This afternoon I have finally been able to take a couple of pictures of my completed sea creature!
Home at Clasheen
I had planned blogging more about Charlotte’s wonderful workshop and the fabulous jewellery session I participated in with Evelyn Refshal but time is just slipping away and felting my large rug is taking up every spare minute at the moment. Over the next few days I will be short on writing but heavy on pictures so please bear with me! Suffice to say that I ran into some MAJOR issues when felting my sea creature. The gauze stretched amazingly due to the high raised bumps and I eventually needed to add some judicious stitching on the inside before working the felt to the finished stage. Note to self, use silk in future for any similar projects, already have ideas swirling around in my head! I also had planned adding coral-red points on top of the bumps (check back to see the picture I used for my inspiration) but now that the sea slug is home at Clasheen I rather like the turquoise and white just as it is.
Disappearing into acanthus
I would like to acknowledge the generous support of Carlow Co. Council who helped fund my participation in Grima’s event through the award of a 2010 Arts Act Grant, your support was much appreciated!
Two international felting events taking place worth noting in your diaries are the 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence (a bi-anual event happening from 2nd to 7th October 2011) and the ‘Obviously Felt’ symposium (28th July to 1st August 2010) organised by the Danish Felting Association Grima in honour of their 20th anniversary. My exciting news this weekend is that Carlow Co. Council have confirmed that they are awarding me E400 under the Arts Acts Grant scheme meaning that I will be able to participate at ‘Obviously Felt’ in Silkeborg, Denmark this summer, I am thrilled!!! On the other side of the world expressions of interest are being sought from tutors interested in running workshops at Convergence 2011 so if you live anywhere within striking distance of Bunbury, Australia it could be an excellent opportunity to become involved in an international symposium and a brilliant way of show casing your work. Check out their excellent blog and email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your ideas!
Yesterday I felted this simple but striking (to my mind!) vessel using Norwegian C1 wool and luscious locks of Wenslydale. At least that’s what I ‘think’ they are because unfortunately I mislaid whatever information I had describing the locks so this is just a wild guess! I used a round resist and once I had covered it with 50g C1 on each side I laid a further round resist on top of one side, this resist had a hole cut out in the centre to allow me to lay and attach the gorgeous curly fibres. To start the felting I was very careful to rub gently but firmly over the raw locks but as soon as I was happy they were starting to combine with the other wool I just rubbed, rolled and felted as normal. At the beginning I worked with coolish water and loads of soap (Anna Gunnarsdottir does this and the felt doesn’t shrink very much) but for the fulling process I rinsed it in hot water and made sure to seal the cut edges where I removed the resist very well. Over the summer I am taking part in several exhibitions where I have to show sculptural pieces. This piece is the starting point for a series of vessels combining C1 or Icelandic wool with raw locks and fibres from Irish and rare breed sheep.
Alan has been pretty sick this week and today was no exception. He did join my mother, Suzanne and I for lunch (local chicken, leeks, potatos and the first rhubarb of the season) but has headed off to his own house now and is hopefully tucked up in bed having a sleep. As a result I have been a bit frustrated trying to pin him down re. my planned felting trip to US in the Fall but eventually this afternoon he told me to go ahead and finalise my dates leaving him out of the equation so for those of you waiting for me to confirm dates, I am on to it!
I seem to have picked up a bad cold over the last few days and it didn’t help that I had three individual meetings at the golf club today which were totally necessary to attend. Following on from another excellent ‘Pick up your Needles’ at the Courthouse Art Centre in Tinahely yesterday (more details and photos to follow from my felting participants over the next day or two as soon as my cold abates) I decided to stay in my p-js this morning and not get dressed until just before my first meeting at 2pm this afternoon! To wrap myself snugly I wore the yak and silk scarf that I felted with hand dyed fibres purchased from Urban Fauna Studio in San Fransisco and at the risk of boring everyone this fibre is an absolute dream to work with, beautifully soft, warm and flexible to wear. If any of you have access to Blas and Jamie’s wonderful studio/shop do look out for this stunning yak fibre. I know that it had only just arrived in stock for the first time when I visited last September but I guess that Blas should have it regularly now considering there must be a big demand for such a beautiful fibre.
Tomorrow I am going prepare my submission for an ‘Arts Act Grant’ from Carlow County Council. Last year they awarded me E200 for professional development and this was extremely welcome funding which went towards my expenses for the international symposium Felt in Focus. Finances are very tight here in Ireland and it is brilliant that the local authorities are still prepared to fund certain individual and group artistic indeavours to benefit our local community.