The rug is in position at last!

This morning I drove to Dublin to deliver Sylvia’s rug with the big hope that a. it would be the right size and b. Sylvia would be happy with the finished design and colour!  

Sylvia with her new rug in position

If you remember, the colours were chosen to compliment the woven hearth rug that was already in place in front of the fire and the idea was to echo the blues with a modern design and pull the whole seating area together into a cohesive grouping.  Until today I didn’t realise that the beautiful Danish coffee table was indeed so beautiful because Sylvia had always covered it with a lace cloth and mountains of books (must be a family trait!!!) but now the rug is fully in view through the glass and the whole room looks great.  Thankfully everything went well and after a delicious lunch (cold meats, great mixed salad, brown bread, strawberries, blueberries, home-made yoghurt, fresh coffee and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc!) I drove home tired, happy and satisfied that the rug will be well used for the purpose that it was created for! 

Close up of the rug in position

Still shaving …….

I am still shaving Sylvia’s rug in preparation for delivery on Monday, this time the wool fibres coming through the cotton on the back.  At one stage I thought that I wouldn’t remove these ‘hairs’ but eventually decided that because the rug will be lying on a carpet base probably with time the fibres would pill so it would be better remove them now rather than later.  My finger is a bit of a worry, not sore at all but when I knocked it again the other day loads of blood from such a small cut!  Obviously I am being really careful because the last thing I want is red all over the white in the rug!!!  Now I am looking forward to seeing the rug in situ and taking some photos but I am also a little aprehensive as I still have a few cms all round which I would like to shrink but just don’t seem to be able to achieve, Sylvia’s initial measurements were approx so hopefully approx will still fit the bill!

Apologies to anyone who might be waiting for an email or a reply to a comment, golf duties have totally taken up any other available time these last few days and what with my finger and the rug computer activity has rather taken a bashing until tomorrow.  I am just off now to a Visiting Captain’s Day in Kilkenny, tomorrow it is the Captain’s Prize to the Ladies in Borris and I have meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, an Open Day on Thursday and a big in house competition on Saturday, phew.

Simple felt dreadlocks!

As well as meeting loads of fun and dedicated fibre enthusiasts one of the best things about attending any international felt event is the sure fire knowledge that you will learn something new.  Many of you know that I love dreadlocks or felt cords but up until now they have definitely not been on my list of top ten easiest felted items to make! 

Funky felt necklace

Since attending Charlotte Buch’s workshop in Silkeborg I have been experimenting with a technique of hers which allows you to insert multiple cords at the lay out stage without any prior felting to keep them seperate, this has proved a eureka technique for me!!!  Probably I heard somewhere else how to do this (have something way in the back of my mind!) but until I actually saw the results and tried it for myself I couldn’t imagine how many possibilities this would open up for me.  While I was taking a break from finishing the rug I decided to apply this method and try to felt a dreadlock necklace without taking all day making the cords, it worked and only took about 50 minutes from start to finish!  The only difference in the finished item is that the dreadlocks are more ‘crinkly’ looking than if they were partially felted before inclusion, this lends quite a funky feel to the finished piece and I am now full of ideas about how to alter already felted bags and plains of flat felt etc. to update them and add a bit of extra interest.

Felted closure

 

I also adapted a technique learnt from Evelyn Refsahl during my short jewellery workshop for the closure, I still find these a bit fiddly to make but hopefully I will get better in time!

San Fransisco workshops now open for bookings!

I am thrilled to be making a return visit to San Fransisco this Fall and Jamie and Blas of Urban Fauna Studio and Mary Jane’s Attic fame have put together two wonderful day workshops, Felt Accessories on Saturday 2nd and Felt Vessels on Sunday 3rd October!  The 2nd is actually World Felt Day so how much fun is it that we will be felting together and creating fibre magic in such a stylish part of the world? 

Funky vessel felted from Norwegian C1 and Herdwick

I know that you have seen a picture of this felt vessel before but I am pretty excited to reveal that it has just been selected by a top UK trend  forecaster to be featured as one of the images on their ‘Hunter/Gather’ mood board for Autumn/Winter 2011/2012!  If you would like to learn how to make a fun vessel like this why not join me in San Fransisco???

Rug update – I was in the middle of ironing the rug yet again this afternoon prior to a final rolling but all the steam caused my bandage to loosen and then I knocked my finger, loads of blood all over again, so annoying.  Between tomorrow and Friday I will roll a little and spot full anywhere I am not entirely happy with, hope Sylvia likes the result when I deliver it on Monday!

Almost finished fulling the rug …….

Pictures speaking louder than words again, hope to finish the fulling process later this afternoon!  Please excuse the poor quality of the photos taken inside but I did want to share the various stages of this project and it has proved difficult to get clear pictures depending on what time of day the images were taken.

Ironing to heat, flatten and work the rug

Felting mouse and wash board for spot fulling

 

Rex guarding the almost finished rug

Almost there fulling the rug!

At last I feel as if I am starting to get somewhere fulling Sylvia’s large felt rug.  Measurements as of this afternoon are 1.67m X 2.67m so 17cm width ways and 17cm lengthways and finally the rug will be the required size!!!  No time to write any more but picturers to follow tomorrow morning and answers to some of the questions people have been asking me here and on Facebook.

Booking open for my felting workshops in Michigan this October!

Booking is now open for my ‘Complex Felt Bag’ and ‘Felted Accessories’ workshops at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan on 9th, 10th and 11th October!  I am so excited to be finally getting everything together for my American trip and this is just another milestone towards a totally fantastic fibre filled adventure!!!  Yesterday I booked all my international and internal flights (Dublin to San Fransisco, San Fransisco to Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids to Philadelphia and New York back to Dublin) and it is just going to be so exciting to meet as many of my blogging felting friends as possible during the 4 weeks which I will be spending on the road.  Dawn Edwards (of the wonderful hats fame!) has been brilliant setting up the Michigan leg of things and I am so looking forward to spending time with her both at the workshops and during a planned visit to felt with Horst of Horst Couture, I am almost expiring with excitment as he is one of my all time felting idols!!!  Anyway, I thought that for today I would just let you know what is planned for Kalamazoo so that if you are interested in joining us you can book to be sure of your place, below are the details taken directly from the Institute of Arts website. 

Complex Felt Bags – Functional Wearable Art (557)

Nicola Brown
Saturday and Sunday, October 9 & 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sustaining Members: $143, Members: $147,
Note: Community registration begins August 11.
Community: $155
Studio 6, Limit 10
Materials fee to be paid on date of workshop. A $30 (approximately) materials fee will need to be paid on date of workshop. Participants will begin by creating a small piece of jewelry imbedding glass nuggets or stones within our felt and using natural or artificial fabric for surface decoration and texture. There will be discussion of the various options for felting bags with integrated handles, multiple pockets, flaps, attachments and shapes and looking at the various ways the bags may be adapted to be used as handbags, shoulder bags or backpacks. Participants will learn how to either stitch or stick resist materials together to create the templates and then make a sample piece using layers of merino and C1 wool or similar coarse wool. Continuation of felting and finishing the bags will complete the workshop. Bring a sack lunch, materials list available on the web.

 

Felted Accessories (558)

Nicola Brown
Monday, October 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sustaining Members: $68, Members: $72
Note: Community registration begins August 11.
Community: $80
Studio 6, Limit 10
Materials fee to be paid on date of workshop. A $27 (approximately) materials fee will need to be paid on date of workshop. This workshop will allow participants to experiment incorporating found objects, glass nuggets, stones, fabric, leather, fish skin and any other kind of inclusion in make unique wearable accessories. Each person will create a combination of rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, scarves, simple belts, purses, neck wraps, sleeveless mittens, or flowers. Nicola will bring a selection of unusual fabrics with her from Ireland including metallic meshes and sequin or glitter studded polyester, for participants to use. Bring a sack lunch; materials list available on the web.

To book either or both workshops please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the relevant link!

Large felt rug, an excercise in logistics

The large felt rug that I am in the process of making is an interesting if challenging excercise in logistics! 

Adding some wool over the stitched centre line

Adding the border

From the samples that I did I worked out that my initial layout would need to be over 3m by over 2m and eventually decided to stitch two long lengths of rug base together (prepared in master Turkish rug maker Mehmet Girgic’s studio) and lay the design on top.  I also decided to try and work initially on my three large tables moving and folding the rug to accomodate the place I was working on at any given time.  This meant that my back would not be under as much pressure as if I were working on the floor but laying out and getting the design to the rolling stage has taken almost two weeks by now. 

Working by hand

 

Apologies for the lask of words but all my energies are taken up by rolling at the moment!  More pictures of the rug in progress tomorrow ………