I've been having a bad time of it technically since arriving home from California and Canada, the Rayburn is not staying lit so I've no main cooker or ambient heat (we've been having lashing rain) and my new MacBook has unexpected problems so I had to drop it off in Dublin today to sort out a hard drive issue. On the positive side of things I had some excellent news from Carlow Enterprise Board whilst I was away! I spent many hard days work prior to my trip assessing what I actually needed to be put in place to take my felting/natural printing business to the next level, filling out the appropriate paperwork and applying for both a business expansion grant and a capital grant. The board met during September and assessed all the relevant grant applications, I'm really grateful to write that my proposal met with a positive outcome!
Sooooooooo, here's what I got up to today after I dropped my MacBook off at Mactivate in Blanchardstown, I headed to Ikea!!!
This picture shows the first batch of Besta storage units plus see through lidded storage boxes that I'll be installing, there'll be another trip in a week or so to collect what was out of stock today plus four new stainless steel work benches for the garage aka printing area. I also applied to purchase a new washing machine (for all those wet towels, bubble wrap etc. and to spin larger items such as jackets, rugs and wall hangings) plus a tumble dryer (for stress free nuno felting!), those I'll get locally as soon as I have the new storage assembled and the boxes full of all my supplies. Happy days!
The sun finally shone yesterday evening so after a long day preparing and tidying up it was very pleasant for us artist makers to relax, have a chat to visitors and explain what we’re up to in the courtyard at Duckett’s Grove. Thanks to all my friends old and new who travelled to help us celebrate our new venture and thanks Marion Byrne for the wonderful gift of some Jacob’s fleece, much appreciated!!! The evening was actually quieter than I expected but the bonus was that as makers we were able to have a proper conversation with our visitors and not be dashing around like headless chickens all the time. I’d also set up a few laid out but unfelted flowers on one of my tables. This proved a good idea because no matter how many times I explain to people what wet felting entails it’s only when they can see and touch the raw materials beside the finished piece that the process becomes a little easier to understand and visualise.
Next Saturday I’ve a beginners and improvers full day workshop taking place between 10am and 4pm and on Sunday there are 2 places left in the afternoon for a fun felt flower workshop. Please email me if you are interest in attending and having some fun creative time!
I think that I’m going to settle into a nice rhythm after a couple of weeks, experimental felting and large nuno wraps while I’m not at Duckett’s Grove or Borris Food and Craft Market followed by easy smaller projects plus teaching over the weekends.
My new hanging basket will provide some live as opposed to felt flowers at the door of the studio!
I still have a lot of my personal pieces of felt on display in the new studio but with time I hope to have a lot more new felt for sale as well as interesting supplies to tempt the fancy, more in another post. For now I need to load up some chairs into the truck, walk Rex, change my clothes then organise everything for tomorrow. I’ll leave you with a picture of the vessel I was working on yesterday using the open resist method (the smaller one), I enjoyed felting some new fun felt flowers this afternoon! Longer post on Monday…..
Yesterday’s vessel beside the larger one I felted at Dagmar’s workshop
It’s been action packed and fun here today! Annette is leaving in the morning to catch 4 ferries and 5 trains home to her little Danish island and as a result we were out and about until just about 5 minutes ago. In addition to this I managed to organise public liability insurance (thanks to MAST) for my new studio at Duckett’s Grove, sign the contracts, pick up the key and actually bring Annette to see the studio and the beautiful gardens there which are open to the public every day. We then headed in to Carlow town and had a snack with Alan before visiting Philip and Mary Cushen at Cushendale Woollen Mill in Graiguenamanagh. Annette stocked up on kilos of my beloved mohair waste and woven off cuts, I’m looking forward to seeing how she incorporates them into her felting! On our way home we called in to friend and neighbour James so that Annette could see some Irish cows being milked, all in all a busy and successful day so far.
I did promise to post more pictures from Scotland yesterday and will do so tomorrow, I just wanted to share the exciting news with you of getting the new studio keys today!!!