1722 hits and counting

1722 sounds like a date but in actual fact these are the number of hits to date on this blog since I posted my first ramblings on 10th April ’08!  I am really delighted that numbers are multiplying month on month and have now added a counter at the bottom right hand side of the blog.

Because of my injured hand I have had plenty of time to think about my work and what I will be preparing for the Crafts Council.  To date I have made several pieces since I got selected to participate in ‘Breaking Out’, but as I really want to ‘wow’ them I still need to strive for that special piece to materialise.  I am intending on incorporating some found items into my work as well and hope that when I find those special items the piece will just come naturally, fingers crossed!  I have also been working on some designs for a couple of new bags and a vessel with some shibori elements, hopefully my hand will be healed enough next week to put them into action.  The Irish Green Gathering is also in the final 10 days of preparation so probably it is a good thing that I don’t have as much time to felt.

Exciting news re. ‘Breaking Out’!

I am really excited today as I have just recieved a letter from the Crafts Council informing me that I am one of the emerging makers that have been selected for inclusion in ‘Breaking Out’.  This means that I get the opportunity to work with the curator in creating a body of work that potentially will be included in the ‘Breaking Out’ exhibition, opening at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny in October 2008.  Thanks a million to everyone who supported and encouraged me when I was preparing my application especially Alan, Cathy and Bernie.  I would also like to mention again how helpful I found all the great Artlinkspersonal development courses I attended and really recommend that all creative practitioners in the South East join up immediately.

Amazing photos!

Thanks a million to professional photographer Bernie McCoy who took some amazing images of my work on Tuesday.  I just got the CD today and am finalising an application for ‘Breaking Out’ at the Crafts Council so will not put all the images up on the blog yet!  We shot several different pieces of jewellery, scarves, bags and felt vessels.

Exciting times!

Wow, so much has been happening of late that I don’t know where to start.  I’ll try to get this in some sort of order but guess it might just become one big long ramble.

My addiction to felt continues!  Last weekend Carmen (my friend who is responsible for getting me started) and I travelled to Dublin for the agm of the Feltmakers Federation.  Such a nice group of talanted and sharing people is a rare thing to come accross.  After the nitty gritty of the meeting was dispensed with we had an interesting presentation from Una Parsons, the CEO of the Craft’s Council followed by an excellent discussion by Sheila Smith.  Sheila is a master at the art of felt and has written to my mind the definitive book on felting called ‘Felt to Stitch’.  We oogled her wonderful creations and I am really looking forward to her next book, watch out for it in the late summer.  Today, Carmen and another friend Jean came to my studio and I showed them how to create cobweb scarfs, they made very beautiful creations.

As a result of the encouragement and advice received to date I have decided to offer workshops at Clasheen titled ‘Fleece to Felt’.  Aimed primarily at the beginner, these days will offer an ideal chance for stressed out individuals to get in touch with their creative side amidst the beautifull surroundings of the Blackstairs Mountains.  Browse my books, gain inspiration from the landscape and leave at the end of the day with a masterpiece that you have created over the course of the day. 

The purchase of the land surrounding my old farmhouse has been completed a couple of weeks ago so I guess you could say that I am a small holder now!  Brilliant if a bit scarey, at present I have the land rented out to a friendly local farmer so now I can gaze out on horses and young cattle every day.  This week I had an appointment with Chris, our brilliant local forrester to discuss my plans about planting several acres with broad leaved trees in the next dormant season.  Chris has gone home armed with my wish list, natural looking planting, indiginous trees, damson, crab apple and other wild fruit trees mingled in etc. etc. and he will be preparing a plan for me, almost like the floor plan of a house!  I am really looking forward to seeing what he will come up with, we are also exploring the different possibilities of applying for a grant to cover some of the expenses.  My vision is to have a really special amenity area, woodland walks planned from the start and a spring at the top of the land will be included in the ‘floor plan’ as an area of special interest and bio-diversity.

A big note of thanks to Artlinks for the wonderful service they offer.  Last week I attended two of their professional development courses, ‘Business Mentoring for your Creative Practice’ and ‘Marketing your Creative Work’.  This week I am booked into ‘Photographing/Documenting your Creative Work’ and ‘Blogging for Beginners’, guess that is the one I really could do with tonight!

Better go now, my job as competition secretary at Borris Golf Club steps up another gear in the morning, the President’s Prize to the ladies beckons!