Creating my own eco prints to use for nuno felt

I had intended to blog today and share pictures of todays nuno felt scarves but the internet connection has been poor, the weather deteriorated and I didn’t get them photographed so instead I’ll share a couple of pics of my latest eco bundling experiment.

Starting to unroll the silk encased eucalyptus

Thanks to Emma Jane Champley I had a small collection of dried eucalyptus windfalls, I also had some onion skins, tea leaves and cotinus leaves which I had discovered starting to turn colour out in my garden this morning. Yesterday I’d left some silk fabric steeping in a vinegar and water solution so proceeded to create four bundles using  a variety of my raw materials. I steamed these for 30 minutes and then a further 20 minutes in the microwave (it’s 700 watts for anyone who is interested!). Probably I should have let them all sit nicely wrapped up until tomorrow morning but I couldn’t wait so opened two of the pieces late this afternoon. The eucalyptus leaves left a really beautiful print, I just LOVE the effect and now need to get my hand on tonnes of these leaves. If you’re coming to our open evening at Duckett’s Grove on Saturday night for a browse, chat and glass of wine please bring some with you if you have any spare!!! I also liked the soft but subtler effect of the onion skin, cotinus, tea package that I opened up, tomorrow will tell another tale as I’ll open the second batch and see if the prints are stronger.

My intention is to do some more experimentation with this method and incorporate some of these current samples into a larger nuno felt project. To date I’ve also being doing some over printing/dyeing with some of the samples, I also need to try more printing on my hand rolled prefelt and I’d also like to design a larger piece as a stand alone silk hanging! Anyway, if you’d like to see a few more pictures of this latest effort just head on over to Nicola Brown – Clasheen on Facebook.

Marie’s wonderful bag is finished and our relaxing creative retreat is underway!

Briefly…..

Marie’s wonderful felt bag with integrated handle and flap is finished, here’s a photo prior to beading! I love the shape of it and the fact that she made the handle extra long so that it would sit comfortably across her body as opposed to hanging with all the weight (pretty light anyway) resting on one shoulder.

Marie’s beautiful bag

We’re now about to start the second full day of our felting retreat at Clasheen. These last couple of days have been filled with fun, friends, felt and food not to mention a glass or two of wine to accompany Keith’s wonderful cooking in the evenings!!! We may not have truly Portugese style weather here in misty Ireland however the sun finally decided to show a brief appearance yesterday and I believe the forecast is great for today. To date we’ve mordanted a variety of silk and cotton with either vinegar or washing soda and created eco bundles some of which we opened yesterday. Today we’ll be opening more to check how an extra day immersed in the now rusty coloured liquid that they were simmered in will have affected the results.

Dock leaf and tea leaves bundled around a rusty pin

Aside from the eco bundling everyone has been working on a variety of individual projects, I’m trying to post a few pics each night to facebook so do head over to Nicola Brown – Clasheen and my personal page to check them out. Today I hope to finish laying out and felt a nuno shift/jumper that uses some of the cotton gauze I dyed under the watchful eye of Jan Durham in KY earlier this year. It took forever yesterday to calculate the template and get my fabric cut to shape (thanks Dagmar for all your tuition in the template department at Big Cat Studios!) but now I’m underway I don’t think that the actual felting will take too long. I’m going to sign off now as I have a big more computer work to get out of the way then back downstairs before everyone else arrives to start another day of action!