Stunning bags felted at Duckett’s Grove this weekend!

It's been a very busy few days, on Friday morning I had my regular stand at the market in Borris, in the afternoon I moved furniture and arranged Duckett's Grove for the weekend, on Saturday I facilitated a full day felt bag workshop at Duckett's Grove and today a full day beginner's workshop! My linguistic skills aren't too hot at this stage of the night so I'll just post pictures from the weekend and let you admire the fabulous creations all the ladies felted!!!

Paula, Jeni, Mary and Mary hard at work laying out the surface design
Mary and Mary with their almost completed bags, great job!
Stunning iPad sized bags from Jeni and Paula!
Ciara and Jackie almost ready to start felting their clutch bags, these will be stitched up at the sides later
Lovely bags and lovely smiles, wonderful first felt pieces!
The backs of the bags are as beautiful as the fronts…..
 

 

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Langley, BC – change of time and a few bundling pictures to whet your appetite!

Due to many participants travelling in from the islands to participate at the Langley, BC workshop, we have decided to change the class time to start at 10.30 and work through until 17.30. This workshop is almost full now so if you’re interested in joining us do please contact Sharon on 604-916-7633 or 778-298-8545 immediately!

Starting the revealing process!

Starting the revealing process!

Although I haven’t been able to do any felting this past week (booking my flights was fraught with problems and just seemed to take FOREVER!) I was able to do some bundling experiments on cotton and card stock. I picked up a few inexpensive white long sleeved T-shirts in Kilkenny and in addition to these I tied up a well worn and loved over dress (Dawn, it’s OUR dress), another T-shirt and a new throw/tablecloth kind of thing I picked up in Ikea as well as a batch of my cream luggage tags, they’re a heavy card stock.

Unwrapping is always very exciting

Unwrapping is always very exciting

I wanted to see how the different fabrics and card picked up the colour from the various leaves and plant material that I was using. Anyway, the card picked up all the different leaf materials beautifully, the cotton long sleeved Ts picked up the purple from the cotinus leaves and the gold from the onion skins brilliantly (although without very distinct leaf outlines except where the iron water was touching the fabric) without any evidence of the small eucalyptus leaves I used and the throw/tablecloth took the onion skins brilliantly but nothing else very well, interesting!!! It was far too windy to take pictures of the finished pieces today, in fact my mannequin fell over whilst I was trying to get them. Here’re two close up shots though of one of the finished long sleeved T-shirts.

Lovely wavy lines

Lovely wavy lines

Don’t forget that if you are attending the retreat in Lake Tahoe (full) or the workshops in BC (contact Sharon, phone numbers above) and Winnipeg, Canada (please email Margaret) this is something that you can try out in addition to bundling the felt scarves and wraps we make during the classes!!!

Gold tones from the onion skins

Gold tones from the onion skins

Residential felting holiday in Portugal 2014 – €65 early bird booking discount!

I’m really thrilled to be heading back to beautiful Dominio Vale do Mondego in Portugal to facilitate another residential workshop next June. The dates are from 14th to 20th and Karin is offering a €65 early bird discount for any bookings made before 1st September, please click on the link to get all the details! Felting in Portugal with Nicola Brown 2014

Here’re a few more pictures from this year’s event to whet your appetite, me lending a hand shearing, a beautiful ram waiting for his turn, one of Heather’s gorgeous wooly creations (pics please when you attach the leather handle Heather!) and sacks of wool waiting for processing at the woollen factory in Guarda. Do consider joining us next year, it’s a marvellous week filled with fibre, fun, friends and food!!!

Me having a go shearing!

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October felt jewellery class in Ennis Creative Arts Centre!

I’m delighted to be returning to the beautiful Ennis Creative Arts Centre in Tubber, Co. Galway on 19th October where I’ll be facilitating a felt jewellery making workshop, instead of participating in one! Here’s a picture of Liga, Ronna Sarvas Weltman and me outside Shirley Bredin’s gorgeous venue, a beautifully renovated Irish farmhouse that’s been tastefully extended to accommodate a fabulous studio. This picture was taken after the brilliant polymer clay class I attended with Ronna, I loved every minute of the weekend!!!

Liga, Ronna and me outside the Ennis Creative Arts Centre

Liga, Ronna and me outside the Ennis Creative Arts Centre

Anyway, a little more info about what I’ll be sharing………….during this intensive one day jewellery making class we’ll be working towards making three specific items of jewellery, a flower ring, a beaded bracelet and a large multi functional flower bolo. No previous felting experience is necessary to attend the workshop but if you are an experienced or improving felter I’ll be able to help you add your own quirky twist to these most popular designs from my studio. Shirley’s set up an event page on facebook for people to check out and I’m posting a more expansive workshop description here so that you may get a greater feel for what the day will offer! Do please consider joining us if you live on the other side of Ireland and have not considered travelling to Duckett’s Grove before. The techniques learnt during this workshop will be ones that you can use in a whole variety of sculptural projects, the cord making one (I learnt it from Anita Larkin many years ago) is particularly useful!!! Here goes….

‘Funky Felt Jewellery”

Wet felted flowers and cords make wonderful jewellery, scarf closures, hair accessories and colourful accents to brighten any outfit; alternatively they are perfect for adding a decorative element to interior and exterior design schemes! During this workshop Nicola will share with participants how to create stylish flowers with or without stems using her favourite short fibered merino and a selection of embellishing fibres such as silk, bamboo and Firestar. Intermediate and more experienced felters will learn the techniques necessary to add multiple stamens, felt ring backs or several layers of petals all at once; each flower will be created totally from wet felting, no need to sew a stitch!

Gorgeous and colourful felt flowers felted during one of my workshops last year at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival!

Gorgeous and colourful felt flowers felted during one of my workshops last year at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival!

For participants who do like to stitch however, Nicola will have a selection of beads and brooch backs with which the flowers may be turned into beautiful, sparkling, pieces of jewellery. We will also learn a simple but very effective way of felting strong, hard cords. During the workshop participants will felt a long cord which may be combined with a felt ring to wear as a stunning multi functional felt bolo. The technique for making these cords may also be used in a variety of other ways including quirky jewellery, spikes for three dimensional felting and strong bag handles.

Winnipeg, Canada on FeltUnited day – workshop description!

Although I don’t actually have a price or venue address yet for the class in Winnipeg I thought that I’d post the workshop description and dates to give people time to think whether they wanted to attend or not! If this sounds like something you’d consider joining us for please email Margaret and she’ll answer your questions and take your bookings. The workshop will run over Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October, this means that we will be felting together on FeltUnited day, in Canada, how exciting!!! Anyway, here’s the workshop description…..

NATURALLY INSPIRED – wearable felt and household textiles inspired by and printed with natural materials!

During this intensive two day workshop participants will have the opportunity to create a beautiful large nuno wrap, table runner or wall hanging using the tumble dryer method of felting. They will then have the opportunity to totally elevate it to another level as we experiment extensively with different methods of natural printing/dyeing using the bundling method.

Day one – using the no roll tumble dryer method of felting each participant will create a large nuno felt wrap, table runner or wall hanging, depending on the complexity of these pieces some people may also have time to felt additional samples to put in the dye pot on day two! This super easy technique of nuno felting will transform your arts practice if you’ve never tried it before and is ideal for anyone who finds the traditional rubbing and rolling hard on their body. Concentrating on simple shapes with optional ruffles, we’ll work in white and add a selection of un-dyed embellishing fibres to the lay out. Each fibre will take up the colour from the natural materials differently when put in the dye pot the following day, this leads to stunning wearable art or striking and unique interior accents.

Day two – wonderful results will be achieved by bundling the felt created on day one together with a selection of simple, easy to find natural plant materials, tying them up and then either steaming them or cooking the bundles in plant and/or rust enriched water. At the start of the second day Nicola will explain and demonstrate how different results when bundling are influenced by using different pre-treatments, materials, fabrics, dye pot solutions and ways of actually tying up the pieces. There will be plenty of samples for participants to study and before we dye the felt created on day one everyone is encouraged to put some smaller items of felt and fabric in the dye pot to get a feel for this method.

Participants are also encouraged to bring along previously completed felt (bags and vessels too, not just wearables!) as well as plain thrift store clothes in wool or silk and these may all be included in the dye pot providing we have space!

NB Although this is a two day workshop participants may be accommodated for individual days by prior arrangement.

BC, Canada – felting and dyeing workshop details!

Today I’m delighted to give you the details of the first workshop in Canada, tomorrow I hope to have the info re. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Thanks a million Sharon Gerhart for inviting me to teach and getting a venue sorted so quickly, this is going to be an active and super fun day!!! The workshop will take place within shouting distance of Vancouver at The Loafing Glass Studio, 9060 184th Street, Surrey, BC on Thursday 3rd October. The class will run from 10am sharp until 5pm, please contact Sharon ASAP if you’d like to book a place, the numbers to ring are 604-916-7633 or 778-298-8545. And now for those details…..


NATURALLY NUNO – a beautiful scarf inspired by and printed with natural materials!

During this fun one day workshop participants will create a simple white nuno felt scarf in the morning using the no roll tumble dryer method then print/dye it in the afternoon using a selection of easy to find natural plant materials and rusty metal.

This super easy technique of nuno felting will transform your arts practice if you’ve never tried it before and is ideal for anyone who finds the traditional rubbing and rolling hard on their body. We’ll work in white and add a selection of un-dyed embellishing fibres to the scarves, everyone can enjoy the process of laying out the wool knowing that this will be the biggest design decision of the morning!

In the afternoon we’ll transform the scarves by bundling them together with a selection of simple, easy to find natural plant materials then they’ll be tied together and either steamed or cooked in plant enriched water for a couple of hours. Nicola will bring a good selection of samples with her for participants to study and she’ll explain how to achieve different effects and strong leaf outlines depending on the method chosen prior to putting the pieces in the dye pot. Different ways of folding, bundling and tying the scarves also create different designs in the finished pieces.

Participants are encouraged to bring along previously completed felt (bags and vessels too, not just wearables!) as well as plain thrift store clothes in wool or silk and these may all be included in the dye pot providing we have space!

Canadian workshop update and cotinus, a picture of the shrub!

I'm so excited, this Canadian adventure is really going to happen this autumn!!! Hopefully we'll have workshop descriptions and venue details sorted today or tomorrow but for those of you leaving comments and sending me messages the first workshop will be in Langley BC on Thursday 3rd October then I'll travel on to teach in the Manitoba region for the weekend. We're planning a felting workshop on Saturday 5th and a natural printing/dyeing workshop on Sunday 6th, I'm SO thrilled that this will actually be happening, all my friends tell me that Canada is a magical country to travel to!!! Obviously I'm not going to have a bundle of time to explore on this trip, if everything goes well however hopefully this will just be the first of many visits. As soon as I have the finalised details I'll post both here and on Facebook, do please let me know if you'd like the organisers to get in contact so you can reserve a place!

Now on to the cotinus. Here's a picture of the shrub in my garden (not a great shot but you get the idea), it's the purple leaved plant on the left of the picture………

……. and here's a close up of the prints it imparts on top of my recent nuno felt jacket This side is silk covered merino for those of you who've been asking for more details!