During the second week we switched to felt-making, starting with ‘animalito skin’ felts using undyed local white and brown fleeces. These, the mamas stitched into pantuflas (baby slippers). Our second project was coronas (crowns) for the preschool. With this project, the mamas started to learn how to layer felts for pattern, design, and different purposes. Next, having developed their skills, the mamas used the precious naturally dyed wools to create other objects in felt: decorations and brooches, flowers, hearts, and leaves. Finally, time was spent on embellishment utilizing beading and embroidery techniques from the mamas’ experience as weavers.
Each of the mamas worked so very hard, with much giggling and enthusiasm. Clara took diligent notes, and I am confident she will be able to continue and introduce both dyeing and felting to new residents at Somos. Each mama had her own sparkle of creativity and accomplished so much in such a brief amount of time. This was an entirely new process for each of them, but all had a textile vocabulary and an intuitive ability to use colour and embellish their work.
We are grateful to Somos to have been able to spend several weeks in the highlands, teaching, learning, breathing and taking in this remarkable experience. To paraphrase a good friend’s words: it was so very satisfying for everyone to transform beauty into beauty.