To be honest, I don’t know where to start my story about Vilte and Irit Dulman International workshop in Cyprus, the Island of Greek Goddess Aphrodite. It is all over now. I’m still tired but content, my dreams full of images of the girls and my thoughts still there, on a beautiful coast of Latchi, in our spacious workshop room. We only had a few days together, but it feels like a whole separate life we shared and enjoyed.
This is my second workshop with Vilte and I hope not the last one. Since April 2011 the program has been expanded dramatically. It is very original in its simplicity but a lot of new techniques and texture, tips and tricks had been added. Plus different ways of layouts, templates and calculations. New unusual silk fibers from remote villages of India have been introduced and rare wild wool and locks being used during our lessons.
I attended both workshops of Vilte and Irit. It was pity to miss such opportunity, especially if it comes directly on your doorstep. First part of the day we’ve been working with Vilte, after four o’clock in the afternoon we continued with Irit. We have worked many hours, but it was worth it. Every minute of it. Plenty of samples being made and also two finished garments. A lot of theory written in our workbooks. All felting and dyeing/printing materials have been provided by both teachers. I really like the atmosphere of the classes; we could take a break whenever we wanted and go for a swim or a cold coffee, no strict rules or limitations. We had a lot of questions and all of them have been answered in full. Teacher’s patience was endless and kind and every day of workshops was full of learning.
What I actually learned from my teachers. I already was working using Vilte’s technique more than a year. Being a journalist I was also quietly and attentively observing her work and progress for two years now; published the article about my first experience and I still don’t know how her mind works. She is going so fast in her work I don’t think anyone could ever follow. Always few steps forward with new ideas, techniques and discoveries. Vilte pays attention to smallest details but at the same time keeps telling us that no strict rules in felting and no waste in it. If the blouse didn’t came out the way you wanted you still can change or adjust the design by following its organic shape for example. I also noticed the way Vilte handles the silks and fibers; with care but not the fear of damaging it. Her hands movements are strong, fast and gentle at the same time. She never lost her patience even being tired. Always calm, friendly and very supportive in any way possible. Lots of samples being made and two garments during her classes.
I’ve learned again to work slowly in order to move fast and to concentrate more and see more. I have to be a friend with my fibers and silks to get desired result; I have to wait till they start talking to me. I also learned to clear my mind from any negative or worrying thoughts and concentrate only on the project and feel free. It wasn’t easy but it worked wonders. Many times during the lessons I had this sensational feeling of total happiness we all had being kids. She is an amazing teacher and wonderful human being. Thank you for everything, dear Vilte; it was such a pleasure to work with you again!
My discoveries with Irit. I always admired her work and never thought I could really see her in person here, in Cyprus. When I met Irit at the airport she looked very tired and fragile; only those famous bright blue eyes were glowing. While we were driving to our hotel she never missed any tree and I started learning right there. During her classes the atmosphere was very relaxed as well and it was a lot o fun working with different fabrics and plenty of various plant materials. My workbook full of notes now, and I can’t wait to start working again. Workplace looked like a forest witchcraft nest with flying on the wind dyed dresses and samples. Local guests and foreigners were very curious about our work and asked a lot of questions.
Before the master-class I’ve been running a lot of tests and thought that I know a bit about the leaves already. Well...Not! The main secret was hidden on a surface and it was the huge revelation for me. Irit taught us that we have to lose control, do not expect exact results every time and let the process of printing and dyeing take care of itself. We also learned that every mistake and every sample is precious; that is the way how we have to make our own discoveries. She taught us that every leaf has its own beautiful story and will whisper it eventually. Only then we could experience the true magic and real colours of Mother Nature. I got more than I expected from Irit’s lessons. My dress and wrap came out in a very unpredicted way. I have so much more interesting patterns, colours and texture which I would never even dreamed to achieve. And I will definitely use the Eco printing and the new way of dyeing my dresses. Thank you so much, dear Irit! You shared every piece of knowledge you have with us and have been such interesting and inspiring teacher and an exceptional person!
Irit and Vilte are very different but very similar in a way. They always joined us for every occasion; we swam, laughed, dinned and even danced together. But when I was looking at them I understand that they are always so far away, in another dimension, in their own secret world of mysterious fibers and miraculous colours. I couldn’t wish for better teachers and I think all our ladies are feeling the same.
This was a working holiday for us. Participants arrived from all over the world – USA, Island, Israel, Norway, the Netherlands, UK, Portugal, Norway, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Cyprus. Even we all were tired at the end of the day but we always shared dinner together on cosy restaurant veranda, overlooking Akamas Bay with its clear waters with the sun slowly going down to a blue silky haze. At the end of the first workshop we had a girl’s night out together and painted town red with karaoke’s favourite ‘I will survive’ and danced a lot. We all clicked immediately as if we have known each other for a very long time. I never forget those amazing stories and late night conversations of human strength, losses and recoveries. Stories about how and why each of us started felting and how it helped to move forward and live a fine life. I’ll treasure them forever. Every time I start to write this part of my article I can’t hold my tears. So if it was written on paper it would be soaked wet. But these are happy tears with a little sadness. I was very lucky to meet all of you and privileged to work and play together. I will never forget your kindness, support and farewell gifts. What a beautiful souls and gorgeous Aphrodites you are! One day we’ll meet again, we were here for a reason. I think we all feel refreshed and may be even re-born again to meet new life experiences and challenges, to continue our work in a new and fascinating way.
Let’s do it, let’s dare, we will survive, girls! Yalla bye, my dear friends and teachers!
And I’ll be waiting...
* In Hebrew slang Yalla bye it’s a combination of the Arabic word yalla meaning "common" and of the English word bye.
* You could watch our video composed by Idan Levy here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMU34tagctQ. Thank you so much, Idan! It is fantastic work and we’ll treasure these documented memories.
* Special thanks to Aphrodite Beach Hotel http://www.aphrodite-beachhotel.com/and Gregoria (the Owner) and the whole family. Dear Gregoria, we were feeling like at home and enjoyed every minute of our stay. Thank you for all your care and patience! We’ll see you again one day!