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Three-week series to teach 'magical' craft of felting

Tualatin Library hosting workshops for adults this month.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEBRIE RICH - The third class on felting that the Tualatin Public Library will host this month will teach participants to make felt flowers.The Tualatin Public Library is offering a three-week series of Wednesday classes this month that will teach adults how to create felt and form it into artistic creations.

LeBrie Rich, a Portland-based artist and instructor who will be teaching the classes, practices the craft of “wet felting.” She explained it as a technique for combining sheep's wool with hot water and soap to create dense felt.

“It's kind of like making a dreadlock,” she said.

Rich, who owns the felted art business PenFelt, has been teaching felting for about 12 years. She said she enjoys working with felt, which she calls “the original textile of humanity.

“It's a wonderful process of transformation,” Rich said. “Transforming the loose, raw material of wool into this dense, sturdy textile is somewhat magical.”

The two-hour classes begin at 6:30 p.m. The first class, “Introduction to Wet Felting,” is set for July 13; subsequent classes will explore more advanced concepts, such as using felt to make 3D crafts. The second class, “Felted Pod or Vessel,” will be July 20, and the third and final class, “Felted Flowers,” will be held on July 27.

While most programs at the Tualatin Library are free, each of the three felting classes has a $10 fee to cover costs of materials, said library specialist Julie Wickman.

Rich and Wickman said each class will build off the previous session.

“You're learning new skills every week,” Rich said.

Rich has led classes and workshops at the Tualatin Library before, many of them geared toward teenagers, Wickman said. She said the library had interest from adults, including some young adults who remembered taking classes with Rich as teens, in a felting workshop for library patrons ages 18 and older.

Wickman described Rich as “an amazing instructor.”

“She's just kind of one of those people who is infectious with her creativity,” Wickman said.

Participants will be able to take the items they create in class home.

Advance registration is required for the three classes: Introduction to Wet Felting, Felted Pod or Vessel and Felted Flowers.

The library is located at 18878 S.W. Martinazzi Ave.

By Mark Miller
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