Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Photo Report from the HeartFelt Silks UK and Ireland Workshop Tour

As many of you know, HeartFelt Silks made a very special appearance in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Here are a few photos from the many feltmaking workshops Robbin taught, with assistance from the lovely Kirsten, while abroad. Lots of woolly entertainment was had by all, with busy classes in beautiful locations, and many happy students learning new felting skills. We shared many more details on our Facebook page, follow us there for more on these and future adventures. We are grateful to the International Feltmakers Association for hosting our UK workshops.

This fall, after a week of workshops in Florida, Robbin, Harry, and Kirsten are staying close to home, with a busy season of workshops at our home studio in Hudson, WI, guest-teaching at The Textile Center, and, of course, busy times of making and shipping our Palm Washboard feltmaking tools, and other felting supplies all over the world. We are now working on our 2016 schedule, so if you would like to have Robbin Firth teach in your part of the world or have a suggestion for where Robbin might like to teach, get in touch!

Now, on with the show! The HeartFelt Silks in the UK & Ireland photo show!

Gorgeous Felted Ruffle Wraps on a beautiful summer afternoon. Love the color palettes chosen by each workshop participant -- so different and unique.

The hat feltmaking workshops were a crowd favorite! It was truly great to welcome felters of all ages and levels experience to the classes.

There were lots of technique demos, hands-on practice, and note taking. We worked with resists, perfected 3D shaping, and so much more.

Ruffle wraps taking shape on the felting tables. Each class is a rich experience in group, collaborative learning, with each student receiving individual attention and help from Robbin as well.

Busy hands, lots of colors, beautiful wool, hand-dyed silks -- taking time with your project layout is a very important step in the process. Being patient at this stage in the felting process pays off later. The Palm Washboards are at the ready to take you through to the next step.

Here, a beautiful merino wool & silk hat is taking shape, literally, in Robbin's hands.

It was great to have large, roomy spaces to work in. The best part was having so many friendly, fun, and creative students!

In Robbin's workshop in Ireland, hosted by Anita Marnell, working on a seamless cowl design.

And, after all that hard work, comes the modeling! Love seeing results and love seeing happy students with their new felted garments and accessories.

We couldn't have asked for better weather for our Ireland workshop! Just beautiful!

Our Palm Washboards got a lot of use at the workshops! It is very rewarding to introduce new feltmakers to these marvelous felting tools we developed and continue to hand-make, one at a time, in our Minnesota woodworking studio.

While in the UK, we got to visit with Angela Barrow and her family (Simon and Charlotte) at Woolfest. The Barrows run Adelaide Walker storeour exclusive Palm Washboard distributor in the UK.

Woolfest was amazing! Wool and beautiful sheep everywhere, what could be better!

It was back to work as soon as we got back to the US -- here is a new wool locks wrap in progress on the table, using gorgeous wool acquired at Woolfest!

Follow Robbin Firth and HeartFelt Silks on Facebook for daily updates from our studio, special announcements, and felting tips! See you soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

GET YOUR LOCKS ON Felting Workshop with Robbin Firth

This autumn, we are pleased to present a special 3-day Workshop at the HeartFelt Silks Studio. Join Robbin for three days of feltmaking as your study and perfect the art of felting with wool locks. This class is limited to only 6 students, and each participant will receive individualized attention from Robbin, and enjoy learning in a small group setting.

“Get your Locks on” Workshop!
3 Full days of working with wool locks and the Palm Washboards
October 22-24, 2015
Location: 401 Second Street, Hudson, WI 54016  at SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery
phone: 651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com        www.HeartFeltSilks.com 

Daily Schedule: 10am-­5pm, with a lunch break.                
Cost per person: $325.00 (if paying by check) or $332.00 (if paying via PayPal)
Prior felting experience is necessary for this workshop.
Note: All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid.

Part I: Felted Wool Locks Shawl and Scarf Workshop (October 22nd & 23rd)

IMG_1123.JPGSurround yourself with sumptuous merino wool and Wensleydale or Teeswater sheep wool locks. In this workshop you will create a one-of-a-kind, luxuriously beautiful shawl that combines merino and cleaned wool locks, using the Palm Washboard felting technique. This technique is easy on the body and eliminates strenuous rolling from the felting process. You will learn to use resists and how to layer the locks for a free flowing and elegant look. The first day will consist of a detailed introduction to working with locks, as well as doing most of the shawl layout. On the second day, you will finish the layout and complete the felting stages using Palm Washboards (available from Robbin). At the end of the workshop, you will have a glamorous and unique shawl to take home and enjoy all fall and winter seasons.

Part II: Felted Raw Locks Scarf Workshop (October 24th)


A superfine merino wool will start as your luxurious base fiber; then layer in raw Blue Faced Leicester, Wensledaye or Teeswater sheep locks onto the merino base. Just a small amount of rolling and use of the Deep Palm Washboard, and your wet felting adventure will produce a scarf with a soft texture, but a curly and chunky appearance. Please note: raw locks do have a slight odor.  

Detailed materials/supplies list will be distributed to all registered students.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fall 2015 Felting Classes with Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

It's time for a new season of feltmaking workshops at the HeartFelt Silks studio! This fall, you will have an opportunity to make elegant felted hats and cowl scarves, experiment with the unique Upwolfing felting technique, and try your hand at making a felted boa with merino wool and beautiful wool locks. Ready to felt? Get the details below. Classes fill quickly, please remember to register early.

 All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid.

Follow us on Facebook to see photos from previous classes!

Take a felting class with fiber artist Robbin Firth at HeartFelt Silks® Studio   

Let your creativity flourish and create unique fashion accessories and home decor objects!
Location: 401 Second Street, Hudson, WI 54016  at SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery

  phone: 651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com        www.HeartFeltSilks.com 

Felted Cowl

Create an original merino cowl with silk fiber embellishments as your design elements. Then we will use felting techniques with the unique Palm Washboard felting tool and very little rolling to create a lovely seamless cowl. Palm Washboards will be provided for your use. Please bring a few large towels. Some felting experience required.  

Material & Class Fee: $70.00
Tuesday, October 6th 1pm-5pm

intro to upwolfing.jpgIntro to UPWOLFING
Discover the creative and unusual UPWOLFING felting technique! Learn the basics of UPWOLFING invented in Europe by Irene Van Der Wolf. In this class we will experiment with a small UPWOLFING mat and Merino Wool Prefelt. You will create patterns and designs that you can later use in other felting projects. This class will go over advanced UPWOLFING techniques and products. Please bring a few large towels. No felting experience necessary.
Material & Class Fee: $55.00      
Sunday, November 8th 1pm-4:30pm  


hat can.jpgFelted Hat with Silk Hankies Using Resists
Learn the technique of wet felting using wool roving, silk hankies & resists. We will be creating a one-of-a-kind hat. You will be able to recreate this project on your own again and again. Looking for a fun project to do with friends or family? This stylish and easy-to-make hat is made using the Palm Washboard felting technique and requires very minimal rolling. Palm Washboards will be available for use. Please bring a few large towels. Some felting experience required.
Material & Class Fee: $70.00                                   
Saturday, November 28th 1pm-5pm

boa textile.jpgFelted Boa
A superfine merino wool will start as your luxurious base fiber; then layer in a raw variety of sheep locks onto the merino wool base. There will be no rolling, only use of the new Deep Palm Washboard felting tool. This wet felting adventure will produce a scarf with a soft texture, but a curly and chunky appearance. Please note: raw locks do have a slight odor. Please bring a few large towels. The new Deep Palm Washboard will be available for use. Some felting experience required.
Material & Class Fee: $70.00                                 
Saturday, December 19th 1pm-5pm

Other felting classes can be arranged by appointment. Private and group instruction available. Contact Robbin at 651-263-7275 for details. If you cancel 2 or more weeks prior to class date, there will be a 10% cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks from class date, there will be a 50% cancellation fee. If you cancel the day before or day of class, there will be no refunds. A full refund will be made if a class is canceled by the instructor.

All registrations are done via phone or email and must be prepaid.
                            651-263-7275        email: robbin@heartfeltsilks.com

Shop for unique felting tools, supplies, and kits: www.heartfeltsilks.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HeartFelt Silks comes to the UK and Ireland Summer 2015!

Yes, it's true, HeartFelt Silks will be hopping across the pond and visiting beautiful United Kingdom and Ireland this summer!

Robbin will be teaching several feltmaking workshops throughout the UK, and a one-day intensive in Ireland. Kirsten will be coming along to help and see the sights. Harry and all our furry studio assistants are staying home in Minnesota to mind the shop.

We are all very excited for this adventure, and to have the opportunity to meet fans in England, and to make new friends! There will be lots of felting, lots of laughing, and lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing over wool and silk! A visit to a big sheep & wool festival is on the itinerary (baaaah!).

Thanks to a very special invitation from Iris Brunton and the International Feltmakers Assocation, a month-long teaching tour around the UK has been planned, and registrations for workshops are in full swing. By popular demand, Robbin will be teaching beginner and advanced classes on several crowd-favorites, including the Felted Locks Shawl and the Ruana Shawl workshops.

Feltmaking in the UK and Ireland with 
Felt Artist Robbin Firth
Summer 2015

Please contact Iris Brunton directly to make all inquiries and to register for UK classes.

Please contact Anita Marnell directly to make all inquiries and to register for the Ireland class.

Felt Artist Robbin Firth -- 2015 Workshops in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Schedule / Itinerary (subject to change)

United Kingdom

(Please contact Iris Brunton -- irisbrunton@hotmail.com/tel 07717295792) for details of all UK workshops, class descriptions, and to book a class.)

June 6, 2015 : 1 day workshop in Kendal

June 10 - June 12, 2015: 3 day workshop in Knayton 

June 15 - June 16, 2015 : 2 day workshop in Ipswich

June 18 - June 19, 2015: 2 day workshop at Skeeby Old Mill Centre (near Richmond)

June 21, 2015: 1 day workshop at Terrington

June 24, 2015: 1 day workshop in Knayton

July 1 - July 2, 2015: 2 day workshop in Hereford

Special appearances / visits

June 13, 2015: IFA Region10 Meeting

June 26 - June 27, 2015: Woolfest!


July 5, 2015: 1 day workshop in Kilkenny, Ireland (Contact Anita Marnell for details and to book a class. Anita's studio is at Ballybur, Cuffes Grange, L5134, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. Tel. 0866004489)

Did you know that we have a United Kingdom distributor for select HeartFelt Silks products, including the PALM WASHBOARDS? Adelaide Walker store is our exclusive UK distributor. Its owner and our friend Angela Barrow will be joining us for a couple of workshops in the UK -- we are very excited!

See you in England and Ireland in a few weeks, friends!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Early 2015 Happenings at HeartFelt Silks Studio

Can you believe that it's already April? Early 2015 has been a very busy time at our HeartFelt Silks studio! There have been group felting classes and private lessons at our retail/teaching space in Hudson, WI, and workshops at The Textile Center. Lots of new projects on the work table, from new styles of felted garments, to experimenting with new techniques, to eco-dyeing. Many uniquely dyed scarves and felted accessories went home to collectors of Robbin Firth originals this season. Plus, lots of new Palm Washboard felting tools are being made by Harry in the woodshop, to be shipped all over the world.

And if that's not busy enough, I have been incredibly busy with preparations for a month+ of traveling and teaching all around the United Kingdom, and Ireland too!  And, for those who have been waiting -- announcement of upcoming workshops in Florida and Canada is coming soon!

If you are in the area, come see us at Shepherd's Harvest Festival, May 15-17, 2015, in Lake Elmo, MN. We will be doing felting demos, and the entire lineup of Palm Washboards will be for sale at the festival.

Here's what we have been up to recently. Follow us on Facebook for daily updates from the studio, as well as felting tips and techniques.

Some of the most popular classes lately are the Felted Raw Wool Locks Wrap workshops. What could be better than playing with gorgeous wool locks and watching them transform into dramatic and organic-looking showstopper wraps!

Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth

Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth

Felted Wool Locks Wrap Class with Artist Robbin Firth

Interested in a group or a private class with Robbin Firth at the HeartFelt Silks Studio? Get in touch!

When I am not teaching, you will find me in the studio, creating luxurious garments and accessories out of the finest silks and wools. I love combining silk I hand-dye myself with beautiful merino wool to make stunning fiber art pieces for beautiful women.

Select hand-dyed silks and felting kits are available from the HeartFelt Silks online shop.

Felted garments in the making in Robbin Firth's HeartFelt Silks Studio

Wearable fiber art by Robbin Firth

Wearable fiber art by Robbin Firth

Here are just a few of the gorgeous women modeling their new HeartFelt Silks garments.

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

Happy customers wearing original fiber art garments by artist Robbin Firth

Interested in owning a HeartFelt Silks original? Please get in touch to inquire about current inventory or to order a custom piece.

This season, I am offering classes on the UPWOLFING felting technique for the first time. If you haven't experimented with this technique yet, you are in for a real treat. Just look at all the fun possibilities, from adding extraordinary detail to handbags, vessels, or other felt objects, to creating felted jewelry, UPWOLFING takes your felting pursuits to a new level. HeartFelt Silks is proud to be a US distributor of select UPWOLFING products, and you can find them in our online shops.

Fun with UPWOLFING felting materials - in the HeartFelt Silks Studio

Fun with UPWOLFING felting materials - in the HeartFelt Silks Studio

Using Palm Washboard felting tools to create vessels that incorporate UPWOLFING elements

Felted rings made with UPWOLFING supplies by Robbin Firth

Every day, there is something new happening at the HeartFelt Silks Studio. My eco-dyed scarves have been in high demand this season, and the studio has been frequently infused with the beautiful scent of eucalyptus (used in my eco-dyeing!) Unwrapping the bundles to reveal the beauty within is always magical!

Eco-dyeing with Felt Artist Robbin Firth

Original Eco-dyed designs on Silk by Fiber Artist Robbin Firth

I also hosted a pop-up eco-dyeing class that was a great success with my fantastic students.

Eco-dyeing class in progress at HeartFelt Silks Studio

In the meantime, Harry has been busy making not only Palm Washboards but also custom hat blocks. The hat blocks Harry creates are always made-to-order. Each one is lovingly and carefully handcrafted out of a combination of beautiful woods. Not only are the hat blocks of great use to beginner and advanced millinery artists and feltmakers, but on their own they are sculptural art objects.

Wood Artisan Harry Firth in his woodshop

Let us know if you are interested in custom-ordering a handcrafted wood hat block by Harry Firth.

Handcrafted bespoke hat blocks by wood artisan Harry Firth

And no day is complete in the HeartFelt Silks adventure without a visit and some help from one of our many beloved animals! Here's Mr. Moose doing quality control while I work.

Mr. Moose helping in the felting studio