In the plans were monthly presentations by various members of new techniques which they were willing to share with the others. Helle-Mall Risti gained a steady following of disciples willing to knit the cobweb-like Haapsalu sallid. It is amazing that so many persevered so devotedly and managed a collection of small samples which may be used in a non-traditional, creative, manner. Helle-Mall, herself, has been assiduously knitting both small samples and customary shawls and scarves for exhibition and sale at our Christmas Market, the "Jõululaat". With the current trend in fashion towards delicate lace detailing, the Haapsalu motifs are seen in many fashion items, be they long scarves wound delicately around the throat, or as an eight-pointed star on an evening-bag. In the coming seasons, the fragile Haapsalu knitting will feature in many unusual places. Witness our Estonian First Lady, Pr Ilves, who had an evening dress and handbag commissioned for herself. Young designers in Estonia have also been inspired and commissioned to follow suit. The designs emerging there, using the traditional cream wool as well as other, brighter, colours shows that intricate patterns and knitted materials are highly prized. We in our small Kunsti- ja Käsitööring have also been inspired and we are offering for sale a number of pretty scarves and other items based on the Haapsalu motifs. The Christmas Martket will take place on Sunday, 27th November , starting at 1pm, at Eesti Maja.
On the other side of the crafty spectrum, we have been inspired by the modern trend in crafts – felting. At the start few of us had great knowledge or experience of this currently fashionable craft. But we have quickly become addicted to this unpredictable art-form. Mai Buchert introduced us to its basic form and made a table-runner with three archaic designs from Kihnu. It is simple but very effective. We hope to have a few more designs which could be incorporated into a larger element. Külliki Poole is experimenting with nuno felting, producing a medium-sized vest from coloured strands of wool on silk chiffon in a size fit for a giant. As with all art, the excitement comes from the unpredictable mixing of colour and the amount of shrinkage that will occur when the wool is agitated and distressed. We are eager to display, and sell, some of our efforts. And of course we will have a large array of small gifts for sale, all of which are suitable for Christmas giving. Our artisans and artists are not interested in making a profit, we primarily want to share our creativity and, hopefully, cover the cost of materials, so that we can carry on being productive. If we were to try and make a living from our creativity, we would have to charge exorbitant prices. Thus we do it for the love of making things and that makes it possible for our friends to find many a valuable article with which to gladden the hearts around a Christmas tree. It will also provide attractive items for the younger Estonians who have made Sydney their home and are bringing up happy young Estonian "vegemites". We welcome their participation and hope to learn from them.
And, of course, we will provide our usual "suupisted" of open herring, cucumber or cheese sandwiches, "kohupiimakook", kringel and tortes, along with coffee and tea. Entertainments will include communal singing, traditional dancing and ensemble-music to gladden our hearts. For those willing to invest a few dollars in the "lotterii" there are many, valuable prizes. So.... Lets make a date of it: "JÕULULAAT" on SUNDAY 27th NOVEMBER, 2011, starting at 1pm at Eesti Maja.