Personal story time! (Memory B - USA - Feb 23)

I only discovered felting about 2 1/2 -3 years ago. I have since buried myself deeper into the wool with each passing day. I am "youngish" at 49 and, realizing that the repetitive physicality of felt making would rear its head at some point later in life, I decided that I wanted to research the Gentle Roller.

I was in the research phase of it, and one of the things that kept me coming back was how actively responsive Phillip was to all the questions. Joni's tutorials were intriguing and it kept appearing in my FB feed. When two of my pricier sculptures sold (clay work), I decided to take the plunge and invest in "me" by buying a GR on the Black Friday sale.

When it arrived, it came at a super busy time for me. Despite already feeling a bit overwhelmed with "everything else", I set it up, read everything, watched the YouTube channel and absorbed as much as I could. I tried using it one time that week, and, if I am honest, I sort of felt buyer's remorse. It felt like a cumbersome process when I was so used to having the rolling "check ins" right there in front of me. I even reached out to Phillip who, patiently and kindly, suggested a few things and pointed out a few other things. So, in my stubborness and busyness of the season, it sat there. A lonely looking thing- unused. LOL.

Then January came and I realized that my previous commitment of 10 new wool pieces for a gallery was right around the corner. Determined to get over myself, I went back to the GR. You see, while I could do my work without it (I don't have any physical issues right now), the whole point of investing in one (for me) was to enable me to felt well into the future. Preventative care if you have.

So, I started with just a piece that was intended to be felted fabric - nothing crazy. Even used the fulling drum that time! This second time using the machine was more natural. A step in a direction that felt more known.

I started to lay out my pieces and gained confidence that the roller would be fine. Each time I did, the movements to take the roller off, carry it to my counter, unwrap the outer plastic, unwrap the plastic holding my piece, check, re-wrap.... well, it just felt more natural each time I did it.

So, OK, this isn't some huge revelation. Muscle memory and all that jazz means that you have to do something a few times before it feels like the movements belong in the process. However, during the past month, using the GR went from feeling easier to use, to fully embedding itself into my routine process. YAY!

Not only does it save my energy for layout and other projects, but it saves my joints from repetitive stressed which could impact my health later.

Moral of this story? Don't try a new machine/process when you are already stressed out. Give it time to mold to your way of doing things.

... I really want to try a wearable. And, I think, the GR makes that "formidable-to-me" task seem much more doable. We each do such different things with our art so I think giving yourself and the machine time to work out a relationship is really key.

At the end of the day, I am in love. The GR has been fantastic as have been Phillip and Joni. Thank you for designing and producing something that can allow this magical wooly art to be more accessible to people.

... It truly has been a limb saver this past month and I really appreciate your product and this (Facebook) group. Thanks so much!

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Great work. I bought a gentle roller several years ago and love it. I have made lots of scarves, cowls and hats. Phillip and Joni are fantastic.  (Colleen - Canada - Feb 23 - 4 year owner)

Great advice! No one chooses to do something that frustrates them.....and there is always a learning curve in new things. Glad you took the time and the breath to focus on how to get the best out of the GR! You are doing amazing work!!!!!! (Ellen - USA - Feb 23 - 5 year owner)

I couldn’t agree more! The best money I’ve spent in my studio. (Stephanie - USA - Feb 23 - 1 year owner)

A great tribute to the machine. And a reminder to be kind to yourself during the learning process… no matter your age! (Anna - Australia - Feb 23 - 5 year owner)

Yup. Had the very same feelings in the beginning but found my way and wouldn't want to part with my GR now!   (Nelly - Canada - Feb 23 - 4 year owner)

You guys truly are the best company I have ever worked with. You have a clear voice of compassion and patience. I have grown to really love and appreciate the product you have created. Thank you a million times over! (Memory - USA - Feb 23)