I'd like to extend an invitation to everyone within striking distance of Clasheen, please come along on the afternoon of Saturday 4th October and help celebrate FeltUnited Day 2014 in style. My plan is for us to felt a collaborative wall hanging, swap tips and stories, show and tell, enjoy a pot luck supper and for those that want, it's an open opportunity to set up a selling or swapping table and stash bust!!! Check out the invitation flyer for more details https://www.smore.com/app/pages/preview/0xzhg and don't forget that total beginners are very welcome to attend too, the only prerequisite is a love of felt and fibre plus I would appreciate if people stick to the time plan and RSVP prior to the day!
Stag's horn sumac
On the felting side of things I'm busy preparing new work to bring to my first seasonal event of the festive season, the annual Glucksman Craft and Design Fair which is taking place in Cork from 7th to 9th November inclusive.
Side A - eucalyptus bark
In the mornings I'm trying to felt two wraps and then either printing them in the afternoon or tryng to keep things progressing in advance of Creative Island (@Showcase in January), there's a lot of work to do!
Side B - eucalyptus bark and leaves
This week I was particularly happy with the two wraps pictured in this post, both were printed at the same time in the same pot. It's always fascinating to see how incredibly different the end results may be, differing vegetation (and sometimes pre-treatment) makes such a big contribution to the end result.
Some of you may remember I had tried and failed to shape a large felt vessel to compliment three smaller ones made for the inaugural FORM exhibition in June. The depth of the vessel coupled with the thickness of the wool (many fine layers in the layout) and lack of time did not agree with my current tennis elbow, finally I put it aside and decided to revisit it later.
Later arrived the other day, pretty quickly actually as it turned out! Merridee, Keith and I gathered some windfallen eucalyptus leaves from an unidentified tree while out walking, I flattened the vessel as best as I could, soaked it I vinegar then bundled it and boiled for several hours in a eucalyptus and onion skin dye bath.
Interesting prints where an insect has eaten into the. Edge of the eucalyptus leaf! Felting and printing by Nicola Brown - Clasheen
I'm thrilled with the printing result although I still couldn't reshape it quite the way I'd like to, never mind, this one's a keeper and after the Kilkenny Arts Festival is over I'll add a leather shoulder strap!
Large felt bag naturally printed with eucalyptus leaves by Nicola Brown
I'm having such a fun time with great US friends and visitors Merridee and Keith, having great weather hasn't been bad either! We started our time together with a lovely party to celebrate Cathy and Martin's 10th wedding anniversary then have spent time visiting the exhibitions in Kilkenny with Alan, at the FORM pop up shop, walking at the Raven and Curracloe beach, eating in Step House, visiting Thomastown to see some wonderful exhibitions (especially at Grennan Mill and Marty in Framewell, congratulations everyone), having a fab chilli and cardamom hot chocolate from the Truffle Fairy, dropping in to Cushendale Woollen Mill, experimenting with new felting and printing materials at Casheen plus spending creative time with Carmen. Tomorrow morning Keith and I will be live on the Sue Nunn show after the 11 o'clock news, after that we'll all head to visit Elizabeth, Geoffrey and all at Shankill Castle before having a last night dinner with Carmen and Leiko. Here's a short round up of the week to date in pictures, the felting pics are last in a case any of you want to skip to the end!
Apologies for the lack of posting over the last few weeks. Those of you who follow my activities via FB will know that I've pretty much been out of Internet coverage from the time the workshops ended in the north until Alan and I returned from our holidays in west Cork on Sunday night. Now I'm preparing for good friends Merridee and Keith to arrive for a visit on Friday so I think it's best if I update you here via pictures! I'll begin with an invitation to our FORM event during Kilkenny Arts Festival followed by a few from our hols (some of the to me we vacationed on an island and spent two nights in a tipi and two in a yurt!), the final image is the felt bracelet that I finished this morning, a VERY belated birthday present for my sister.
Regular blog readers may remember that I spent a few happy days last year staying with good friend Liz Nicholls and facilitating a workshop with Feltmakers North. Over the course of two days participants laid out and felted either large bags with integrated handles and flaps or smaller but no less time consuming iPad or laptop covers, the pictures below give an idea of what we got up to.
This weekend I'll be making a return visit, on Friday we'll be felting large nuno wraps using the tumble dryer method followed by simple vessels or clutches on Saturday.
Thanks ladies for inviting me back, I'm really looking forward to spending some time with you all again!
Aside from teaching and waiting for a big delivery of merino and silk to arrive, I'm currently participating in a two day 'shabby chic' style furniture technique workshop at Raheen Family Resource Centre. Here's a picture of my work from today, thanks Carmen for a fun workshop, the piece combines decoupage, transferring and waxing. I've also given an old antique chair an undercoat of chalk paint ready for some more work tomorrow, it's amazing how fast these techniques actually are.
I'm a bit bogged down with paperwork and emails this week, submissions to complete for both the Glucksman Gallery (done) and Creative Island for the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (coming along) mean a lot of time spent in front of the computer. It was a welcome surprise to find this lovely picture in my inbox this morning, thanks Roo from Moonwood Farm for your great photography skills. Here are my fabulous students from day two at the Alpaca Fiber Solution stand (generous sponsors of the materials for my Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival workshops) showcasing the gorgeous alpaca clutch bags they felted, lovely memories!!! For those in the know, with the progression of their respective businesses Roo and Elizabeth are now working individually, Roo's yummy fibre is available from her Artfire store and Elizabeth's from her Etsy store!
I'm getting tonnes of use and plenty of compliments for this little shopping bag that I felted and printed in Portugal. If my arms were currently a bit stronger (tennis elbow in both unfortunately!) I would have stretched the top edge more during the fulling stage and again after it came out of the dye pot but all in all I'm pleased with the shape and size. Initially I didn't like the results when I printed it, the vegetation that I used was eucalyptus and St. John's Wort but the biggest problem was that some of the black silk ran with the heat. Here's a picture of the front of the bag after the first printing session, see the pale grey lines………
…………… and below is a picture of the same side overprinted during week two in a stronger dye bath containing plenty of rusty metal. This time I was very happy with the result!