The big news is that we are now felting from a lovely new location, an entire hemisphere away! Nestled on the border of Palm Groves National Park on Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia, we are in love with our new habitat. Instead of felting out of the garage in an alley in Plain-oh, Texas, trying to drown the sounds of emergency crews and suburban hullabaloo, we are peacefully serenaded by a plethora of Australian native songbirds, the wind in the tall tall trees, and the squeals of wonder from our children each time they spot a funny looking animal they would never have seen hopping or scurrying around in, well, anywhere but here...
Last week we were asked to be published in a local rag. Unfortunately the paper didn't run any of our pictures, and heavily edited the article. But, here is the original, which is now also our 'About Us', although edited there, too...
Aptly named, 'The Felting Pot' is an espoused couplet comprised of Annapurna and CW Moongrove who together have found themselves fashioning a veritable fibre fusion.
Annapurna, born and raised in Beechmont, has nurtured her creative calling almost from conception. Instructed by her (also local) mother from a young age, she has made felt throughout her life. At seventeen she decided to leave a promising career as a floral designer behind and elope with her Texan CW into the wilds of the future. While there she developed interests in myriad arts, handicrafts and traditional skills including doll making, book binding, horticulture and fermentation. After several years of childbearing, rearing, and experimenting in various fields, Annapurna settled on felt as her medium of choice and hasn't looked back.
CW, a graduate of the University of Texas, holds a bona fide B.S. in Literature and Philosophy in one hand, and a barbed felting needle in the other. If he isn't vivisecting Nietzsche or constructing a fence from raw eucalyptus, he's breathing psykhe into fantastical felted creatures.
The ancient art of felt making is rich with history. Developed before spinning or weaving, it is the oldest textile art, dating back to the dawn of man. It is a non-woven fabric produced by taking animal hair fibre and layering, wetting and agitating it into a solid sheet of matted fibre. Specimens of felt have been unearthed by archaeologists in historical locations such as Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark was said to have come to rest. Excavations in Europe have also found perfectly preserved thick felt caps, horse bridles, blankets, gloves and more that date back to the Bronze Age, some 5000 years ago. In many parts of remote Central Asia, nomadic people continue the tradition of felt making heavy within their communities, constructing their moveable dwellings, called Yurts or Gers in Mongolian, from thick blankets of insulating felt made primarily from sheep’s wool.
The Moongroves have spent the past 8 years felting away in the United States, and have recently come to settle on Mount Tamborine with their three wild and woolly children.
You can join the woolgathering by following the felt makers in their follies, at www.thefeltingpot.blogspot.com or by friending them on Facebook and keeping abreast of their upcoming shows and market dates where you can feel what they felt.
If you're lucky enough to be a local, drop in on the twice annual craft extravaganza being held at the Vonda Youngman centre here in North Tamborine over the Labour Day weekend - April 29th - May 2nd where over 50 local artisans will be displaying their wares. Proceeds from the day benefit the local fire station.
The following weekend on Sunday May 8th, we will be in the Lost World Valley, at Worendo for the Arts in the Olives festival, which is a perfect way to spend Mother's Day with the whole family. Workshops for young and old, food, and browsing the booths of talented artisans.
See you there!