Textured and stitched, the addition of machine embroidery to felt adds another dimension!

It is just not going to be possible to blog comprehensively about all the new techniques learnt and information absorbed at Felt in Focus, firstly there is definitely not enough time and secondly a lot of it is in my head and will be transmitted into my work over the course of the coming months.  Instead I hope you will share with me as I post some images taken during the two amazing workshops I participated in, felt jewellery with Lisa Klakulak and printing on fabric (printing with pigments and binders and not with acid dyes as I had somehow imagined!) with Kirsten Lundberg.

20 layers of partial felt underneath a layer of silk chiffon adds to the raised surface

I’m going to start today by uploading two images of the first piece I completed at Lisa’s workshop, a richly coloured wall piece (that I originally intended to be a bracelet!) with areas of high relief, achieving textured surfaces is something that really interests me.

Seeing Lisa’s felt in reality was a wonderful experience, watching her demonstrate how adding free machine embroidery to various areas really opens up a whole new avenue for exploring different means of surface embellishment.  As someone who has always had a horror of working on a sewing machine free machining was a total new experience, wonderfully relaxing believe it or not expecially since I was working on a relatively ‘free’ style of stitching  playing around to see what sort of effects I might be able to achieve without totally stressing myself out about perfection!

Merino, fabrics, partial felts and stitching combine to create a unique new felt


‘Felt in Focus’, a mind blowing symposium!

Well, it is going to be impossible to relate all the excitement of ‘Felt in Focus’ on the blog but I am going to try!  I have decided to write quite a few posts over the next two weeks documenting the experience from start to fininsh.  Hopefully you will get a flavour of how fantastic the experience was and also learn a some of the amazing tips of the trade that I picked up along the way!!  On Sunday 4th I joined 15 other members of Feltmakers Ireland at Dublin Airport and by 17.30 we were happily checking in at our accomodation on site at Glamsdalens Idraetsefterskole in Denmark.  Every last little detail was taken care of through out the week by the amazing organisers and by 18.00 140 participants were enjoying our first 5 star meal in the large communal dining room.

Our first meal together

Our first meal together

You might be able to see from the image that there is only one man in the room, totally there were 3 men on the organisational side of things and only one male tutor, amazing considering that in many areas of the world felting is really a male occupation.  We enjoyed superb food throughout the week, it would actually be impossible to convey how fantastic it was (including amazing and innovative vegeterian fare) but suffice to say that EVERYBODY said they would rate it as 5 stars and I had three portions of a particular desert one night and I don’t really eat any sweet things after a meal at all!!  At 19.00 we had a welcome address and presentation of the teachers in the main hall and between 20.00 and 21.30 the symposium was officially opened by Jytte Ablidstrom and Birgitte Krag.  Wine and beer were available to purchase from the information stand in the evenings so after a bit of a chat and a glass or two everyone said a quick good night and headed off to bed.  My next post will start to document the fantastic complex bag workshop that I took with Lyda Rump and relate more about the participants and teachers that made the event so special.

Bag lady swap and podcast news!

Back from a couple of days R & R in Austria I have just finished lining the bag that I have been working on for my first swap as part of an online Flickr group ‘Bag Lady Swaps’.   The challenge was to create a bag using any technique that you had not previously used or something that you felt uncomfortable doing or lacked confidence in trying.  As I have mentioned before sewing is just not me but I hope my partner will be happy that I took on the challenge!  Firstly I created a nice piece of felt with her favourite colour blue as the background.  I tried to make the blue look watery and the surface design of white and pale pink waterlillies was added using some hand made lustrous silk and merino wool pre-felts, the lining is a striking rich blue silk.  I really enjoyed creating the felt for this bag and intend making a larger wallhanging in the same theme, as soon as the package is posted and I know that Sylvia (she lives in Denmark) has recieved it I will post some images here on the blog.

Tomorrow morning I will be recording an interview about my experiences with blogging, this will be published later this month in an on-line Podcast.  To be honest I really need to update my knowledge about all things relating to social networking and am really excited to have booked in to Podcamp, an ‘unconference’ taking place in Kilkenny on 27th September.  Why not check it out and see if you would like to join us!