Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Upcoming Felting Classes with Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

It's a new season of felting classes at the HeartFelt Silks Studio at SEASON on St. Croix Gallery! See the list of select classes before. Other felting classes (including private and group instruction) can be arranged by appointment.

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 Flowers, Vines, Necklaces and Belts

Create beautiful and delicate flowers with stems to make belts and necklaces. This class will take you through the basics of making the flowers with the Palm Washboard felting tool. Robbin will show you an easy technique to create the stems and then a way to connect them to the flowers for making your own fashionable accessories. (Bring a couple of towels) 

 Material & class fee $55.00                                

Friday, May 9th 6:00pm-9:00pm
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Wrapped In Seasons Shawl (Knitting Class by guest teacher Diane L. Augustin)

Learn to knit a luxurious Merino Wool shawl to enjoy through the seasons. Quick and rewarding to knit, each pattern version uses 2 hanks of fabulous Malabrigo Mecha. You will begin your shawl in class and finish it on your own. Custom-made shawl pins by Harry Firth of HeartFelt Silks will be available to purchase for your shawl. Age/level: adults, beginners & beyond. For materials list and additional details, contact Diane at 651-398-5319 or dianelaugustin@mac.com

Class fee: $30.00                                                             

Friday, May 30th 6:00pm-8:00pm
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Lightweight Summer Scarf

Felting and experimenting with hand-dyed cotton gauze is the starter for this lightweight summer scarf. Fabric, merino fiber and various silk fibers go into this unique and classy summer creation. Never felted before? No problem, we will teach you the convenient non-rolling technique with the Heartfelt Silks patent-pending Palm Washboard tool. Materials provided. (Bring a couple of towels.)

Material & class fee: $65.00 

Saturday, June 14th 1:00pm-4:00pm
Saturday, July 12th 1:00pm-4:00pm
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Silk Ruffle Scarf

Create an original silk scarf and learn the basics of three crafts (needle-felting, wet-felting, silk dyeing). First, we will needle-felt and wet-felt using merino wool & silk blend roving. This creates great ruffles! Then we will dye the whole thing with bright beautiful dyes. Supplies needed: Five prong clover needle-felting tool and large clover needle-felting mat (available through Robbin). (Bring a couple of towels)

Material & class fee: $55.00                                             
Friday, July 18th 6:00pm-9:00pm
Friday, August 15th 6:00pm-9:00pm
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Nuno Felted Scarf

Have you been waiting for this one? Nuno-Felting with the Palm Washboard! We will be taking hand-dyed Habotai Silk, adding Merino Wool roving, and then felting with the Palm Washboard felting tool, and very little rolling. You create the design for your own unique original scarf. No experience needed. Materials provided. (Bring a couple of towels.)

Material & class fee:  $60.00                                    
Saturday, August 30th 1:00pm-4:30pm
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Policy on Cancellations and Refunds: If you cancel a class 2 or more weeks ahead of class, there will be a 10% cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before class, 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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

UPWOLFING Mats are here -- let the felting fun begin!

We are delighted to be a USA distributor of select UPWOLFING products! Created by felt artist and inventor Irene Van Der Wolf from the Netherlands, the UPWOLFING felting technique has taken over the felting world by storm! Irene's innovative tools and methods allow you to get very creative and have a lot of fun with your felting projects. The UPWOLFING mats are best known for allowing you to create unusual texture and nodules on felted objects, garments, and works of art.

Irene Van Der Wolf, felt fiber artist and inventor
We currently carry the Big Hole UPWOLFING mats (24"x24") as we all s the Long UPWOLFING mats (80"x8"). The mats can be cut into other shapes, as desired. You can find both mats in our Etsy shop and our website shop.

Big Hole UPWOLFING Mat, available in the USA from HeartFelt Silks

Long UPWOLFING Mat, available in the USA from HeartFelt Silks

To see Irene Van Der Wolf's process when working with the UPWOLFING mats, watch her YouTube video. You can also learn more about her artwork and designs on her Kunstwolf website.

Here is how we have been using the UPWOLFING mats in the HeartFelt Silks studio. Our Palm Washboard felting tools work very well for the UPWOLFING technique too! Oh, what fun!

Felt Art by Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

Note: Our stock of UPWOLFING mats is limited, and all orders are filled on first-come first-served basis. We are only able to ship UPWOLFING products within the USA at this time. For overseas shipping, please contact us for a shipping quote.

Happy Felting!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Felting Classes with Instructor and Felt Artist Robbin Firth of HeartFelt Silks

Here are a few photos of happy students and their marvelous felted creations at my recent felting classes at the HeartFelt Silks studio and at The Textile Center. Stay tuned for our March-April 2014 class schedule coming soon!

Cross-Hatch Scarf Class at the HeartFelt Silks studio

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Students with their new Felted Scarves at the HeartFelt Silks studio
Cross-Hatch Scarf Class at the HeartFelt Silks studio
 Here is a large felting class held at The Textile Center in MN.
Learn the art of FELTING! Take a felting class with fiber artist Robbin Firth at HeartFelt Silks® Studio in Hudson, Wisconsin!
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
Felting Class at the HeartFelt Silks studio

Students using their Palm Washboards to make felted scarves at the HeartFelt Silks Studio at the SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery.

 In December, we had a great time making felted Christmas stockings!

Another great class! Top photo: beautiful ladies and lovely scarves made with instructor & felt artist Robbin Firth.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sandra Struck-Germann and her magnificent felt art

We are excited to welcome a very special guest to the blog -- the talented felt artist extraordinaire, Sandra Struck-Germann. One of the earliest fans of HeartFelt Silks and one of the earliest Palm Washboard users, Sandra has become our dear friend. We are thankful to her for her support, and we are grateful to know her as well as her truly extraordinary felt art.

Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, Sandra teaches workshops on the craft of felting, and she also exhibits her work widely. She is well known for her magnificent 3D artworks and for her large scale felted canvases too. Sandra was kind to share the following words and stories with us, and to tell us how she uses the Palm Washboard felting tools in her daily work. We are pleased to share Sandra's impressive work with you, along with her words.

"Portraits have fascinated me since my childhood. For years, my three children determined my life, and it was inevitable that I expressed myself in my felt art with children's faces, their portraits. I love to work in large format because it gives me freedom and space in which to create.

"As is the case for many feltmakers, my hands suffer from the constant contact with soapy water. On my large scale pieces, I often work with rough-textured gauze and rough and rugged mountain sheep's wool, and rubbing these materials with my hands for long periods of time is hard on my hands and skin. Working with gloves is uncomfortable for me. Some time ago, through Facebook, I discovered HeartFelt Silks and the Palm Washboard felting tools. When I ordered one for myself and held the Palm Washboard in my hands a short time later, I was amazed. The Palm Washboard was so very different from other conventional felting tools that I had previously used! It has a smooth and flat, yet textured, surface, ideal for gliding across the delicate felt surface and creating friction. 

This photo illustrates the enormous scale of Sandra's large format pieces. Note how small Sandra's Palm Washboard is!

A Blues Brothers wall-hanging by Sandra Struck-Germann
"I have used the Palm Washboard directly on wool in large format artworks. It hardens the surface much more quickly and consistently than I was able to accomplish with my hands. Even my elaborate layout arrangements and embellishments do not move or shift while working them with the Palm Washboard. Thanks to the large knob handle, the Palm Washboard fits comfortably in my hand, and I have the sense that I can feel the wool surface underneath the Palm Washboard through my hand and fingers.

Work in progress -- a multi-layered felted piece being worked with a Palm Washboard from HeartFelt Silks.
Sandra's work on the felted portraits of Gandhi.

And now the portraits are complete!

"Another great passion of mine is the felting of faces with three-dimensional elements. Most of these are animals portraits with parts of the animals' bodies protruding from the flat surface. The making of the transition from the flat surface to the 3D element is particularly tricky, delicate, and important. The transition must be smooth, firm, solid, and strong. For this task, I especially like to work with the EDGE Palm Washboard. This felting tool has a smooth surface and a convenient shape that creates good felting results when working 3D elements.

An example of Sandra's fascinating 3D animal portraits in felt.

Here, Sandra is working the 3D face of the fox with the EDGE Palm Washboard. The fox's body comes alive in Sandra's skilled hands!
Sandra utilizes the entire family of Palm Washboard tools in her work - clockwise from the bottom: Jumbo Palm Washboard, Regular Palm Washboard, Rounded Palm Washboard, Edge Palm Washboard.
Another stunning 3D animal wall hanging by Sandra Struck-Germann

You can see the donkey's head  so well at this angle. 

"I regularly work with seniors with dementia. Many are also limited in their motor skills. Knowing how comfortable the large handle of the Palm Washboard feels in your hands gave me the idea that this tool would be great for use by seniors. Indeed, it was a great success! During a felting lesson, the seniors enjoyed using their Palm Washboards to felt -- they got quick results, which gave them a great sense of accomplishment and boosted their self-esteem and mood.

Sandra teaches felting to seniors. The Palm Washboards help to make the felting process enjoyable and quick.

"I recently felted with a sander. I had heard people talk about felting with sanders so much that I wanted to give it a try myself. In fact, the sander felted the wool very quickly. But it also felted so quickly and powerfully that my fine and elaborate details all but disappeared! With the Palm Washboard, this has never happened to me. For me, using the Palm Washboard is a gentler, more controlled method of producing strong and solid felt. I'll stay with the Palm Washboard!

The Rounded Palm Washboard at work on a pair of adorable felted booties.

Sandra finds so many different uses for the Palm Washboards -- here, she's making a handful of felted balls.

Kids love using the Palm Washboards too, and Sandra loves the help!

Sandra Struck-Germann wearing one of her felted creations

For more of Sandra's beautiful felt art, visit her website and see our earlier blogpost featuring her work. Thank you for dropping by for a virtual visit, Sandra!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

January and February 2014 Felting Classes Schedule at HeartFelt Silks Studio

We have an exciting season of felting classes in store for early 2014. Here's the HeartFelt Silks studio classes schedule for January and February. Please remember to call us to reserve your spot in the class. Follow us on Facebook to see photos from previous classes!

Learn the art of FELTING! Take a felting class with fiber artist Robbin Firth at HeartFelt Silks® Studio in Hudson, Wisconsin!

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

Wet Felted Scarf with 3D Effects
In this fun class it's all about wool, sticks and embellishing fibers. You are going to create a scarf with 3D effects, combining elements of layering and a little slicing and dicing. This is all done with the use of the patent-pending Palm Washboard felting tools. We will experiment, and there will be surprises in store for all of us. Come join the fun! Bring a couple of towels.

Material fee & class fee: $65.00 

Saturday, January 11th 1pm-4:30pm
HeartFelts Silks Hat on a Ball
Create a one-of-a-kind hat and learn the technique of wet felting using wool roving, silk hankies & silk noils.  Never felted before? Don't worry,  you will be able to recreate this project again and again. Want a fun project to do with friends or family? Bring a couple of towels and a bowl that fits your head.

Material & class fee: $70.00 

Saturday, January 18th 1pm-4:30pm      
Cross Hatch Scarf
Create your own lattice style scarf or wrap that looks like an open weave of criss-crossed fibers. This technique makes a beautiful scarf that looks complicated, but is easy to learn. We will use merino roving, silk embellishing threads and your own scrap yarn bits to create the design, and then wet felt with Robbin’s Palm Washboard, and her innovative non-rolling technique.There will be many colors to pick from. Please bring some towels.

Material & class fee: $65.00 

Thursday, January 23rd 1pm-4pm         
HeartFelt Silks Winter Frost Scarf- Silk and Burnout Velvet
Explore the world of needle and wet felting. You'll use pieces of burnout velvet and silk, a silk scarf base, and wool roving. This is a two-part class, at two hours for each class, a week apart. Students will have some homework. The second class will be for the wet felting process.
Supplies needed for this class: Clover needle felting tool. This is the tool with 5 needles. Clover needle felting matt. Large. Both can be bought at Joanne Fabrics.
Material and class fee: $75.00              

Saturday, February 8th 2pm-4pm  
Saturday, February 15th 2pm-4pm
Merino Prefelt Scarf/Cowl
Create an original scarf or cowl using Australian merino prefelt and many hand dyed merino silk and embellishing fibers. Robbin will show you the process of wet felting using the Palm Washboard tool. You will create a double sided design on your scarf or cowl. Bring some towels.

Material & class fee: $65.00 

Tuesday, February  11th 1pm-4pm
Wine Cozy
Create a wine cozy by using wet felting techniques and a mason jar. In this class, students will be introduced to shortcuts and taught the basics of using household items to get the shapes desired. Wool roving will be used, as well as many other fibers for embellishing.  

Material & class fee: $45.00 

Friday, February 28th 6pm-9pm  

Other felting classes can be arranged by appointment. Private and group instruction available. Contact Robbin at 651-263-7275 for details.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Today we are very honored to share a story of feltmaking creation from an amazing artist and friend of HeartFelt Silks from across the miles, the lovely CRISTINA PACCIANI.

Cristina is a talented and accomplished felt artist and educator. We are proud to count her among the supporters and enthusiastic users of our Palm Washboard felting tools. Earlier this year, Cristina created felted work for the internationally known Dutch fashion designer Ronald Kolk's haute couture show. The collection was presented in a large runway show in September 2013.

Ronald Kolk haute couture. Pavlopetri 2013 Runway show. Photography by Jeroen Snijders.
Ronald Kolk haute couture. Pavlopetri 2013 Runway show. Photography by Jeroen Snijders.
Ronald Kolk haute couture. Pavlopetri 2013 Runway show. Photography by Jeroen Snijders.
Ronald Kolk haute couture. Pavlopetri 2013 Runway show. Photography by Jeroen Snijders.
You can watch the entire Ronald Kolk PAVLOPETRI haute couture Runway show HERE. The show was also covered in the news by Parool.nl. For more about Cristina Pacciani's work, visit her website.

As a special treat, we are also delighted to share Cristina's story about this project, her process, and inspiration. Please enjoy! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Cristina, and for being a dear friend of HeartFelt Silks!


When the word was spread that I have been asked to work with Ronald Kolk on his latest haute couture show, many colleagues/fellow artists congratulated me and told me they have been dreaming of something like that their whole life. I never did. Yet I am lucky I got this chance. Not for the glamour or glitter, which is amusing but not really my cup of tea, but because working with talented people is extremely inspiring and, in this case, a true joy.

What I liked the most about working with Ronald is that he freed me of all technicalities about making felt. For the first time since I make felt, I FELT the shift in my own approach to the medium, suddenly liberated of all technical luggage and ready to just create and enjoy. Mind you, the technical aspect being the foundation for all this freedom I felt. I knew that I could trust my knowledge, the materials I carefully choose for the collection and rely on a very useful tool, the Palm Washboard, to quickly make little felt samplers to show and discuss.

Copyright: Cristina Pacciani

Besides working on pieces for the collection, I was personally challenged by Ronald to make a dress for my daughter and me for the very chic black tie event. The theme being underwater world, I was lucky as it is perfect for me: I simply love the sea, its colors, its life. I was ready to dive into it.

Copyright: Cristina Pacciani
That was a new experience, making my own gown, as I often work on commission for others, but had never made anything for myself. For my daughter I took the trouble to make a sample dress at first, as I had designed a new pattern and needed to check if it worked first…something I usually don’t like to do. She wanted to participate in the making and specifically asked for lots of structures because she loves to use the Palm Washboard: it gives her a certain warranty that it will felt well, no matter what. It is easy and fun to work with.

We had much fun laying out the wool and silk and creating all kinds of surface decorations in it. The pattern worked just fine and the size was perfect, so when it was finished, I dyed it into different shades of greens….well, it turned out just what my daughter wanted, so I never got to make the real thing.

My dress was a big challenge: it had a long, wide round skirt and took up to twelve meters of silk. Again, the Palm Washboard allowed me to work on the surface concentrating on certain points, keeping sight of the shape without unwanted shrinkage and constructing an intricate pattern of under the surface designs.
Copyright: Cristina Pacciani

On the night of the big event, we both felt wonderful in our felt dresses and received many compliments. The collection has been very well received as well and since then it’s history. I am still working on wearables and enjoying the post haute couture inspiration, working on next year’s collection.

If I have learnt anything from this experience (and I think it was very meaningful) I would say that, as we all know, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, so when designing clothes I keep comfort and colors in mind, aware that the only real elegance is in the heart."

We are honored to know you, Cristina, and we are grateful to be part of your story. Congratulations on all your successes, and we wish you many more! -- Robbin and Harry Firth, HeartFelt Silks

Copyright: Cristina Pacciani