Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Awash with hand felted Bilbys

Horray!  Checking details for this post I’ve just read that the proactive approach of The Foundation for a Rabbit Free Australia and their supporters, in particular Haigh’s Chocolates in Adelaide, seems to be producing positive results ... Bilby numbers are on the rise in the wild but also at ak where we’re risk of being overrun by the quirky little creatures.  I’ve long been an Bilby advocate and designed ak’s own wet felted version several years ago...since then every Easter our ‘house models’ sit shyly in the shop window, small wicker egg basket in hand, attracting admirers.  But unfortunately their popularity has now grown to the point where I have to limit the number of custom orders for readymade Bilbys... oh, for more time. 

We do, however, run hand felting Bilby workshops in the weeks leading up to Easter which offer felt enthusiasts a novel way to explore this traditional and versatile method of creating a textile ...or more specifically; the chance to create their own small, three-dimensional, seamless marsupial with overly large ears and delicate feet.  
All materials and equipment provided... participants to supply elbow grease, a willingness to get wet and soapy, patience...felting is not quick...and a curiosity about the way in which wool fibres morph into a sturdy thick fabric as you manipulate them between your hands.
This year, Easter and the school holidays run into each other meaning that children taking part in ak’s school holiday workshops have also had the option to create Bilby characters.  The new baby Bilbys are the perfect size for small hands and have proved especially popular...and happily, they’re a little quicker to make than their full grown relations.