This past week has been one of great excitment and tonnes of work, I really don't have a minute spare this week either so please forgive me if I'm not online much over the next few days. The main highlights from last week all actually occurred on Thursday! It started off mid morning when I met with Mary Gallagher of the Blue Egg Gallery in Wexford, she has placed an order for naturally printed silk scarves and felt which I'll be delivering this week then as soon as I return from teaching in the US I'll be felting her a selection of colourful nuno mosaic pieces too. The say I'm thrilled is an understatement, Mary's gallery and shop is stunning so it's wonderful to be selected as a maker for there! On my way home I stopped at a garden centre and found a couple of healthy eucalyptus (cider gums) to add to my collection and then, when I was just casually driving along a bit nearer home what did I find??? A HUGE eucalyptus of a variety I'd not seen before had fallen during the recent storms and a few end branches were hanging out over the hedge onto the road. I nicked a few leaves, tried printing with them and discovered that they give a good outline, an interesting soft coffee coloured beige. Amazingly the tree was in the home farm of a sculptor whose brother was actually in the same class as me in national school, a text and phone call later and I'll be collecting ALL the leaves from the tree this week, wow!!!
Anyway, here are a few pictures from yesterday's workshop at Duckett's Grove, didn't Bernadette and Mary create just stunning first felt pictures?
Well done ladies, it think a couple of new fibre fanatics are born!
The weekend before last I picked up several apron style dresses in gorgeous linen at a blowout sale in Dublin. They were all layered with a lace edged viscose under shift kind of thing, way too frilly and girly for my plain taste! Anyway, most of the dresses had this piece actually attached to them so I had to cut it off, one of them was in a slightly different style and the under shift with this one was more like a cross between a long Tshirt and a petticoat in the brightest white you could possibly imagine. Anyway, yesterday I decided to bundle it up with eucalyptus and tea leaves then popped it in the pot while I was eco printing a couple of organza scarves.
Imagine my surprise to discover it didn't give even the faintest prints from the eucalyptus leaves or tea at all except on the lace edging (I think that this must be polyester although it didn't say on the label), instead it transformed itself into the softest and most attractive soft shades of gold and apricot, the perfect shift to dress my mannequin! This serendipitous gift will be worth it's weight in gold, I hate a naked mannequin but have always found it really difficult to find a nice neutral outfit for mine against which the naturally printed wraps and scarves stand out, my search is over!!!
Please excuse the quality and composition of these images, the wind was wild and the sun made it difficult to take good pictures but at least you'll get an idea of what why I'm happy.
As part of my own preparation for 7 days of intensive teaching I wanted to have the materials gathered for my personal work during this time. Obviously I’ll be working one to one with Rami but while he’s laying out pieces and generally discovering all the joys of the various felting techniques I’ll get a certain amount if time to do my own thing. At the beginning of the week I’ve attachments to prepare for a large sculptural piece and some Eco printing and dyeing to do then I plan to lay out a large nuno felt garment incorporating some of the silks and prefelts that I’ll already have printed. The workshop proper will run from 10am until late afternoon each day and after we’ve eaten each evening I’ll be back in the studio felting, Rami will be free to join me if he’s not already mentally and physically exhausted, I also have a list of reading material for him to go through so I think I’ll be keeping him on his toes! I’m going to leave you today with a picture I love, me and my god son Jack gathering eucalyptus leaves and bark (from a variety of different trees) in his grandparents garden, thanks Sharon, Jack, Betty and Jack senior for all your help and the gift of the wonderful vegetation!!!