FeltUnited @ Clasheen in pictures, part one!

Thanks a thousand times to all the fabulous friends who came to Clasheen for FeltUnited day bringing delicious food, drinks, a watering can and a positive attitude, you all helped make the afternoon so fun and colourful! I'm not going to mention anyone by name for fear I'll leave somebody out, you all know who you are however so below are some pictures for everyone to enjoy. Thanks Orla for forwarding me on some of these, if anyone else has good photos I'd love to receive them via email to add to the collection! Tomorrow afternoon I hope to add some text to the back of the wall hanging and finish felting it, as soon as I do I'll post the final pics and set up a rota so everyone who participated will have a chance to display the piece at their own home!!!


 

 
 

 

It’s arrived, happy, happy FeltUnited day everyone!!!

It's a glorious day at Clasheen, perfect weather to welcome everyone who's arriving this afternoon to join together and celebrate FeltUnited day 2014. Here's a picture from 7am this morning, I'll be sure to take loads though out the day as we all get involved in felting a collaborative wall hanging. Have a great day!!!

7am @ Clasheen, FeltUnited day 2014

 

Preparations underway for FeltUnited @ Clasheen!

The base is sorted and I'm putting aside wool and various embellishments to adorn our collaborative wall hanging next Saturday for FeltUnited Day 2014! We'll be laying out our design on what remains of a large roll of rug base I bought from Mehmet Girgiç quite a number of years ago. Mehmet is a marvellous felter and teacher, do visit him and Teresa May O'Brien in Turkey for a workshop if ever you get the opportunity, alternatively take or organise a class with him in your own studio. Here's a close up of the first rug I ever made using this base, felted with Mehmet at Wollknoll in Germany and still one of my favourite pieces!

Thanks a million to those of you who've confirmed you'll be here at Clasheen (George, Ruth, Anita, Karen and Samantha), if you've indicated via Smore or FB that you're coming but NOT emailed or spoken to me personally please just do so sometime this week. The reason that I'm asking you to drop me a quick line is that SO many friends worldwide have said they're coming and obviously won't all be able to make it, I'd like to have a guideline of numbers so that I can make sure I've enough drinks and food organised!!! The plan was to have a pot luck supper after the wall hanging was finished but maybe it'll work out best if we start the food from mid afternoon onwards, we'll play it by ear.
Finally for today, please don't forget that you are encouraged to bring along any stash items you'd like to swap, sell or give away, this will all add to the fun atmosphere on the day! For example, I'm going to have items like plenty of excess bubble wrap and laminate floor underlay to give away (cut pieces perfect for smaller projects and brilliant if you teach) and black velvet necklace stands, large plastic rolling mats, hanging storage, packs of 10 Jiffy bags, large wire baskets, pool noodles and tonnes more items to sell at knock down prices. Alan always says that I buy storage solutions to store my storage solutions, he may be correct unfortunately!!!

 

FeltUnited @ Clasheen invitation and pictures of new felt wraps

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections from Clasheen on a wild and windy night!

It's after eight o'clock in the evening now and I'm writing this blog post by candlelight in front of the stove, heavens knows when I'm going be able to upload it! In general Irish weather is notoriously 'soft', no major extremes of temperature, never very hot and not often very cold, plenty of light rain throughout the year and the grass grows pretty much all year round.

Why would Rex need a pillow when he has a block of wood?

Well, these last few weeks we've been having loads of storms with plenty of high winds and lashings of rain, since early this morning I've had no central/underfloor heating (not that it's on very much anyway!), no Internet since mid morning and no power since just after lunchtime. Carmen called over before the winds had got too bad and brought delicious tapas for our lunch, as she was driving home two trees fell across the road behind her and a beautiful large tree had fallen at the top of her lane so she wasn't able to drive right to her house. I was meant to be facilitating a workshop tonight for 17 women in Carlow, luckily the organiser agreed we would reschedule because I discovered mid afternoon that Borris town (en route to Carlow) was practically cut off, fallen trees all over the place! Earlier in the afternoon I felted a small experimental piece, since the light has gone I've been planning some of the submissions I'm planning to make this year, sketching a couple of rough ideas for exhibitions pieces, doing a little organising on the iPad and looking back through some of the photos I've taken recently.

I use the camera on my phone a lot, probably I take at least 20 photos on any given day and more often 40 or more, last Sunday I actually had to back up and delete over 6,700!!! Alan can never understand why I frequently take many pictures of the same thing, for me though it's a way of visually recording what inspires me! This post includes a selection of recent images that excepting the beautiful stone walls would never usually make it here to the blog. Some of them are taken in the fields and the 'garden' at Clasheen and a few are from last Sunday when we did a bit of adjusting to the ropes on our boat at Graiguenamanagh. You'll probably never see a literal translation of these into felt but these are the everyday things that I love to observe, find inspiring and watch changing as the seasons progress. No captions, I'm sure you can work them out for yourselves!

Well I'm finally back online, it's Saturday afternoon at quarter to three so I'm going to post this right away as I'm not sure how long I'll be active for, more stormy weather is forecast so fingers crossed all will be well!!! Speaking of fingers, this morning as I was preparing to do some natural printing I cut the top of one finger in the mechanism of my tongs, stupid or what? There was plenty of blood but not so much pain, SO not what I wanted to do before laying out white wraps to print. Anyway, it's now bandaged, I can work wearing a sterile glove and am able to type with my index finger, all in all not the worst thing to happen!

 

It’s official, Dallas TX here I come!

I'm delighted to announce that Suzanne Morgan and I confirmed last night Saturday 26th of April will be the date for my first ever teaching experience in Dallas, Texas! Because of a prior engagement we're keeping this to a one day natural printing workshop, participants will be asked to bring their own materials to print onto, felt, silk, wool and paper. All the details (including the price!) will be posted shortly, Suzanne is just working the logistics out now but if you're interested in attending please email her ASAP and she'll be able to answer most of your questions. I may also be teaching a workshop in Houston, please email me if you'd like to be kept in the loop for that, more details here and on FB as I get them!

To whet your appetite here's a picture of a wall hanging I felted and printed at the beginning of this week, I love it and have decided to keep it to hang at Clasheen!!! The base is 19.5 micron merino with a generous helping of soy fibre and Firestar, the leaves were eucalyptus and the pot had a big mushy handful of pomegranate skins which had already been used for a couple of print sessions. I deliberately folded it so that I had three uneven panels of leaves, now I just need another 10 hours a day as I really want to make a another piece!

 

 

 

 

 

Natural printing and dyeing day two…..

It’s been very busy but fun this past week, felting, teaching (two natural printing days, a raw fleece workshop and a flower workshop), working the dye pots, invigilating the Feltmakers Ireland exhibition at the Botanic Gardens, spending time with mum and having my sister and her family down to celebrate her birthday after the market in Borris on Friday! I’ve blanked out the whole of this coming week to work in the studio, please excuse any sketchy internet activity if I appear to be slacking. I need to get a lot more pieces felted before heading to teach in the US and Canada, I do hope though to be online in the evenings, work permitting so no promised!!! I’ll leave you now with three pictures from day two of the natural printing and dyeing days I had at Clasheen.

IMG_8264 IMG_8291 IMG_8286

Natural printing and dyeing, day one…..

Tamara, George and I have just finished our intensive natural printing and dyeing day at Clasheen, we had loads of fun and by the end of the day had a wonderful and varied selection of beautifully printed silk, cotton and card! I need to recharge now and have some down time before repeating the workshop with two more participants tomorrow, here're some pictures from today to whet your appetite.

Tamara laying out her natural materials on a silk scarf
Ready for the dye pot
George's layout looks good enough to eat!
Tying the bundle with thick rubber bands
Interesting prints from small ferns on one of Tamara's scarves
Some wonderful details being revealed on a cotton piece of George's
George and Tamara with two of their beautiful scarves!

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!

 

 

 

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
 
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!