Upcoming workshops at Duckett’s Grove and look what Debbie created incorporating one of my flowers!

I've had a pretty frustrating week computer wise, thanks goodness for the iPad otherwise I might have gone totally mad! Next weekend I have a felt bag workshop happening on Saturday 16th February in Duckett's Grove, the initial process is the same for vessels and other three dimensional objects so if either bags with integrated handles, pockets and flaps or strong, sculptural vessels are your thing please email me asap to book your place. On Saturday 2nd March I have a beginners and improvers flat felting workshop happening, again please email me if you would like to book a place. These will both be intensive hands on classes where you will leave at the end of the day with a beautiful finished piece and the knowledge that you will confidently be able to repeat the process at home by yourself, more details over on the workshop page.


Before Christmas I met a lovely South African lady called Lizette at Borris Food and Craft Market. She bought some of my naturally printed and dyed nuno felt to bring home for gifts and also selected a few flowers in nice bright colours, felt and silk are wonderfully lightweight to transport so make perfect presents for anyone heading off in a plane!!! Anyway, Lizette is back here for a visit and called in to say hi again at the market on Friday. With her she brought me a gift of the latest 'Bead Book' magazine sent from her good friend Debbie Rijns, director of education at Precious Metal Clay South Africa.

In the magazine I was thrilled to see that a tutorial for one of Debbie's mixed media necklaces features one of my felt flowers combined with a beautiful PMC leaf, copper wire, beads and cord. Above is a picture of the second page of Debbie's tutorial. Thanks Debbie for creating such a lovely necklce incorporating the flower and I really appreciate the credit and mention in the magazine!





Workshop details and photos of new nuno felted wrap/shrug!

At last I can post more details for Sigrid Bannier’s exciting August workshops!  All the workshops will take place either on site or within walking distance of my studio and farmhouse here at Clasheen, Borris, Co. Carlow.  Inexpensive self catering accomodation will be available at my neighbours newly renovated farmhouse (only 1 minutes walk!!) or participants can organise to stay in B&Bs locally or the one high quality hotel within a 5 minutes drive.  All workshop costs include materials and tea and coffee throughout the day, please bring a packed lunch with you or you can walk through the fields to the local shop if you want to get something basic to eat.  I really think that this will be a FANTASTIC series of workshops.  Sigrid is a great facilitator and so generous with her knowledge, I hope that as many of you as possible will take this opportunity of investing in your felting future and as they say here in Ireland ‘the craic will be mighty’!

Anyway, here are the details and please note that if you want to participate in two workshops there will be a €10 reduction or if you wish to join us and felt for three or four workshops a €30 reduction will apply.  Please also note that the mosaic nuno day is more expensive in order to cover the cost of the silk chiffon we will be using.  A non refundable charge of 50% of the workshop price is payable with your booking to secure your place and the balance to be paid by 29th July.

5th August – Mosaic nuno felt  – Discover the possibilities of creating your own unique fabric for clothing using the mosaic nuno technique. €90

6th August – Incorporating found objects into your felt – Learn how to incorporate natural and found objects into your felt whether as a focal point in a piece of jewellery or to add embellishment to flat felt or 3 dimensional bags and sculpture. €85

7th August – Incorporating found objects into your felt  – Learn how to incorporate natural and found objects into your felt whether as a focal point in a piece of jewellery or to add embellishment to flat felt or 3 dimensional bags and sculpture. €85 

8th and 9th August – Felt lampshades – a two day workshop – Sigrid’s pictures speak for themselves if you want to learn how to plan, design and create quirky and stylish lampshades or wall lights! €160

Sigrid's flower explosion lampshade

Sigrid's flower explosion lampshade

Nuno mosaic scarves made at a workshop Sigrid tutored in Italy

Nuno mosaic scarves made at a workshop Sigrid tutored in Italy

Please email asap or call me on 00353 (0)87 2789740 if you wish to reserve your place!

And now on to some pictures of my latest nuno felt project, a simple but striking lightweight wrap or shrug.  This developed from an idea that I had when creating some flower corsages the other evening; what would happen if I enlarged the size of my circle, cut out a wedge as per the corsages and then manipulated the felt into a collar or shrug??? 
'Peony' - my new nuno felt wrap

'Peony' - my new nuno felt wrap

I was thrilled with the results and here I present my second shrug which I have called ‘Peony’.  The photos really don’t do the colours justice (it was overcast and raining when I shot them) but I thought that you might like to give this a go for yourselves when you see how simple it is!  Check out my Flickr images for the side and back view and please email me some pictures if you give this a go yourselves!!

Felt vessels, simple but stylish corsage, Eigse and Blueprint exhibition

Wow, I had hoped that things would calm down a bit this week but what with getting election posters down, making work for Blueprint and preparing for my ‘Craft in the Classroom’ presentation on Saturday it has been action on all fronts.  I actually decamped to Carmen’s studio on Tuesday and Wednesday rather than working here at home and this turned out to be a pretty good decision.  Because I limited myself  primarily to bringing undyed fibres with me I was able to concentrate on the vessels that I wanted to make and there were no outside distractions calling claim on my time.  Carmen cooked some wonderful food both days so really all I had to do was enjoy the creative process and get stuck into my felting.  Things worked out really well and by Wednesday afternoon I had finished 5 vessels before attempting a simple felt corsage as described in Lizzie Houghton’s new book ‘Felting Fashion’.  These were a joy to make and would make a gorgeous present for a favourite friend!  Unfortunately my camera’s battery ran out this evening just as I was in the middle of setting up the photo shoot but check out my next blog post for images of the flowers and written instructions on how you too can make them.

My main task today was going with Martin and setting up our work for Blueprint, a joint exhibition that we are participating in as part of the fringe section at Eigse, Carlow town’s large annual art festival.  If you are interested in seeing the show the address is Unit 2, Castle Gate, Kennedy St. Carlow and we will be open from 13.00 – 19.00 every day from June 13th – June 21st and longer at the weekends.  Although we didn’t need to have our work in place until tomorrow evening I wanted to be sure and get organised today as tomorrow I will be preparing my presentation for Saturday and need all the time I can get to get it finished!  It was really a case of being in the right place at the right time since good friend Eileen MacDonagh was just finalising the lay out of her major show in St. Patrick’s College and had a long thin plinth going begging which was absolutely perfect for my vessels!  If you can visit Eigse at all I urge you to do so, you MUST visit the college to see Eileen’s work.  She has many pieces of her beautiful Icosahedrons Series on display and other abstract geometric sculpture which has just arrived back in Ireland from her recent show in Paris.  Not since Sophie Ryder’s show several years ago has work so perfectly filled the exhibition space, both inside and outside.  Anyway, that tip is my tip of the year, I promise you will not be disapointed if you make the effort to attend!