It can be hard to imagine how you can learn a physical craft online! I hope some of these frequently asked questions and answers help!
How are the teaching materials presented?
All of the workshop materials are presented in an online classroom. The modules are full of clear, informative text, lots of photos to illustrate each step, videos in most classes, and PDF’s for you to view or download for future reference. The project based classes all have instructional videos to guide your through the process.
Each class is different in length, with new materials made available each week. Please read the individual class descriptions for this information.
Does the class “meet”, e.g. via skype?
No, we don’t meet in real time in that way. But you can post pictures of your work in the classroom as well as questions and comments, and I carefully review your work and questions and offer feedback. In the online classroom you can post comments to chat with the other students. It’s a rich and comprehensive learning environment. By doing it this way, it doesn’t matter what time zone you are in, or when you work on a particular part of the class.
Can I use a mobile device to access the class materials?
Yes. Tablets/ ipads work really well. Parts of the class materials were written on one! Some students have used their phones to access the teaching materials, but you may find this a little small and limiting to get most benefit from the pictures. I have updated the platform for the 2018 session to be mobile friendly.
I’m going to be away for part of this class. Will this still work for me?
Yes. You have access to the online classroom for six months from the start of the class. Lots of time to catch up on anything you’ve missed!
In the longer classes I include studio weeks, a week to catch up, have a break, or work with the materials more deeply. If you are away, miss something, or life catches up with you, (as it does!), you have some extra breathing room to explore the materials.
Students have mentioned that they got the most out the class if they were working on the teaching materials released that week, or at least reading along to see what everyone else was doing and see their questions and the answers. If you will be away for a few weeks, I would skip those, and start again in the current week. Then go back to those skipped materials later. You can still review all of the comments, questions and answers in the online classroom, for 6 months from the start of the class.
Do I need to be available or online at particular times?
No. You can work entirely at your own pace. That is a wonderful aspect of an online class. Students have commented that they find these classes in even better than in person classes, because there is no time pressure, you can choose when and for how long you want to work on something, and even have time to repeat the project and ask more questions.
Do I have to participate in the online classroom?
No, you don’t have to, but I do love to see you there! Many students like to log in and just follow along with the conversations, and some students don’t use the online classroom at all, preferring to work through the materials on their own, in their own way. They simply login each week to download the PDF and work from that teaching reference material.
I live in (insert name of beautiful, far away country). Can I take this class?
Absolutely. People from all over the world have taken these classes. It is wonderful to get all of your different perspectives on our shared craft from wherever you live. The online format makes these classes ideal for those who live in remote places with little access to workshops. As long as you have a good internet connection, it will work for you!
I want to take all of the classes! Do you have any suggestions for the order in which I should take them?
Oh! Wow! Thank you for your enthusiasm! I love it! I strongly suggest you take one class at a time in the techniques based classes- Surface Design Online, Felting Over the Edge and Composition for Feltmakers. These are longer, very intensive workshops, and you’ll have lots to do and learn about, just in one class! It does work to take Felt Bags and/or Felt Illuminated along with one of the technique classes. The order in which you take the classes will depend on your interests. If I had to pick myself, I would take Surface Design Online first, then Felting Over the Edge, and Composition for Feltmakers last, if this last course of study interests you. Felt Bags and Felt Illuminated can fit in along with any of these.
Are materials included in the class?
No. The workshops descriptions all have a link to the full materials list, other than Felt Illuminated. When you register for Felt Illuminated, you will be sent a link to the materials list, with some suggestions for purchasing the materials needed.
Most materials in all classes are easy to source, and not too expensive. Always keep an eye ut for interesting materials at thrift stores/op shops, and general craft supply stores. I do suggest you work with the best quality of materials you can afford. In feltmaking, we invest so much of ourselves in time and energy, and we do that effort a disservice by starting out with materials that might not give us the best results possible. High quality materials will not cost much more and go a long way. You’ll be so much happier with your finished felt! Truly!
What teaching materials do I get to keep after the class?
You will have the full colour, step by step PDF instructions. They are yours. You can print them if you wish, but I do ask that you do not share those materials. They represent hundreds of hours of work, and also the way I support my family! You have paid for these instructions, so please value them.
The videos and online conversations are accessible to you for 6 months depending on the class. But by then you’ll be an expert!
How long do I have access to the online classroom?
All online classrooms are open for 6 months from the start of the class. You can login to the online classroom at anytime during this period to review comments and extra instruction, as well as the videos and access the PDF’s.
How often do you respond to postings in the online classroom? Do you review all the work posted?
I check in with the online classrooms everyday, Sunday-Thursday. I take Fridays and Saturdays off to have some time offline and renew my energy; to get outside, to make something in the studio, and spend time with my family. By doing this, I’m ready for you, and our next week of working together, refreshed, invigorated and passionate about our craft! During the online workshop sessions, the classes get my full focus and I spend most of each day in the classrooms. I make myself as fully available to you as possible. I respond to all questions, and offer feedback on most work, especially if you share something about the piece- your challenges, successes, inspirations or ideas. I can’t comment on every post, and strive to always to be genuine and thoughtful in my responses. So if your work is beautiful, and beautifully executed, but nothing else enters my mind as I view it, I may not comment. I open every picture and blow it up on my screen and look at the details of the work and structure so I can respond with helpful ideas, just like I would in a live classroom.
When exactly will registration open on January 2, 2018 for the online workshops?
Registration will open at 9:00am Pacific Time. I’ll be here ready to take care of any issues, with coffee in hand!
Why are the course fees in US dollars?
The online learning platform that I use for all my classes is only set up to accept fees in US dollars. The workshop fees have been adjusted to this currency to reflect what the course fee would be in Canadian dollars (my home currency!).
In the Surface Design Online and Felting Over the Edge classes, how does the individual project work?
The individual project is your chance to practice, explore more deeply or show off your new skills acquired in the previous weeks of these classes. Learning the techniques through sampling in one thing, but it is truly satisfying to them take those new techniques and apply them to a project of your choice. Students have made wall pieces, sculptures, vessels, cushions, bags, dresses, vests and coats, curtains. It is there to allow you to employ the new techniques, and ask new questions that arise when you are applying surface design in a project. It takes you into the next step of using all of the new ideas and techniques in your projects. It is always fun to see what you come up with!
I missed signing up for this session. When will the next classes run?
The next session of online workshops in 2018 will start on January 19. Registration information will be announced in late November, with registration opening on January 2, 2018.
I run two sessions of online workshops each year. Session One starts in January, and Session 2 starts in September.
Thank you for your interest in my work. Exploring new frontiers in felt design is my passion and I love sharing my experience with you!