What can I say about the first ten day residential retreat in Ireland? How can I thank all involved for their incredible hospitality and professional service? Certainly a short update here doesn’t do anything to honour an event that workshop participants, the various hosts and the amazing venue made so special. I’m not going to post anything more today except this shot of us with Philip Cushen at Cushendale Woollen Mill. I promise faithfully that I’ll write a proper review of the retreat as soon as Kilkenny Arts Festival is over then post it here with copious pictures!!!
For now though I’m in the final throes of installing my solo exhibition at Grennan Mill Craft School as well as collating what I need to deliver to Kilkenny as part of the FORM pop up shop. Both these events open on Friday so I’ve not got much time to get everything finished! Thank you so much to Naomi, Merridee and Keith for all your help preparing for Grennan, I’ll post properly about the show at the end of August.
It's difficult to keep up with everything online right now. So many exciting things are happening all at once and I'm also busy doing my bit to make sure that the 'FORM Designmade in Carlow' pop up shop in Kilkenny is manned and stocked. Please come along on Thursday night to help us celebrate out second year of participation in the Kilkenny Arts Festival, we'll have drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm and its a great chance to meet fellow makers and group members!
Eco printed up-cycled clothing, cushions and felt sculpture in Kilkenny
This afternoon I'm spending a little time catching up with computer things and not rushing around quite so crazily as most days of late. Yesterday I had my first stint manning the 'Carlow Made' pop up shop with Ornat, the shopping centre was actually very quiet considering it's so near Christmas but our group collaboratively had a good day sales wise. I'm not trying to force my work on any of you but if you are considering buying a naturally printed scarf, wall hanging/rug/runner or cushion/pillow for a stylish Irish made Christmas present please don't leave it too late! I sold three naturally printed silk scarves at Borris Food & Craft Market this morning so the scarves that are currently in the pop up shop are the only ones now available until I finish another batch. I have about five waiting to be washed out and ironed, whether I get these finished before Christmas is anyone's guess at present, just saying, if you want one or two (complete with their tagged gift boxes) get them sooner rather than later!!!
I'm uploading this picture too just to let you know the position in the shop where my scarves are hanging. Friend and fellow 'Carlow Made' participant Catherine Sothern is also selling naturally printed work (FB fans may remember pics from a workshop at Casheen where I shared the technique!), Catherine's scarves are in front of her lovely cushions and vintage inspired hats while mine are opposite the shelves with the rest of my felt and printing. Do let me know if you're coming in and want a chat or a bit of personalised help, I'll be in Carlow most days in the run up to Christmas Eve but obviously I'll be working from home a lot too!
I've felted three white wraps working from the now calm and tidy refitted studio, tomorrow I've a full day of natural printing on the cards then Sunday sees the frenzy of the annual Duckett's Grove Christmas Fair, my last day at the DG studio until early in 2014. As you may realise there's not much time left spare currently to write very much, I will however share some photos from the 'Carlow Made' pop up shop which is now open for business, it's starting to feel pretty festive around here at last!
Thanks Carlow Enterprise Board for organising our signage in time for our first day of trading yesterday, I think that the shop looks pretty welcoming, don't you?
Liga and Catherine having fun on the first of the setting up days, our location slap bang in the middle of Carlow (Superquinn) Shopping Centre couldn't really be any more central!
This last picture was assembled using autostitch, sorry if there is a bit of a blur where two photos have been joined together! From the left, Emma's jewellery, my naturally printed wall hanging/rug, Jim's ceramics, my felt, naturally printed silk homewares and accessories, Emma's paintings and Ilona's own designed and knitted hats, scarfs and cowls. Do call in if you're in Carlow town any day, we're there during the centre opening hours right up until Christmas Eve, late opening until 9pm every Thursday and Friday! You can also keep an eye on our activities on Facebook
, don't forget to shout out loud if you see anything that you'd like to buy.
The exciting time I've been waiting for has finally arrived, fitting everything that's necessary back into the studio again! Thanks to a lot of hard work by me and my buddy George the walls and ceiling are painted, the floor has had a rudimentary wash (I'm debating sealing the slate at a later date), the new shelving units are fitted and installed, I've sorted the majority of my supplies into new lidded clear plastic boxes (you'd be proud of me Vinitha!) and tonight I'm putting everything necessary back into the space, note that phrase, everything necessary!!! I'm determined not to fill it with items I really don't use on a regular basis, the garage is undergoing a revamp too so that'll be the area where essentials for less frequent use hang out from this time forwards. Two transformers also need to be replaced in the spot lights so this picture from earlier looking from the utility room into the studio does look dark, it'll give you a little idea of how clear the floor is now though, more pics when everything is installed again and I can say that the revamp has finally finished!
Tomorrow I'm collecting plinths and getting my space organised/installed for the Carlow Made Christmas pop up shop. I think that this is going to be an excellent retail opportunity for all of us, we've secured a marvellous space in the Carlow (Superquinn) Shopping Centre thanks to the efforts of Liga and Maria and the collection of artists and crafts people is both varied and of a consistent high quality. Do consider us when you're planning your Christmas presents, supporting local, working artisans really does keep money moving around in the local economy, it also means high quality, affordable, one off gifts!