Yesterday morning I started the day by showing a friend Leonie how to make three dimensional stars using 1.5m strips of coloured paper! These are great strung as a garland or hung individually from the tree as Christmas ornaments. We chatted over a cup of coffee and before Leoine left she gave me a lovely present of some home make star cookies (very appropriate!) which her girls had make. They are all eaten now, thanks Esme and Nessa!
I spent a happy afternoon felting a stripy ‘man’ scarf for a friend’s Christmas present and followed this by stringing some simple necklaces with commissioned ceramic buttons as the centre piece. Because I wanted the scarf to be very soft and warm I used both merino and a merino and silk mixture which I had carded myself in the stripes. I laid out the fibres crossways practically the whole length of my big table and proceeded to felt. Never having made a striped scarf before (amazing that when I think about it!) I possibly should have laid some of the fibres in the opposite direction as well. Everything felted perfectly but the scarf got longer instead of shorter, much longer in fact!! Anyway, Martin is tall and the scarf feels wonderful wrapped a couple of times around the neck, I hope that he likes it.
All the naturals necklace
The buttons that I used for the necklaces (initally intended for felt necklaces and bags!) were commissioned from Hillary Jenkinson, a talented maker working from a studio in the Demanse Yard at Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny. It is well worth a trip to Castlecomer to visit this yard, in addition to the craftspeople’s studios and workshops there is a well stocked restaurant, a history of coal museum, beautiful parkland to walk in and a brilliant kid’s playground. Each of the buttons is a one off and I think that they look great with the crocheted cream cotton beads that I made ‘a la Sigrid Bannier’ and some simple wooden or glass beads. You can check them out on my Flickr photostream and the necklace above is actually on sale through my Etsy shop. This is where the frustration sets in …. I had intended to put loads of felted items and these new necklaces on my shop this morning but the battery on my camera just limits how many things I can upload in one session. I had thought that they would make lovely pressies and was pricing everything between E10 and E20 but after 4 hours I have only managed to get 4 items up, aghhhhhhhh. Anyway, here is a picture of one of the necklaces and it is priced at $20 which equals E14.16 if anyone is interested!
I had a great time today at the Demense Yard, Castlecomer with the ‘South East Textile Group’. We meet one Saturday a month and either one of the members or an invited guest hosts a workshop. Today Jean (one of our founder members) showed us all how to create and use a lino print and in the afternoon we were using a printer to transfer images to a special medium and then iron them on to various fabrics.
As my drawing is dreadful I decided to use the lino cutting as an opportunity to explore the possibilities of creating a tag or logo for my work. I created a simple logo using my initials and some lines. Once I had gouged out the lines a bit deeper than my first attempt I was very happy with the end result, thanks Jean for a great tutorial.
The printer here at Clasheen has just run out of ink so I jumped at the opportunity to use the group’s new printer and transfer some images on to the special paper that Jean had brought. Deciding not to draw anything myself, I used some fantastic images of African women from a recent issiue of a fashion magazine that I had. Armed with these as I was going home, I spent the hour driving home planning how I would incorporate them into a piece of nuno felt. My biggest concerns were should they be colour fast once I started to wet felt and would the image shrink too much and become unrecognisable once shrunk and fulled. FANTASTIC success!!! I wanted to experiment with a wallhanging so I ironed one of the images onto a piece of white muslin and then laid it on a large piece of apple green commercial needle felt. This needlefelt is new to me and came from Wollknoll in Germany, usually I would create any prefelt from scratch but have been wanting to experiment with larger pieces in a limited time frame. I then laid out apple green, navy and marine blue merino on top of all but the actual image. These colours were chosen as they picked out the main colours in the clothes the African ladies were wearing. A little white and red wool to highlight and away I went and wet the wool. No problems with the dye from my printed muslin running and because I had positioned the fabric on top of the needlefelt it did not actually distort too much when fulled. I am so pleased with the result and hope to take a photo tomorrow once I decide whether to embellish the piece further or just leave it as it is. I would welcome feedback if anyone feels like making a comment as soon as I post the image of the finished piece!