Felting and dying fun with Gerda!

After Horst’s workshop Gerda had a few extra days to stay over in Ireland before flying home to South Africa on Sunday so I invited her to stay at Clasheen for a couple of days, boy did we have some fun felting and dying Horst style!!!  It’s going to take me about a week to finally unwind after all the excitment of the last few weeks but for now check out the sleeveless vest I felted and dyed with gold and pumpkin acid dyes in my kitchen.  It’s great to finally have a HUGE dye pot and the confidence to actually try some experiments out for myself!  ‘Till tomorrow …..

Graduated colour from gold to pumpkin

Sleeveless vest prior to dying and fulling

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White on white, not the result I was looking for

On Friday afternoon I felted a little white on white bag incorporating some lovely vintage lace which I got at The Tim Thimble last year. The lace incorporated really well into the merino roving I used, I didn’t however like the finished result anything like as much as I had been hoping, the ruffles (created with resists) worked well but visually the lace disappeared too much into the main body of the bag. Thanks to a comment from Andrea via Facebook I decided to dye it in the microwave using some Neon food colouring, success! More anon …..

Scrim ready to nuno felt

I am really looking forward to experimenting with the scrim that I batiked (is that a word?!) last week during the course that I participated in at the Grennan Craft Mill, Thomastown.  The fabric took the dyes brilliantly and I intend to make a couple of vessels or bags tomorrow when Polly and Carmen call over for an afternoon of felting.  The batik was really great fun and has given me a whole lot of new ideas for experimentation, will keep you updated as to how I progress.  I will also post some images here showing a couple of the finished pieces I completed, also a bag or two when I get them felted with the scrim.  Some of my clothes are still at the Mill as I took the opportunity on the last day of the course to wax and dye a couple of items!  I will be picking them up next week when Alex is there and hope that they boil out well.

This coming weekend I have been luck enough to be picked by lottery to attend a sculptural weekend course in Dublin with Australian feltmaker Anita Larkin.  This weekend is organised by the Feltmakers Federation and should be a really fun time, as well as a great opportunity to pick up some new skills.

Nuno felt incorporating batik, exploring options

Work in progress

This week I am on an excellent batik course at the Grennan Craft Mill in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.  Facilitated by Alexandra Meldrew, our diverse group are basically having a crash course in different techniques and applications of this facinating craft.  My idea was that after the week, skill peremitting, I would be able to incorporate some of my pieces into some nuno felt work.  Here is a selection of my work in progress.

The fabric that we are working with is quite tightly woven so I have waxed and dipped on a piece of scrim today to see what that will turn out like, just realised that I left it in the bucket of dye when I finished this evening!!  I find that scrim is great to nuno felt with so hopefully this experiment will work out and I can have fun next week incorporating it into some bags or vessels.

Tomorrow I am going to bring along a couple of white silk scarves which I got from Wollknoll, I am intending on waxing them with simple designs and dipping in just one colour of dye.  I probably will keep one as is and then use the others in pieces of felt as well, will just wait and see how I feel next week.