March 09, 2019
I often contemplate that the reality that using The Gentle Roller has neither made me a more prolific nor a faster felt maker. The Gentle Roller was never intended to produce faster felt. It was intended to replace manual rolling and, in that regards, it suits me fine. But I know that there are some who think or feel that you could be working faster particularly when you’re not doing the rolling yourself and time seems to be spent “waiting”. There are just so many cups of coffee you can have while The Gentle Roller is doing all that hard work for you 😉.
I am not usually having cups of coffee, or reading, as the GR advert suggests. And because the shed where I work is a long way from the rest of the house, I tend to just sit around waiting for the cycles to complete. Often, I use the time to daydream about future projects, draw or write, or informally do inventory of my fibres and fabrics.
Things changed when I started testing the super soft roller for Nuno Felt. I discovered that having more than one drive roller can change your production quite dramatically.
It helps for instance when I am laying a garment. As I don’t use a resist but lay my pieces separately, I can now roll the front and back pieces concurrently. Having laid out the back and front pieces I can take each up on a separate drive roller (it’s less difficult/heavy than folding back to back and trying to roll the whole piece at once). While one bundle is rolling, I can wet down, soap, inspect the other piece, then sandwiched in plastic, take it up on another drive roller. When the rolling cycle finishes for the other bundle, I can simply switch them over.
You can work this way with making multiple scarves at the one time, or with different parts of a garment. When I work with two drive rollers I’m no longer sitting around in a daydream (even though I consider this being creative too). I’m in constant motion inspecting, wetting, hand touching, preparing; and as I ready one piece, the rolling cycle of the other is just coming to an end (or it is waiting) and I swap and continue.
The Gentle Roller won’t be rolling any faster, but you will find yourself working much more productively and efficiently (if that is your objective) and your “waiting” time will reduce dramatically.