Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Magic of Wool talk by Raya Brown

Our East Yorkshire Embroidery Society ( EYES)  met yesterday and we had Raya ( Raissa ) Brown come to give a talk, show some of her exquisite work and then today, sunday she was going to run a
workshop for us today .

Raya certainly knew her felt history and provided a very thorough explanation of the historical emergence and relevance of wool, as well as it's apparent resurgence in popularity in modern life.

I did know much of what she told us, having done a fair bit of felting and taken courses in it myself but my recent worries about the physical damage done to sheep during fast n furious shearing, has coloured my view on using merino wool in particular and because of that Ive not felted for some time now.
But I dare say I only know a third of the truth about all that goes on!

However, I certainly hadn't known the % of production provided by countries.
I found that interesting and hadn't considered it before.
You might expect that Australia provides 25% of the production and in fact the USA provides 17% but China, provides 18%.

Mind you my recent worries about the physical damage done to sheep during fast n furious shearing, has coloured my view on using merino wool in particular and because of that Ive not felted for some time now.
But I dare say I only know a third of the truth about all that goes on!

Now having looked online, the figures Raya gave us are on Wikipedia ( an interesting article to be fair)
and there you can see the much smaller amounts of wool that countries produce ............ the UK only 2% - ah well, but really great sheep! 

Anyway some piccies ~ Feast your eyes : )

Clever huh?
Raya is a Russian lady and like her mother a water colourist, and she brings a delightful water colour effect to her pictures.
She's turned her hand to making a watercolour like pictures from merino fleece, which this fabulous guy above is!
It really was a stunning piece to see but I must point out it isn't felted.
Raya has mixed the fleece beautifully to get realistic colours and it's a very finely layered textile piece, held in place with a sheet of glass laid over it, rather than wet felted into place.
Very cleverly done and beautiful to see.

Stunning Nuno felting above ~

And as usual some members had brought in work to display on the stage -

I liked the turned edges on these above!
and fancy a cupper?

I also really like the effect achieved by simply twisting back the edges above.

I went from the club meet to collect my grandson who was staying overnight for the first time since I've moved into my new home - the reason I couldn't attend the felt painting workshop today lol
I love felting but I love the boy more : )

We made cakes which he proudly took away, a batch for his dad and partner Caz and another batch for his mum and her partner Alex.
 ( Life can get so bloody complicated can't it lol)
This is him doing the final decorating ~

and although they wont win any prizes for looks, Jack had great fun and they tasted blummin lovely!
BUT ... we must've brought the lad up wrong because he didn't want to lick the bowl out, said the cake mix didn't taste as nice as cakes do lol

Oh and here's the hexi BOM info in case any of you are interested : )

**** For details see Julia Woods link below ****

and to subscribe to the group and join in the hexi fun, go here:


  1. so many lovely pics. i haven't worked on felt in a long while but every time i see felt pics, i'm tempted. love those edged prairie points. i make them all the time and they are so effective. how wonderful that your grandson loves to bake and i'd say it's a good thing he doesn't like to lick the bowl. enjoyed your post.

  2. I haven't done Nuno felting but these examples make me wish I had. Then again, I think I'd rather sample one of those cakes!

  3. The wool artist is really exploring the medium, isn't she? Lovely and interesting work! Very water-colory, some of the pieces.
    Well done, Jack - bet those cakes were well-received by all recipients!
    I think my favorite photos are Paula Bell's "teapot".,,what an excellent idea, and so beautifully created!

  4. Wow, what amazing work!
    The best cupcakes are the ones made with love...

  5. This Raya is wonderfully gifted. I'm so impressed by the "paintings" especially, and had no idea about the hasty shearing of sheep to make merino. Why are we humans always in such a bloody rush? The poor animals!

    Your little grandson is a sweetheart. My son doesn't like to lick the bowl either, even though I tell him it's delicious. Oh well... more for me, hee hee.

  6. I adore these kinds of shows - seeing all these incredible artists' skills! Love the felting and that teapot is just stunning!! You asked about the full moon names - here's the Native American names but I prefer to use the Celtic tree names (being a proud Brit and tree-lover!) I'm fairly new to all this, but Im sure there's loads of stuff to be found online :) Lovely to meet you!!

  7. Sorry, forgot to ask - would you like me to add your name to the list to win the necklace? I'm very happy to do so :D

  8. Some wonderful work. I've never tried felting. I like the look and everything but I've never had the opportunity to take a class. Your grandson is a very handsome little boy:)

  9. Thanks for sharing all those gorgeous pictures and pieces. Your grandson (and you!) is a very giving person. No lick the bowl? That's criminal! LOL Though they do say now that if it has raw eggs you shouldn't, but why change a long lifetime habit, I say.

  10. Nice to catch up with you. I had not heard about the damage to the sheep.
    Looks like lots of fun with your young apprentice.

  11. Wow , there are so many beautriful pieces in this post. It's so cute to see your grandson cooking cakes.