For those of you who follow me this post is a rare thing but I just had to write something about meeting an extrodinary and gracious lady Robbin Firth of Heartfelt Silks and her lovely daughter Kirsten. Last year we started to talk about her coming here to Ballybur to facilitate a Workshop and just over a week ago it went ahead.
This being my first workshop to host with more than one or two people and as Robbin is an International tutor I wanted to make sure things were at a top standard. A great declutter took place and the result was a very happy me, the family and most of all my visitors came into a home and Studio that I was quite proud of. Anyway enough of me rambling, it was just like having old friends here instead of someone I had just met. We chatted for hours, laughed, created and had the best few days. Robbin and Kirsten went site seeing to Waterford and Kilkenny City, without me I should add, I thought about when I am away, especially with friends or visiting and I always need some time alone and space, so off they went and I have to admit it was hilarious picking up two drowned ladies from Kilkenny City armed with bags and saying how they had visited everywhere including the Castle but in lashings of rain. Oh dear here’s that ramble again.
Six fabulous ladies came to the Workshop where they were to create a Cowl and a short locks scarf, (Six was my maximum number both for my Studio to the size needed for each participant but also from Robbins point allowing her time to give each individual and also for each person to benefit from Robbin.) After all introductions Robbin started to show us her techniques and how to use her Palm Washboards which are beautifully made by her husband Harry. After this I have to admit I actually didn’t get to see much more of how everyone was doing as I spent the rest of the day replenishing hot water, mopping up , tea/coffee etc. At the end of the day the feed back from everyone was that it was brilliant and they were thrilled with what they had made. A great photo shoot outside ended the festivities with a lot of laughter.
I have put a name to Robbins technique with the Washboard and I call it Transitional felting. Why this, well like Nuno and other techniques it is a different way of felting, a definite mix of traditional but with some major differences (which I am not going into, I will let you follow Robbins posts for this) suffice to say you can use the Washboards from start to finish with no rolling, or depending what you are making very little. It is fast, very balanced and creates a finish which can be totally different. I can understand how felters who are used to the traditional methods will roll their eyes when they learn Robbins techniques, but they work beautifully and that is why I call it Transitional – moving into a different era or maybe a modern technique.
Well for the moment that’s it other than I met a wonderful, funny,kind and helpful lady who I am now so pleased to also call a friend and I’m sure all the ladies at the workshop would agree with me.