I had a lovely time at the Ennis Creative Arts Centre on Saturday, eight fun ladies met to join me for a full day jewellery making workshop. Over the course of a morning and an afternoon we concentrated on getting to grips with felting four different jewellery components, flowers, spikes, balls and cords (laid out and felted a different way than the spikes!).
The techniques learnt may be applied to all sorts of different felting projects, with jewellery they form the basis for unlimited experimentation and I'm hoping that the participants will have fun creating some more lovely pieces with the fibre they went home with! Here are a few pictures from the workshop for you all to enjoy.
I'm sure you'll see from the smiles that it was a really nice and fun group of ladies, just to assure you, our photographer was smiling too!
Over the last few days good friend Maureen helped me sew my first ever proper garment, in exchange I shared how I go about my natural printing and helped her print some beautiful nuno felt and silk scarves! Here's a picture of Maureen with her fabulous first felt wrap out of the dye pot……….
and here's a picture of my new merino dress, perfect for layering with leggings and a long sleeved T-shirt in Canada methinks!!!
I'm off now to take a wall hanging out of the dye pot and try to sort out some paperwork. I'll leave you today with a close up of the stitching and a felt flower, I love how this flower I felted two weekends ago absolutely picks up the red and purple colours perfectly.
I love this picture taken after my workshop at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber festival today, check out the beautiful smiles and fab felt flowers. We started our first flower just using short fibre merino but adding plenty of bamboo for embellishment, the second flowers included a stem, silk, bamboo and loads of lovely alpaca locks from generous sposnors Alpaca Fiber Solutions! I'm heding for an early night now, well done with the flowers ladies, I look forward to seeing some of you again next weekend.
It's hard to believe that this day next week Dawn and I will be well relaxed and fully prepared for some wonderful days of felting and natural dyeing, check out the workshop page for full details of this two day workshop. There is one spot left I think so if anyone would like to join us please don't be shy, email Dawn and she'll answer any last minute questions! I've laid out my clothes on the bed in the spare bedroom, my hair is cut and I've even had a leg wax this evening, tomorrow morning I start to felt the last of my samples to bring to the US next week. I'll also have a saucepan on the go to cook some more natural bundles, thanks Brid for the big bunch of eucalyptus leaves, I can't wait to see if they give me some good prints! I'll try to post a few pictures of the work in progress to Facebook as I go along, fingers crossed nothing gets in my way because I really need to get these samples in the bag, excuse the pun!
My last Irish workshop before I travel took place this morning, this was with a wonderful new group of ladies in Bagenalstown, the first of two sessions we'll be having together.
Isn't this a lovely picture of them all with their finished felt? Next time we'll be making flowers and already they are planning to visit Duckett's Grove after this and participate in more sessions later in the summer. I'll also post before and after pics of their first flat felt pictures to Facebook tomorrow, for now it's a glass of whiskey then bed!
Today was my final day at the Gaelscoil, the wall hanging in now finished, hallelujah! I did run into a bit of a problem with the method we were going to use to hang it but after a bit of brainstorming have a solution, thanks Mona for your input, all is now well!!!
Eight sixth class pupils did a sterling job beading the flowers, at the beginning we weren't exactly sure how many we would attach but once we were underway they decided that less would be more. Stitching and sewing is definitely not my forte, these boys and girls however enjoyed the day so thanks guys for a job well done! The felt still needs to hang outside for another couple of days to dry fully (thanks Tony) and Mona is going to supervise the stitching on of more hooks for hanging. I'll call in to the school on Monday morning when I'm in Carlow, after that the next time I'll see the piece is when it's hanging in its permanent position beside Bridget Flannery's beautiful abstract landscapes depicting the four seasons! Here's a close up of some of the flowers, next post, the completed wall hanging.
I spent a great afternoon facilitating a 'Fun Felt Flower' workshop for Geraldine and her lovely granddaughter Orla at Duckett's Grove yesterday. During the course of the two hours, Geraldine and Orla felted two flowers each (the first without a stem the second with) while I felted two myself and finished a commission of a flower bolo which I'd started earlier in the morning. Instead of felting a third flower each the ladies went for a stroll around the gardens then headed home with wool and embellishments to have for another day.
They'll felt together again and show Orla's mum how the flowers are made, what a great birthday gift from any granny to her granddaughter!!!
I haven't forgotten that some of you are asking for instructions about how the stems are made and attached, it's been CRAZY here with mum's move and the Gaelscoil project etc. but I do promise to try and get it done for you sometime later this week! Now I'm heading to the bath, then Duckett's Grove and then back home to do yet more organising. I've been up since early this morning and already have the truck full of useful items that I don't need to deliver (to a friend who works in the community) and yet more boxes to bring to the recycling centre. Onwards and upwards……. emails, flights to Portugal, Facebook messages and other online stuff will be dealt with later tonight!
I can't actually write about the internet problems I've been having over the last week and a half for fear I'll jinx things again, if you follow me on FB you'll know what I'm talking about! I'll post a few pics instead and just mention that I WON'T be in the studio at Duckett's Grove on Easter Saturday or Sunday but I will be there on bank holiday Monday. I'll also be the Borris Food and Craft Market on Saturday morning, we won't be open on Good Friday at all. Now for the pics……
Last Saturday Ulrike joined me at Duckett's Grove for her first felting experience, the result, an absolutely gorgeous picture with a very definite underwater feel.
The picture was laid out with the intention of having the green circle at the bottom left hand side, once it was felted however, Ulrike decided that the other way up made the most pleasing composition. I think I have to agree! Last night I felted 6 flowers and today a long nuno felt scarf plus four short nuno felt neck pieces inspired by spring flowering bulb. These are all fully reversible, I like them best worn with a little bit of both sides showing!
Although many felters choose to create the most beautiful botanically correct felt flowers personally I like to make mine more organic and less structured, they also take a lot less time to felt! I’ve had several emails and questions asking how I attach my stems and shape the flowers, I’ve not managed to photograph myself doing the full process (I can’t demo and use the camera at the same time by myself!) but thanks to Anne Murphy of Eala Enamels I now have a few pics showing the shaping process so I’m going to share them here. Ill talk about wttacng the stems another time. This is actually a fully felted flower but at least I hope you’ll get the idea!
Make a circle with your thumb and index finger on your non dominant hand
Place the flower inside the circle, if y have a stem obviously it’s facing downwards!
Push your index finger of the opposite hand gently but firmly down in the centre of the flower
Gently roll the folded flower around in your hands opening to check one side is not felting to the other
Continue rolling and opening until you are happy with the finished shape
Gosh, it took me 50 minutes to drive approx 11 miles to my felting class in Myshall last night and over one hour to get myself home, thanks snow! I took a less hilly (but longer) route on the homeward journey, a rear wheel drive pick up truck (without 4 wheel drive) just doesn't cut to the chase in wintery conditions, especially considering our rural hills never get gritted or salted.
Nevertheless, the participants who managed to weather the icy conditions created a beautiful array of sunny looking flowers, well done everyone!
Although is was FREEZING at Duckett's Grove yesterday I had a lovely afternoon facilitating a 'fun felt flower' workshop. Next Saturday is a beginners and improvers full day workshop, we'll be working on flat felt pictures so if you'd like to join us please email me ASAP! Check out these beautiful flowers from yesterday, I love the different colour combinations!