This post is about a project initiated by a lady called Martein van Zuilen who was born in Holland, but now lives in Perth. The project is called The Australian National Yurt Project which she founded in 1997, and with a lot of help the yurt was completed in 1998. In 1996 Martein travelled to St Petersburg in Russia and to Denmark to study the history of felt from every part of Central Asia, then on to Mongolia to learn the history and significance of felt in nomadic life. There she observed artisans making felt on the vast grass steppe using raw fleece, no soap, cold water and the power of horses to make it happen. Martein then returned to Australia to start her project, and with the help of The Australian Forum for Textile Arts (TAFTA) and as many people as possible the Yurt was built using donated raw fleece, no soap and cold water.
Martein travelled 12,000 kilometers and across five states to work with felters on large pieces of felt. Two pieces were sown together in a semi-circle to make the roof, and a lady called Kerry Bryan donated her time and using recycled timber made the frame, and in all 21 metres of felt were made. On the night of the Fibre Forum at Mittagong they all slept in the finished yurt.
This information was found on Martein van Zuilen‘s website.
Gosh!……how much fun was all that (I mean reading the story!)…..what a wonderful achievement and even travelling to Mongolia makes it all the more authentic. Making all that felt certainly must have been a good physical “workout”.