This morning I finished the last of the 36 felt flowers for my sister’s lamp and as the latest batch are drying on the range I thought it would be fun to take a picture of some scattered amongst the leaves of my beautiful purple burning bush!
Felt flowers for Suzanne's lamp
I didn’t find the flowers as tedious to felt as I had been expecting. Maybe it was the fact that I was only working on 36 and not 450 as previously for Sculpture in Context but anyway I enjoyed playing around with the colours and I hope that Suzanne will be happy with the result. This afternoon I am intending on punching a very small hole in the centre of each flower then unscrew the bulbs and refit them around the felt. I am consistently amazed at how versatile and wondrous a fabric felt is, the fact that wool is fire resistant means that these little lamp shades will be perfectly safe. When the lamp is fully assembled I promise to take some pictures before it wends its way to Suzanne in Dublin!
As promised here is a picture showing the little felt flower lampshades that I added to my Ikea light.
Felt flower light
Apologies for the lack of blogging over the last few days but I have been having huge computer problems and then managed to get a dreadful virus onto Alan’s computer so now he has none to use over the Christmas period, understandably he was not a happy bunny! Hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow but for now I bid you all a good evening and safe travelling over the holiday period.
Well I have so much news to write about and only so much time to do it in! Sigrid travelled back to Germany on Thursday after a wonderful 2 weeks together here at Clasheen and since then I am trying to catch up on household chores, complete my 450+ flowers for ‘Sculpture in Context’, submit a proposal for a craft exchange to Norway and make and submit my entry for an international felt exhibition ….. all these have to be completed before Thursday 27th, some by August 24th! On September 2nd ‘Sculpture in Context’ opens and on the following morning Alan and I fly to San Fransisco for a 4 week road trip, woo hoo, I am really excited to be travelling to the States for another vacation!
OK, let’s take all these things in order and then I will follow up with some more detailed posts over the coming week to bring you all up to speed with events here in Ireland as well as posting about Anna Gunnarsdottir’s wonderful 2 day ‘felt sculpture’ workshop at ‘Felt in Focus’.
Sigrid Bannier’s 2 day felt lampshade workshop went brilliantly, each participant made at least one completed piece with some creating several items over the course of the weekend. The most useful knowledge gained from this workshop for me was realising how you could adapt basic light fittings and put them to many uses when deciding how to create your lampshades or light fittings.
Anne with her finished felt lampshade
Some participants came armed with a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve and Sigrid was very good at enabling people see how their thoughts could be turned into reality. Other people had no preconcieved ideas and let Sigrid’s photos and the basic lamp fittings dictate what their finished piece would be like. The simplest ideas often work the best and by hanging a very fine piece of light coloured felt in front of a wall light beautiful effects can be achieved. Gerd (who had only felted once before!) incorporated fresh rushes (a type of grass found in boggy ground) into her wall piece and initally had intended creating two lampshades using this method. Half way through the process she decided to keep the felt as one piece to hang in front of her double height window allowing the natural light to shine through the felt and reveal the gorgeous pattern created by the vegetation. More images of work in progress and finished pieces from this workshop may be found on Flickr and when Carmen and Patricia have finished their flower covered shades I promise to take pictures and post them as well!
This is just an off chance but are any of you living in the upper part of California and if so would you be interested in me delivering a felt workshop during the month of September??? Alan and I will be travelling to San Fransisco on 3rd September for 4 weeks and participants from a local Irish stone symposium will be staying in my house for the duration. This is a win win situation as my friend and well known sculptor Eileen MacDonagh has organised participants from the symposium to house sit during my trip, for these people they get a great location and free accomodation for the month while I get my house minded and my dog fed! Alan and I are collecting a car in San Fransisco and our intended route extends northwards to encompass amongst others Napa, Mendocino, Redwood National Park, Lava Beds National Monument then travels south through Lassen Volcanis National Park, Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake and returns to San Fransisco via the Big Sur coastline. If any of you are interested in the possibility of me teaching a felting workshop please email me asap and we can discuss the various options. It would be absolutely amazing to meet some followers of the blog in person so do please contact me or leave comments if you live anywhere near where we are travelling and who knows we might get time for a coffee and a chat!
Before I left Denmark to travel home to Ireland I borrowed Holly’s computer and set up a Flickr group for ‘Felt in Focus’. The idea for this is that the participants and organisers can share photos and continue friendships by participating in the discussion board through the group. Why not have a look at the photos for yourself to get a flavour of what the various workshops had to offer? I emailed the organisers today and hopefully they will be forwarding the info about the new group on to everyone who attended and over the next few weeks we should see a lot more images of work in progress and the finished items!
Sigrid arrives on Thursday and I am looking forward to catching up and learning from her again! There are still a couple of places available for the nuno mosaic workshop on 5th, incorporating found objects into your felt on 6th and the lampshade 2-day workshop on 7th and 8th August. Please contact me if you are interested in attending, all materials are provided and fun is guaranteed!
I can’t believe that it is a few days since I wrote my last post. Time seems to be absloutely flying here and I really need to get a couple of things finished today before preparing my ‘fashion’ item for the fashion show at the ‘Felt in Focus’ symposium that I will be attending in Denmark at the beginning of July. Over the last few days I have decamped each morning to Carmen’s studio for a full days felting as here is still not totally tidied up after Alan’s election thank you party on Sunday. I made two wallhangings and one large vessel that was pretty difficult to felt as I used my rubbish bin lid for the template (but obviously drew it in the plastic underlay) and it was hard to get the felting process started for such a big piece and roll the package gently. Because of this it took a LOT of rubbing before I could start rolling, in fact the first time that I started rolling I thought the edges might come apart and I had a major panic as it had taken so long to lay out the fibres! Anyway, all’s well that ends well and eventually I had everything holding together well and was able to get on with the rolling and shaping. The bowl is drying now and tomorrow I hope to deliver my work to the gallery in preparation for hanging and positioning on Friday afternoon/evening.
Lampshade with organza
Now I really need to start advertising Sigrid Bannier’s workshops here at Clasheen, they will be taking place during the first week in August and should be great fun. At least two days will be taken up with felt lampshade making and this is something that I am really looking forward to myself.
Sigrid is great at being inventive and I especially like her work incorporating grasses and sticks, mounting or finishing items is not my strong point so I will be on the look out for any tips and tricks to make this job easier!