Woo Hoo, it's almost time to head to the airport and collect the wonderful Dawn Edwards, I can't wait, in the meantime it's all go, go, go!!! Here are a few photos in place of words, don't forget that tonight's the night I'll have a small television slot on Nationwide's feature about Ennis Creative Arts Centre and there are a final few places up for grabs at Dawn's fantastic nuno felt hat workshop next weekend. Please contact me ASAP if you'd like to join us in all the fun. Now for those pics……
Gathering patterned, beaded and sequined silk to utilize for nuno felting, I have to confess that on this particular day Dawn and I spent over fours in the one shop, roll on next week!
A beautiful nuno felt hat that Dawn has just felted incorporating vintage lace, here's the full workshop description for those that might be tempted to felt a hat, the dates are Saturday 5th April or Sunday 6th.
This abstract landscape incorporating alpaca and silk is a sample for my full day workshop at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, I'll post upcoming US workshop updates next week hopefully, basic details are over on the workshop page here.
Finally for today, I just love this picture of Linda modelling one of my shorter naturally printed nuno felt wraps at Borris Food & Craft Market a little earlier! This one was printed with rose and blackberry leaves from my garden plus a selection of eucalyptus leaves from Co. Wicklow. I've just had a call from her and she's coming back in to buy it to wear for her daughter's wedding, do I see a trend appearing?
I’m delighted to announce that Dawn will be teaching a second day of her ‘Fantastic Nuno Felt Hats in April, please click here to view the online class description and email me asap if you’d like to book your place!!! Just to remind you what one of Dawn’s nuno felt hats looks like here’s a picture.
emerald green and black felt cloche
Isn’t this an absolute beauty???
I’ll have a selection of goody bags available to purchase on both days, these will have a selection of stunning beaded, sequinned and printed silk to include in the hats so for those of you not having this in your stash, don’t panic!
I’m thrilled to confirm the 5th April nuno felt hat workshop that Dawn will be teaching at Clasheen (or a nearby location in Borris) this April, click here for all the details!!! Eight places have already been provisionally booked, please shout out loud and email me asap if you’d like to be included in all the fun. As soon as the ten places are filled I’ll start a waiting list and if the numbers stack up we’ll run a second day on the Sunday. I actually forgot on the flyer to include the payment details, a 50% deposit will be required to hold a place and the balance is needed by the beginning of next month. OK, I’m off to unwrap some bundles now, bed early and teaching second and third class at Ballymurphy National School in the morning!
I had a hard time of it trying to keep my fingers and hands warm at Duckett’s Grove this weekend. Felting on Saturday morning really was freezing, I’ve only got one electric heater (which is very expensive to run) included in the studio so I finally decided to do a little beading and finishing of projects for Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday.
Most of you know well by know how much I HATE using a needle, however it was very satisfying to end the weekend have brooch backs stitched to a lot of flowers (all delivered to the design shop now) and my latest felt hat beaded. Pauline in Duckett’s Grove Design came up with a novel way of displaying these flowers, she’s requested a long green ‘stem’ which we’re going to suspend against a white background and pin all the flowers along the length, I think this will really show off the mix of colours well! I might include some tendrils with leaves too, it all depends how much time I get to make this before next Friday.
Tomorrow I’m excited to learn the pine needle technique with Leiko, it’s very much more precise than the majority of the felting I usually do, please wish me luck because I think I’ll need it!!! We’ve decided to defer the last two days of the projected retreat, not enough interest at this time of year and unfortunately we didn’t get it together in time to advertise it with the Crafts Council and the VAI. I will be doing more natural printing/dyeing myself during the week and post pictures, I need to get ready now to have another felt jewellery session with Borris Active Retirement.
I tried out a couple of new display ideas at Borris Food and Craft market this morning based on some of the recent research I’ve been doing. Definitely having a well stocked stand has made a difference, it’s almost too full compared to my usual minimalist style and I find it a mental struggle to have so much stock on display, it does seem to work however when it comes to attracting the customers!
All set up and ready to trade
Raising my table (on bed risers bought with Dawn during my MI sojurn) proved quite interesting, I liked the fact that my felt was more accessible and the small table that I placed in front of the main display added another dimension to the effect.
Logs as hat display stands
Finally for today, I LOVED the logs I positioned my two new hats on, why I’ve never thought of these as a display stand before I just don’t know!!! If you’d like to see these pictures in a bigger size just head on over to my personal Facebook page (link on the right), there are a few more showing different aspects too.
I’ve been researching ideas for home made displays wanting to get different height levels to add interest, check out my new board on Pinterest if you would like to see some of the ideas I’ll be putting into practice this festive season! Last night I tried out a cardboard Christmas tree and it worked really well, I just need to get some gold spray now and I’ll get into production mode. I’d pinned another idea recently about attaching an upturned wooden bowl to a wooden kitchen roll holder and using it as a hat stand, the new board has this and other ideas, hopefully it will inspire me to create seasonal interest at the studio, Borris Food and Craft Market and the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet.
Felt hat incorporating naturally printed and dyed silk
This morning I felted a highly textured hat (really a soft edged beret) incorporating some of the smaller pieces of naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on lately. I really want to have nice items to offer customers that compliment each other, I won’t be making many of these but I do think they’ll work wonderfully with some of the nuno felt scarves that I have been enjoying making. Here’s a picture of the finished hat, check out my new album on FB if you’d like to see some pictures of it at the lay out stage.
Thanks to everyone who has expressed such an interest in our ‘niki & niki’ felting tools, we’re blown away by all the orders and inquiries and thrilled with the positive response we’re getting from everyone who has already tried them out!!! Our latest batch of prodders has just arrived to be posted asap and the rest of the tools should be here shortly for those of you who are waiting! Apologies also to one friend and customer who has not yet recieved their package, if it doesn’t arrive any day now we’ll be posting out a replacement as soon as the new delivery of rollers arrives. We’re also considering offering registered mail as an option in the future and letting the purchaser choose whichever postal option they want, this would be less stressful for us in the event of any losses in transit. In response to the numerous enquiries we’ve been getting here is the basic info about the various tools again and in future when I get asked the questions I will have a definite link here to direct people to!
Meg fulling her hat at Dawn’s workshop with our prototype mini minimilast
Firstly I’ll reiterate that the tools are the result of a collaboration with great friend and designer Niki Collier, between us we are offering you tools that we both find invaluable in our own felting studios. I like to roll on top of the bubble wrap at the early stages of the felting process then directly on the felt as it gets stronger and is in the middle of fulling to shrink; several of my projects in the new book ‘Nuno Felting with Nicola Brown and Chrissie Day‘ used the rollers and the vessel used the prodder! Handmade and hard wearing, all ‘niki & niki’ felting tools may be personalised with your own name for an additional $8 up to a total of 10 digits including spaces, never lose a valued piece of felting equipment again!!! Niki is preparing a little care note to post with new orders but suffice to say that a good quality wood oil is perfect for keeping your tools in tip top condition, don’t forget to rinse off any soap also at the end of each felting session. Now for the sizes and prices excl P&P, this is charged according to which country we are posting to…..
The Big One – total length 56cms and an active rolling width of 36cms – $60
The Modest One – total length 50cms and an active rolling width of 30cms – $47
The Minimilast – total length 24.5cms and an active rolling width of 21.5cms – $40 The length of this handleless roller makes it perfect for using both hands together directly on top of the ridged surface
The Mini Minimilast – a shorter handleless roller which we have been testing, final length and prices to be advised shortly
The Prodder – a handmade wooden prodder with a curved end that is a wonderful aid for stretching and shaping felt vessels and sculptures – $11
NB Please remember that I will be away teaching for the next 3 weeks, back for 1 week and then off to teach in Portugal followed by a weeks holiday there, back for one week then off to participate in a 6 day masterclass with Dagmar Binder in Scotland! In tandem with all this excitment and travelling I’m trying to set up my studio in Duckett’s Grove properly (from afar!) and look after the people who will be staying at Clasheen to mind the house and Rex in my absense. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to emails or questions immediately and if I do respond I won’t be writing a missive!!! I really appreciate all your kind comments and wishes for my trip to the US, I really can’t wait to be back and am so looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, I wish I had Dawn here though to help me with my packing!!!!! I’ll leave you today with Meg modelling her finished hat with Dawn, you can check out some of Meg’s other beautiful and stylish hats at Meg Kavanagh Designs!
We had a WONDERFUL time having fun and learning new skills from great buddy Dawn Edwards during her ‘Fantastic Felt Hats’ workshops at the weekend!!! All the participants started each day oohing and aahing over the gorgeous hats on display, trying them on and discussing with Dawn whether to work from one of her templates of branch out and design one of their own.
The start of the Saturday workshop
Unfortunately I don’t have enough hours in any day at the moment to write a long review of the workshops but suffice to say Dawn’s lovely calm, knowledgeable and fun manner of teaching ensured that everybody learnt or honed their skills and left with a beautiful new creation to enjoy and show off! Both Dawn and I are uploading photos to our facebook pages but as I say time is short for me at the moment and I do want to enjoy myself with Dawn now and welcome Danish friend Kirsten to Clasheen at the weekend so it may be another few days before they all are uploaded and titled.
Sisters Babs and Helena wearing their beautiful flower decorated hats!
Friday is going to be hectic, since Dawn’s arrival I have also been running around and frantically preparing a lot of felt which needs to be delivered to Duckett’s Grove tomorrow (I had the wrong deadline) and amazingly I was in the right place at the right time and have secured a new studio place there as well! There are 4 artist’s studios in the renovated courtyard and one of the artists had to back out at the last minute, enter me!!!
Andrea shaping and fulling, Niki and Dawn near the end of the first workshop
We’ll be measuring it up tomorrow when we deliver the felt to the new retail unit there and then planning what to set up for the official opening with a government minister on Friday morning, Dawn’s been invited to display her hats too so it sounds as if it will be an action packed and fun day!
After a lot of technical issues ‘Nuno Felting with Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’ is now available to order as an ebook for iPhone, iPod and iPad touch. Currently Blurb don’t offer it for other forms of digital readers but hope to do so before too long has elapsed. I did have to make it available in a wrap around hard back too in order to get it online but I’ve priced highly just to ensure nobody orders it by mistake, of course if you do happen to want a hard back copy that’s another thing entirely!
We’re having the most fantastic time here, Dawn’s workshop yesterday was a big success and now she and Chrissie are having breakfast while I try to write this from the bath!!! I’ll try to upload more photos to Facebook throughout the day and post properly tonight or tomorrow night, it’s just too manic now and we need to get on the road again!
It’s very busy here this week and will be until Dawn Edwards and Chrissie Day arrive so I’m going to post briefly with bullet points today!
I’ve just confirmed my flights a few minutes ago for my U.S. trip in May. I can’t wait to be back facilitating workshops in Lexington KY with Jan Durham on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th May, at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May and in Plainwell MI with Dawn Edwards on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May. Visit the workshop page for all the details.
Karin and I now have participants from the U.S., Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Iceland arriving to participate in the week long felting extravaganza in Portugal so there are only a few places left now! Here’s a link to the flyer with all the details. Flyer Felt workshop
Niki has personalised where requested and packed our first batch of felting tools and they are now en route to their new owners, thanks Rem (Niki’s husband) for bringing them to the post office yesterday. This first flush of orders came from Ireland, England, Austraila, right across the U.S. and Canada, wow!!!
While our ‘niki & niki’ tools went out in the post yesterday other felting materials came in by courier! I had placed an order with Wollknoll recently so the merino roving for Dawn’s two ‘Fantastic Felt Hats’ workshops in Borris on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April has now arrived as has the short fibre merino I need to bring with me to U.S., wool that I ordered for my current CRAFTed project came too and lastly I got some more ponge silk in chocolate brown for myself. I need this to nuno felt some more scarves for the new retail outlet which is opening shortly at Duckett’s Grove.
My collaboration with students at Rathnure NS for CRAFTed for the Crafts Council has changed shape somewhat. I was meant to have 26 six and seven year olds to work with but the school principal didn’t want one class to be split up so now I’m working with 35 pupils!!! It’s a very big group of little bodies, I think that Taragh (their teacher), Mary (a wonderful helper) and I will have our work cut out for us but it’s definitely going to be fun in the process! I’ll leave you with a picture from our first session last Wednesday, the pupils had never felted or handled wool before so were amazed at how it came together to form a strong fabric. These first pieces were all laid out on needlefelt; the children choose a couple of colours of wool to lay on top of the needlefelt, then added shapes of mohair off cuts and/or metallic fabric, some added swirls of natural and artificial knitting yarn and then all but one child added a generous sprinkling of shiny firestar!
Some of the first pieces of flat felt from senior infants and first class at Rathnure NS