The first step in felting, laying out the roving, can be accomplished in a few minutes. This step took me less than thirty minutes, but I'm sure it would go faster in the future. However, the experienced felters in the class said that this is the most important step, and if not done correctly, the end results will be less than optimum.
The second step involves hot water, a bar of soap, and a lot of elbow grease. We filled small buckets with water that was as hot as we could comfortably stand. We then scooped the water by the handful and wet the felt completely. Then a piece of tulle netting was placed over the top, and we used a bar of soap on our hands and on the netting until the whole thing was quite slippery. Circular motion is then applied to the wool with both hands until the fibers adhere to one another.
The piece is now somewhat felted, but not completely done. The piece is placed in a towel, and rolled repeatedly in all directions until the piece is quite thick and uniform. I'd say this second phase with the water, soap and towel took a couple of hours. I then took my piece home and let it air dry.
Here are photos of some of the projects. I don't have photos of everything, as I was so busy felting, that I didn't have the chance to photograph everything.
An embroidered wine bottle holder is on the left, containing two bottles of a fermented Mongolian drink made from milk. We had the opportunity to sample it--delicious and most unusual! In the middle is the traditional and quite functional Mongolian hat, with flaps that can be pulled down for more warmth, while on the right is a student's project, a cream-colored hat:
Another student chose to make slippers for a child. You can see the wooden slipper forms on the left, her purple roving laid out in the middle, and a finished pair of orange slippers on the right:
The shop had a trunk show featuring Errta's creations. Errta's gorgeous jackets, purses, slippers and hats were snapped up instantly: