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!
I finally finished my first 'official' felt and polymer clay necklace last night, I'm happy with some of its aspects and less happy with others. On the plus side of things I love the combination of textures, the soft organic shape of the beads, the smoothly burnished large polymer clay bead contrasting with the tactile felt beads, the black rubbery tubing I used to tie everything together with and I'm definitely happiest with the roughly textured polymer clay beads and the matt black spacers.
I think that the finished necklace looks lovely against the textures of my recent nuno felt so I'm happy that I'll be able to create a collection of accessories that will add another dimension to my craft practice. On the negative side of things I'm least happy with how symmetrically I strung everything together, my only excuse is that I had a very limited selection of felt and polymer components to work with, hopefully that'll change as I get more pieces made and build up my stock of raw materials. I'm still waiting for my tissue blades to arrive so I'm a little limited with what I can do, the plus side of that is I have to keep experimenting and looking for ways around my lack of some decent cutting implements.
I'd like to recommend Ronna Sarvas Weltman's book 'Ancient Modern' for anyone looking for clear basic instructions and wonderfully inspiring projects in polymer clay and wire jewellery. It's on special offer via the Interweave store up until 15th February at a knockdown price of $6.88 (usual price $22.95). I wish I'd known that before I ordered it elsewhere for the full price but it's wonderful value nonetheless!
This morning I made some more felt flowers and two cuffs, after lunch (fed five hungry tree planters some home made red Thai curry!) I forced myself to sit down and finish several of the flowers by adding simple brooch backs. The weather has been wonderfully crisp today so I was able to take some photos of the completed works and have just now uploaded them to my Etsy shop.
Funky orange and turquoise felt flower!
This large orange and turquoise flower would look equally at home pinned to an outfit or tying back your hair so I am actually giving the purchaser the option of finishing the flower with either fitting or else I can include both the findings for them to stitch on themselves! It was actually when Hilary and I were working on Saturday that I thought of this colour combination. Although I always tell students to either compliment or contrast I have never actually combined turquoise and orange myself before. The mulberry silk around the outside of the base layer provides a nice highlight to the finished flower. You can check out some more of the flowers on Etsy and I have also uploaded the cuffs too.
The tree planting is almost finished, it is amazing what 4 or 5 men can do with 13,000 trees when armed with a simple spade and a bit of will power!