Back in 1987, whilea student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, we Fiber Majors, were introduced to felting by artist Goldsmith" href="http://art.washington.edu/art/art-faculty/layne-goldsmith/">Layne Goldsmith with a day-long workshop. She was visiting href="http://www.massart.edu/#!stars">Mass Art from The University of Washington School of Art on the west coast. Both my good friend href="https://www.facebook.com/ShariRogoffDecorativePainting?filter=2">Shari Rogoff, and I were taken with the products or process of Layne’s teachings. We set to work creating all sorts of felt. Her, more conceptual work, was large-scale wall pieces with organic imagery created with all manner of surface manipulation. I was working toward creating animal skin, more specifically rhino or dinosaur pelts to make Ragamuffins. My very first piece of felt, made the day of the workshop, had a completely different intention that failed miserably. Rather than the elaborate densely felted, hard box I had imagined, my work, somewhat disappointedly turned into my first ever Ragamuffin. A stegosaurus shaped marionette type soft sculpture with rolled felt limbs, stuffed with newspaper. As I was working my way through art school it dawned on me that this little critter could evolve into something quite marketable and so it did! The following holiday season I sold as many Ragamuffins as I could make. Spending days in the damp, chilly Fiber Arts studio in the Longwood Building on the corner of Brookline and Longwood, rolling giant bamboo sushi mats full of wet wool in tepid soapy water got old fast. Pruny fingers and ever-softening fingernails quickly became distant history when my dad gave me the idea to create the felt with used wool sweaters in the washing machine. Ragamuffins were the first product I wholesaled. They morphed into several species over time and were featured by The Nature Company, Sundance Catalog, Fiorucci, among other smaller retail boutiques. Even as my product line expanded to include clothing, and home furnishings, Ragamuffins were my best selling product for 22 years. Enter to win one today! This month’s First Wednesday Give-Away starts now. Leave a comment telling us a little something about a memorable toy from your childhood to be entered in the random drawing on Monday morning! Entrants should have a US address for shipping or be willing to pay postage and they should not have won anything from CRISPINA in the last 12 months.