15 Jul Day one of the complex felt bag workshop with Lyda Rump
After a great breakfast and a morning assembly all the participants in Lyda Rump’s complex bag workshop met in our classroom. We oohed and aahed over the amazing bags that Lyda had brought to show us (check out some of them here in her gallery) and discussed how it is possible to make a felt soft to the touch but strong and hardwearing. For most of her bags Lyda uses an inner layer of a strong wool (such as C1) sandwiched between two layers of merino. Each of the layers is weighed out meticulously, for mine the body of my backpack weighed 97g per layer and there was extra wool for the straps, inner pocket and the dreadlocks. We looked at all the design merits of the various bags, inner and outer pockets play a big part as do double bags reminescent of saddle bags. Lyda is also experimenting a lot with incorporating knitting (or crochet) into her bags. This makes them more like a wearable piece of clothing and reduces the pressure on your shoulder if you use the knitting like a sleeve that the body of the bag is attached to, very funky and individual, check out the orange coloured bag at the bottom of gallery 1. After we had a look through some of Lyda’s sample books and images from other bag workshops everyone went into the trader’s hall to investigate what wool was available for purchase suited for the inside of our bags. I choose Norwegian C1 wool from Ullform and selected colours that would match or complement the Filzrausch short fibred merino that I had brought with me to make my bag with, this was to match a long scarf that I had made the night before I had left for Denmark.
My idea was to have the main body black and use subtle blends of turquoise and green wool, silk, gauze and glass to add texture and interest. Lyda always gets her students to make a sample first, this enables her to see how people usually felt and allows them to try out colour combinations, new wool and new techniqes.
Here is my first sample, check back again for my next post where I go through the pros and cons of this piece!