I am always on the lookout for learning something new. The Facebook groups I belong to are a great source of inspiration and information. People are quite helpful. So when Patricia Spark recommended RuFelt Online for courses, I had a look. Pat has been involved with felting for many years and is considered an expert as she has been around pretty much since the beginning, in America.
Since signing up to the emails from RuFelt, I have had 3 offers for courses. The prices are very reasonable and you can pay via PayPal. There is unlimited use for the course. If I have any criticism, it is that the main website is not easily navigable and does not link to the course page. However, to get around that and to look at my courses (there are a lot of free ones) I have saved the page in my favorites. It is easier once you have signed up to a course.
As I love making vessels, I thought making this lantern could take vessel making to another level. So when the email came for making it, I didn’t hesitate. The course price is reasonable and you learn a lot of felting techniques. I did have some questions and I was able to email. As there is a time difference I did have to wait for my response, but they were quick in coming and really helpful. I worked on this piece over a period of 3-4 days, partly because I had things to do and partly because I needed to wait for answers to my questions. We are still in lockdown of sorts, so waiting is not a problem. Emilia is the one who made the lantern and her English is quite good. She also does the translation for the other videos. Considering that English is not her first language, the explanations in the videos and emails are very good and the demonstrations are quite clear. My questions were fairly technical and I was working with wool and not silk as a top layer as is demonstrated in the video, so my results were going to be slightly different. The scariest part was making the first cut, and after that it was a breeze. You could make this in an afternoon and since I now know how, that is an option.
I had a lot of fun making this lantern. I used 23mic merino that I space dyed with leftover food coloring for the inside, and 23mic merino for the top layer from World of Wool.
What I discovered about the space dyed wool: the colors are more subtle in this when laying it out. I had used a little bit of it for one of my pods and was a little bit disappointed with the colors as they look more vibrant on the skein. It was my first time dyeing using this method, so I was a bit cautious. Next time I shall be a bit more bold with the colors and use less water in the pot. In any event, it worked well for the inside of the lantern and I used some similar colors in the WOW wool for the outside.
All in all, I can highly recommend doing this course if possible. I am now working my way through the other free courses available. Some are short lectures, but the information is invaluable if you didn’t know certain things. These ladies just don’t tell you what to do and how to do it, they also let you know why you do it. That appeals to me so much. I love a process, but I also need to know why we do the process. It is no good saying you need to rub or roll without explaining why, otherwise you are just a sheep following the herd. Heh!