Michigan and Kentucky workshop updates plus a beginners and improvers day at Duckett’s Grove next Saturday!

I’ve been so mentally tired after my exciting days at the Gaelscoil working with the pupils on our large felt wall hanging that I have to admit I’d totally forgotten to post full details about my upcoming MI and KY workshops here on the blog, stupid. In fact I thought that I’d already done so, even stupider!!! I’m so excited about my whole trip back to the US, I actually think that I get more and more excited each visit as I just LOVE spending time with such great friends, facilitating the workshops and meeting new fibre fanatics just adds to the excitement! The workshop page is now updated to include the full ‘Wrapped in Nature’ description for both the MI and KY workshops, links to my Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival classes (I need to alter a couple of details plus my bio via the organisers but the basics are correct!) and information about next weekends flat felting and bag making session at Duckett’s Grove. This coming week I promise to tie down the full details about my Loomis workshops at The Tin Thimble (watch out Emma and Sharon!) but in this post today I’m going to concentrate on both my regular MI and KY venues.

I’m thrilled to be returning to both Plainwell and Lexington and want to say thanks a million times to the fabulous Dawn Edwards and Jan Durham for being such good friends and wonderful hosts!!! I’m so looking forward to catching up with returning participants and meeting new felters in MI and KY, one of the biggest joys of these trips is the opportunity to meet and make friends with blog readers and Facebook buddies, it’s just amazing how the internet allows us connect in the first place. This will be the first time that I facilitate my new workshop ‘Wrapped in Nature – beautiful felt inspired by the natural landscape’. It’s hard for me to express how inspiring it is to live surrounded by the beauty of the rural Irish landscape, I only have to look outside my windows at Clasheen to find my fingers itching to create and when I travel overseas my senses just seem to go on full-time overload!!!

Inspiring views above Berea!

Inspiring views above Berea!

It’s actually been very difficult this year to confine myself to short workshop descriptions, I don’t want to miss a technique out that participants may want to try but on the other hand I don’t want the descriptions to be so vague that no one knows what I’m talking about either! I think that maybe the best thing to do is post the full workshop description here as well as on the workshop page and then I’m happy to answer any questions about individual projects if you’d like to send them my way via email.

‘Wrapped in Nature’ – beautiful felt inspired by the natural landscape

Skill Level: Basic felting skills an advantage
Age Level: Adult although younger students welcome by arrangement

Class Description: During this two-day workshop participants will design and create their own unique and beautiful wearable, functional or decorative piece of felt using the natural landscape as a starting point. Some participants may choose to felt a purely decorative art piece such as a large vessel, sculpture or wall hanging while others may take the opportunity to work on a nuno felt wrap, vest, complex bag or jewellery.

Over the course of the two days there will be time to explore and discover techniques or materials that you may have never considered using in your felting before. Nicola will share with participants how she has been experimenting with natural printing on silk, felt and occasionally prefelt over the last year. This simple dyeing/printing process uses a selection of readily acquired onion skins, leaves (especially eucalyptus), tea leaves and rusty metal, wonderful patterns and colours may be achieved on fabric. Nicola has also been experimenting with using open-topped resists for vessel making and some of her bags since participating in a masterclass with Dagmar Binder last summer. The finish is very smooth on the open edges and this method opens up the possibilities for creating different shapes much easily than with the more often used closed resist method. Another technique that may be relatively new to participants is the tumble dryer method of nuno felting. This technique is wonderful for difficult to felt fabrics and eliminates all the traditional rubbing and rolling, it’s not for everyone but it is fantastic to speed up the process especially if you have a bad back or other health issues! We won’t have access to a tumble dryer at the venue but if participants would like to try this technique they are free to lay out a large nuno wrap during day one and get it to the stage where they can bring it home with them and finish it using their own dryer that evening. Nicola will clearly explain the steps to take and it should be possible to full the pieces and have them finished to show off on day two.

Participants are encouraged to bring along treasured bits and bobs from their stash, buttons, beads, scraps of vintage fabric, shells, stones, glass nuggets etc., these all make wonderful inclusions in felt and help to personalize and create a truly unique work of art!

 NB: Participants who are not able to attend on both days may possibly book one day by prior arrangement although the projects they complete will not be as large or complex as those created over both days of the workshop.



4 thoughts on “Michigan and Kentucky workshop updates plus a beginners and improvers day at Duckett’s Grove next Saturday!

  1. You do live in an amazingly beautiful place and I’m so happy that you’ll be bringing a bit of that beauty/feel right here to Plainwell. Your workshop sounds fantastic, as always, and I just can’t wait to have you back here. So happy, too, that we live in this day and age where it was possible to meet and become such good friends.

    I’m heading to Plainwell Ice Cream this afternoon…Will try a little sample of the Butter Pecan for you.

    Big hugs,

  2. Hi Nicola!

    I am a student of Dawn and I simply can’t wait to meet you and learn from you – what a treat!!! I don’t know if you have taken your flight yet, but I wish you safe and relaxing travels!

    Thank you for offering the extra one day class in MI – that is the one I will be in (4/29). So you have time to get comfortable with the idea, I am legally blind and deaf on the right side so I may need some attention here and there or a quick repeat of what you’ve shown or said to the other participants — thank you in advance for that.

    I started my rust bath tonight (: and have made arrangements for some local businesses to save rose petals and onion skins for us. Hopefully they will have a good amount for us! Will you be teaching us how to make the colors/pattern that is showcased on the header of your blog? It is sooo lovely!

    As I have additional health conditions, as well, I would love to learn the steps for the dryer method and I am interested in anything you can tell me about adding texture to nuno, even if it is in an e-mail later, as I know nuno is not the focus of our day together.

    The chance to use and enhance my creativity, and get to know you through that process is really a gift — thank you for sharing!

    Be well and I look forward to spending time with you on the 29th.

    Creatively Yours,


    • Hi Tammy, thanks for your comment and I really look forward to meeting you too! Yes, we’ll cover how I achieved the colour on my blog header during the workshop but I just wanted to flag that we need rose LEAVES, not rose petals!!! See you soon, Nicola

      • Big difference between petals and leaves — thanks for the clarifiication — do they need to be refrigerated? As for the onions, it is brown outer skins as opposed to white, but the actual onion can be yellow or white, right?! Can we use red skins, too? Hope all is well with you; talk to you soon!!

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