beads I had on hand.

Julia, wanting to make more felt at home, bought one of the new kits: HAND FELTED BANGLE BRACELET WITH BEADED BEAD. The kit contains a Turbo Felting Board, fine merino wool, and an instructional dvd (my first!) for felting your own bangle PLUS the recipe and beads for weaving an undulating beaded bead to join the two ends. Call to order yours because I can now accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover credit cards. $90 complete. Two color choices: neutral/metallic (on left in photo) or botantical (in photo on right).

Two other guests arrived. One complimented my locked up hair and explained that she makes individual dreadlocks out of real and synthetic hair. She then attaches them to peoples' hair, resulting in a hairdo that took me 4 months of daily felting to create and has been 9 years in the growing! I was fascinated. "How does that work?", I asked. Evelyn was happy to show me. She used a blue/black felt lariat I had on display as the dreadlock and worked it into her friend's beautiful hair.
In a nutshell, she attaches the center of the folded dreadlock using a braiding technique. She is Evelyn of Evilyndesigns & Venuscreations. Her website is not operational right now but, she offered and as a means to contact her.
It was a fascinating day of personal adornments. Julia's dad is a tatoo artist and was himself a walking piece of art. Her mom also had tatoos but just hints of them were visible at the edges of her clothing. Evelyn wore 4 studs below her lower lip.You may be able to see them more clearly if you click on her photo. When I queried her, she showed that the studs were like nailheads flat along the interior of her mouth.

I'm repeating the felting demonstrations at Mohonk on August 10th and 24th from 1-4pm. Come by. If you do, mention you read it here and I'll have a bead kit for you!