Skip to main content

October Residency: Community Feltmaking with Mary Reichert

This October, feltmaker Mary Reichert will lead a three week community rug making project during her 2018 instructor residency at North House Folk School. Whether you drop in to learn how to card raw wool one time, or spend days designing and helping to felt the giant rug, there is a place for everyone in the community rug project. Mary will share her extensive knowledge of cultural traditions around felted rugs as the community works together to design and create the final piece- which will be hung in the fibers classroom on the North House campus for all to enjoy. Read more about Mary on her instructor page here.

The following events are open to the public, note that some require pre-registration:

Friday October 12th, 4-7 pm
Drop-in Wool Carding
Gather around for an evening of good company and stories as we fill our laps with clean, washed wool and begin the next step in the process- carding.  We will be working with hand carders as we learn how to open up the fibers and prepare them for felting. Come anytime between 1 and 4 pm. Please bring a pair of hand carders if you have them. No experience necessary.

Saturday and Sunday October 13th and 14th, 11-5 each day
Rug Design Workshop
Felt rug making is an art of storytelling.  In this weekend class we will look at samples of rugs from Kyrgyzstan learning from their experienced hands and then work together to create a story on our community rug that will hang in the North House fibers room.  Once we have the story sketched out, we will begin the design process by making templates and pre-felts together. No experience necessary.
Pre-registration required
Cost: $25
Ages: Under 18 must register with an adult
Call or stop by North House to register. 218-387-9762, open 8-5 daily.

Tuesday October 16th, 3-8 pm
Wednesday October 17th, 3-8 pm

Drop-in Community Rug Design Workshops
Come learn the details of how to lay out and design a rug. If you can't help over the weekend, or just have an hour or two and want to help with this stage of the process, please stop by!
We will begin with a review of the big picture each day, and then work on prepping the materials needed for the big felting day. From making pre-felts to cutting designs, hand spinning wool to sewing burlap together for the outer cover, preparing the nylon and rope, and any other odds and ends. There will be a range of tasks, many hands needed, and if you don’t know how to do something, come learn! Stop by anytime between 3 and 8, stay for as long or short as you can!
We will finish these two days with laying out the base layers of the 9’ by 12’ rug.

Friday October 19th, 9-4
Saturday October 20th, 9-4

Drop-in Felt a Community Rug
The art of felt-making requires both a soft and firm hand.  Friday we will be using a soft touch to begin the process of laying out and attaching the design. It is with our gentle coaxing as we sprinkle water and walk on the wool that the layers will begin to hold together.  Truly magic.  Come all day or stay for an hour.
Saturday we will work on the final stages of the felt-making process, standing arm in arm, 7 or 8 across and kicking the roll of felt together in rhythm. It is this agitation that will bring the fibers together to hold strong. As they say in Kyrgyzstan- as the felt comes together, so do the people.  Everyone welcome!