Beading and adding the flowers to the wall hanging

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.

 

Drying the large wall hanging is taking some time

I'm amazed how long the large wall hanging is taking to complete. I called in to the Gaelscoil after I'd finished felting with the Goleir group yesterday morning to discover the art room was a bit smelly and humid because of the drying felt. Now that it's not so wet and heavy I decided to bring the piece home with me and try to get it dry outside, at least this way I can move and turn it regularly.

At the moment it's draped over one of my felting tables at the front of the house. I'm a little nervous that Rex might lift his leg on a corner of it but unless the wind and possibly the sun gets to the felt (hopefully not rain, look at that sky!) I'm not sure how on earth I'll get it ready to iron and attach the flowers. The school have put a picture of the wall hanging in progress online, once we're finished I'll collate all the picture and videos I've taken myself and post the best images here on the blog.

I'll leave you today with a picture of the beautiful flowers felted by the Goleir group yesterday, next week we'll take pictures of all the work created during this fun and creative four week series of workshops!

 

 

First pics from Gaelscoil and help, my Internet connection has broken!!!

A very brief post today…… I'm busy working on my project with the Gaelscoil and unfortunately an essential connection to my modem has broken, NO Internet at home for a few days. Thanks Dawn for putting a message on Facebook saying I was out of cover, I've just logged in for a minute to upload this picture via a hotel's connection, cheeky! This gives a good idea of the scale of the wall hanging I and the pupils are working on, it's huge!!!

 

Wow, brilliant felting workshop in Mullingar last Sunday!

Thanks to Anna for organising such an artistic and fun group of people for the beginner’s felting workshop in Mullingar on Sunday.  I am going to finish blogging about my large felt sculpture but until I get time to finish shaping and fulling the piece after Lyda Rumps’s vist and workshops this week the next stage of documenting the process will have to go on hold!  For the Mullingar workshop we were lucky enough to be able to use the facilities at the Educate Together primary school, in exchange I facilitated a felting morning for the sixth class pupils on Monday, more about that and a picture later. 

Atsuko's piece prior to wetting out

After I had explained the basic felting principles and shrinkage rates etc. participants decided what flat felt project they wanted to create.  We had several felt wallhangings, two pairs of stitched slippers, one folded and stitched bag to match a new coat, one experimental felt lampshade (which made a stunning but delicate light felt wrap!) and then one interesting felt pod which was designed to be a sun glasses case but could in fact be purly decorative or used to protect a variety of small treasures.

I wanted everyone to work at their own pace and in their own style, the finished work far exceeded my imagination and it was amazing to think that this was actually a beginner’s workshop and not an advanced class!  Anna had said that Sunday’s participants were all artistic, check out the full batch on photos on Flickr and I think we will have to ammend that to VERY artistic!!!

The following morning I was back at the school, the full compliment of 24 sixth class pupils were in attendance and felted an OUTSTANDING wallhanging, there must be something in the water in Mullingar!  This class will be the first to graduate since the school was opened six years ago so for them it was an exciting opportunity to create a lasting memento which will now be embellished and hung for posterity somewhere in the public area of the building.  Each pupil created a beautiful and individual piece of felt to signify something personal and of meaning to them.   They then decided how we would lay out the work and the mammoth task started of laying out a white wool background and felting the whole piece together.  Realistically this was a very ambitious project for anyone nevermind 11 to 13 year olds who had never handled raw wool in their lives before!  Interestingly one of the pupils was from Mongolia and as a younger child had seen her grandmother felting, brilliant to think that she can move to another part of the world and actually participate in the process as a united class activity. 

AMAZING large felt wallhanging!

Because of parental consent etc. I am not going to put up pictures of the pupils actually making the hanging (they will follow if all the parents are happy to give permission), here is the completed hanging however and I am so pleased looking back through the pictures at all we achieved on a cold and frosty Monday morning!  Triona (their class teacher) is now going to work with the pupils embellishing the hanging with stitches, beads and various found objects before adding a pole and hanging the work for all the other staff, pupils and parents to enjoy.  Although we didn’t measure the finished work at a rough estimate is measures 4′ X 6′, each individual pupils work is almost 1′ square!

Exhibition work, Sigrid Bannier workshops, felt lampshades!

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

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!

Wall lamp with grasses

Wall lamp with grasses