Saturday, 2 July 2011

Back from Latvia last week. I had a fantastic time at the workshop of Karoliina Arvilommi and Rod Welch. I love Karoliina's work and have never been to Riga so it was the perfect opportunity. Ilona Vasilevska arranged and organised everything. She lives in Riga, about 15 km away from the venue which was a detached villa with enough bedrooms to fit in all 12 participants. We were from the UK, Holland, Belarus, Riga and Russia. We worked very hard, it rained a lot but we all had a wonderful time. Rod first talked to us about Karoliina and his work and then told us to forget everything we ever knew about making felt. I don't think we quite knew what to expect but by the end of the 5 days we had all made our samples and finished our main piece and also managed to get in a bit of Riga sightseeing. We also went to an amazing house in Jurmala which is a seaside resort near to Riga. The house was called the House of the White Dragon and was like something out of the Brothers Grimm fairy stories, surrounded by carved wooden creatures and animals which I am sure came alive at night. Can't wait to go back there!
Karoliina and Rod were extremely patient and helped us all to complete all pieces in time. Some of us (me in particular) bit off more than they could chew and insisted on making pieces too big, but I needed it for a particular place in my house so that's the size it had to be. Despite panicking about it not being finished/dry enough to take home all was well and I didn't have to fly home wearing all my clothes at once as I had a soggy heavy mess in my suitcase (which I would have done if it had been necessary).
Now the piece is home and hanging proudly in my dining room. I think it looks really good. But then I am biased.

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