Monday, January 19, 2009
Mehmet Girgic - Felt Rug Workshop
I've just completed a three day workshop with Mehmet Girgic. Nicola Brown is hosting him for 2 workshops this month. He's a fantastic rug maker from Turkey. Very calm, doesn't lecture, gives as much help as people want. He started by teaching us the Osman method, which starts with making ropes and outlining your design. Then you fill in each section with colour. The same colour choices were given to everyone and I was amazed at the style differences that came out of it. Myself and 9 others took the course.
This is the basic rug base that everyone started out with. You could make them smaller if you wanted by cutting them. It is really a pre-felt of cheesecloth and a light layer of wool. These were provided for us, but it would be interesting to try and make them.
Here is a bit of the outlining. Using tops, you pull off a sliver and roll in on your leg to make a yarn type of material.
Filling in is done by wetting the wool with thick olive oil soap/water and stretching it into the outlined form. It can be difficult in the pointed areas.
This is how far I got by the end of the 1st day. It takes a lot of time to do this.
The final finishing of the corners before laying it out to be rolled.
Huge mats were brought in from Turkey to roll the rugs on. We rolled 4-5 at a time.
One they were rolled up, we rolled them in one direction to tighten the mat down so nothing would shift in the design work. The mat was lifted, turned and rolled to the other end for about 10 minutes.
We then tried to stay behind and on top of the roll. Kicking and stamping for about an hour. Always turning and rolling in the same direction. It makes smooth, dense felt this way. This is Elizabeth Bonnar and Mehmet working on the rugs.
The final rolling with 4 rugs together. It's a lot of work, but well worth it.
Here are all the rugs that were done before we left. Nicola and I were taking pictures. Check out Feltmakers Ireland and Clasheen for more photos and videos on the course.