I attended a three day workshop with Pam McGregor last month and made a felt teapot. I have been asked by the group to share the experience.
Pam supplied a variety of patterns and I choose one which would need a separate handle, attached from a loop on the spout and on the handle extension piece. Finnish wool was used as it gives a good structure. It comes in natural white, grey, black and browns. I decided not to dye the wool in advance as I was afraid it might begin to felt. I found working with the natural colours for the first layers very difficult as the whole structure looked so dull. The layers were done with great precision, making sure to keep them even. The spout and extension for the handle got fewer layers.
Finally to colour – I decided to leave the base in the natural shade. I put a band of multi coloured roving around the centre to give a focal point. My original idea was to use earth browns and rusts but the greens turned out to be a better choice. The purple at the top seemed to lift the whole design. At this stage it was hard to visualise the exact shape and dimensions of the handle and spout and how the placing of colours would suit.
Much rubbing and rolling followed. A balloon was blown up inside for shaping and we used a variety of tools to add friction. I still had made no decision about a handle but using cane or wood didn’t really appeal. So I made a long roll and attached it to the handle piece, thinking I would attach it to the loop on the spout. But the final design evolved and the needle felted stopper is now at the end of the handle.
Pam taught us how to make fitted stoppers so I did make one for the learning experience. It now awaits its own teapot! Kay McKenna