Fantastic Nuno Felt Hats with Dawn Edwards!!!

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!

Nuno felt hat with peacock feathers

Nuno felt hat with peacock feathers

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Fabulous Felted Accessories workshop on 17th and 18th November

On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November I’ll be facilitating an exciting ‘Fabulous Felted Accessories’ workshop at Berkeley Forest House, New Ross, Co. Wexford using Ann Bernstorff’s 19th century costume collection to spark the flame of inspiration. During this two-day workshop we will tour the collection then explore and experiment with a variety of wet felting techniques, the weekend goal will be for participants to felt a selection of buttons, belts, brooches, bracelets, necklaces, purses, closures or other small three-dimensional items. The techniques learned may all be translated later into larger three-dimensional felt or clothing projects and this workshop is suitable for both the beginner feltmaker and the more experienced. Found objects and treasured bits and bobs may all be incorporated into the felt so participants are encouraged to bring along a selection of their favourite stash items and we will work together to combine them with wool and create unique, funky, felt accessories. Here’s a picture of one of my first pieces of felt jewellery incorporating found objects, the spiky things are actually old bristles from a yard brush!

Felt beads, found object and sterling silver clasp, an early necklace

Felt beads, found object and sterling silver clasp – photographed by Bernie McCoy

The fee for the weekend is €200 per person (€500 for residential guests arriving on Friday night), this includes all tuition and felting materials, a tour of and access to the 19th century Costume Collection of Ann Bernstorff, tea/coffee during the class and a scrumptious lunch each day! Please contact Alexis for further details or to book a place on 056 7754975, 085 2207706 or email alexisbernstorff@gmail.com.

Wonderful participants from Lake Tahoe and last minute accommodation available at Mendocino!

Merridee, Keith and I have just returned from our action packed felting and natural printing retreat at Lake Tahoe so I'm finally online again after an Internet blackout for the last week. It's going to take me days to recoup and catch up with things but I really wanted to post a picture of our wonderful participants to whet your appetite for more to follow!

From left to right, modelling their first completed nuno felted and printed scarves………. Mariou, Lupe, Julie (kneeling), Leslie, Patty and Tina, great job everyone!!!
There's one room unexpectedly available at the Mendocino Art Center for the three day felting extravaganza this coming weekend (I'm staying with friends of Merridee's therefore the room they had reserved for me is free!) so if anyone is debating considering joining us and felting like crazy, now is the time to shout out loud!

 

Packing plus a Mendocino felting extravaganza suggestion!

As I gather my clothes, samples and supplies ready to pack for my exciting trip to California and Canada I'm doing what I always do, trying to keep my suitcases light! One of the things that I'll definitely be packing is this large multifunctional nuno felt wrap made yonks ago, it's marvellously light and warm thrown around the shoulders but because of the curve I created along one edge also works well as a skirt if needed. It's also going to fit in perfectly with the new Autumn/Winter colour scheme I'm hoping to wear, red, purple and orange with just a few touches of black and lime green!

It got me thinking about how much I'm looking forward to revisiting Mendocino, the landscape, coastline and beautiful setting of the Mendocino Art Center are all so inspiring and I can just see myself felting another large wrap while I'm there, maybe in abalone colours this time! For those of you who will be joining me (and my super assistant Merridee) to participate in the three day felting extravaganza from 27th to 29th September we have plenty of time to tackle larger projects, this wrap has oodles of texture and was felted using the tumble dryer method so none of the traditional rubbing and rolling. I also used a technique when felting it which I'll share during the workshop for cutting out precisely shaped pieces of lightly woven fabric, ideal if you have a design in mind and you want to be really controlled in your detail. Although my design for this one may look very random it actually was not, surprised? Sooooo, if you'd like to experiment with larger nuno felt wraps, shrugs etc. at Mendocino, this is your chance.
Another thing that I'm looking forward to felting is a new red or purple shoulder bag for myself plus some smaller three dimensional pieces of jewellery. Because of all my preparation for the Glucksman Craft Fair at the beginning of November I do seem to have been felting a lot in white recently, obviously this was because I've subsequently naturally printed these pieces and white was the way to go. Mendocino is the perfect excuse to burst out with glorious colour, bring it on!!!
 

 

Canadian workshop update and cotinus, a picture of the shrub!

I'm so excited, this Canadian adventure is really going to happen this autumn!!! Hopefully we'll have workshop descriptions and venue details sorted today or tomorrow but for those of you leaving comments and sending me messages the first workshop will be in Langley BC on Thursday 3rd October then I'll travel on to teach in the Manitoba region for the weekend. We're planning a felting workshop on Saturday 5th and a natural printing/dyeing workshop on Sunday 6th, I'm SO thrilled that this will actually be happening, all my friends tell me that Canada is a magical country to travel to!!! Obviously I'm not going to have a bundle of time to explore on this trip, if everything goes well however hopefully this will just be the first of many visits. As soon as I have the finalised details I'll post both here and on Facebook, do please let me know if you'd like the organisers to get in contact so you can reserve a place!

Now on to the cotinus. Here's a picture of the shrub in my garden (not a great shot but you get the idea), it's the purple leaved plant on the left of the picture………

……. and here's a close up of the prints it imparts on top of my recent nuno felt jacket This side is silk covered merino for those of you who've been asking for more details!

 

Upcoming felting workshops at Lake Tahoe, Mendocino, Canada and more pictures from Portugal!

I'm very excited this morning, it's possible I'll be teaching in Canada at the beginning of October so fingers crossed I'll have details and dates to confirm in a couple of days! In the meanwhile I've updated the workshop page with full details of my September workshops at stunning Lake Tahoe (only one place left) and Mendocino. I've also posted details of classes at Duckett's Grove on July 27th and 28th (also only one place left each day) and I'll have the full info for Portugal 2014 tomorrow or on Thursday. I've just this past weekend got the new outdoor stove I brought home from California firing on all cylinders so before the Food & Craft Market in Borris this Friday I'll sort dates out for my new natural printing and dyeing sessions at Clasheen. These classes will be suitable for all textile and mixed media artists, not just felters!

To whet your appetite here's a picture of a sleeveless jacket that I printed last week using cotinus leaves (from my garden), onion skins and tea leaves. The dye bath had rusty metal and eucalyptus leaves to add extra colour, I love the richness of this piece and the fact that the colours are so deep and intense. I also had great news this week, my large printed wrap titled 'Second Skin' has been selected to be exhibited as part of the Feltmakers Ireland exhibition 'Origins: Felt in the Natiral World' at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. This exhibition will run from 7th to 24th August and should make for a wonderful day out!
Finally for today, I'm just not getting the time I need to upload all the pictures that I intended from the wonderful holiday Alan and I spent in Portugal. I'd meant to post them and a few more from the amazing time we spent with Estela and the residential workshop at Dominio Vale do Mondego, instead I'm going to ask you to check out my Facebook photos, Heather's, Terriea's and Karin's to see what we were up to, thanks! I will leave you with this shot though, it's the prow of a traditional fishing boat indigenous to the Aveiro and Praia de Mira regions, stunningly beautiful and photogenic! Thanks Estela for being such a marvellous host!!!
 

 

Short note and Autumn workshop at Mendocino Art Center – early notice!

I'm having a fabulous time here in Portugal, first during the workshop at Dominio Vale do Mondego and now travelling with Alan and having a holiday. Sorry about the total lack of Internet activity, I had no coverage at all in my Quinta during the course of the workshop so I'm grabbing the opportunity now to write a quick note whilst staying at Estela's marvellous old town house in Eixa. Estela and I first met via facebook then at the week residential last year, this year she was a returning participant and now Alan and I are having a brilliant time seeing a little of the real Portugal!!! I'm going to blog properly and post plenty of pictures of both the workshop and the holiday as soon as I get home next week, for now I leave you with a link to an exciting three day workshop that I'm facilitating at the Mendocino Art Centre in California at the end of September. I'll also be posting full details of the felting retreat that Merridee and I are facilitating together at stunning Lake Tahoe during mid September, it's an exciting time to look forward to!

http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/Fall13/Brown.html

More pics from Lexington!

I'm all out of sync now with posting workshop updates but here're some pictures of the fabulous felt completed during the workshop last Friday and Saturday in Lexington. The final picture today is super host Jan Durham's amazing nuno wall hanging which she started on Saturday then finished at home last night, beautiful work on Friday and Saturday everyone, I really enjoyed my time with you!!! Right now I'm at the airport in Dallas Fort Worth waiting for my connection to Sacramentoso no more writing,watch out The Tin Thimble, I'm almost there!

 

 

 

More pics from Lexington!

I'm all out of sync now with posting workshop updates but here're some pictures of the fabulous felt completed during the workshop last Friday and Saturday in Lexington. The final picture today is super host Jan Durham's amazing nuno wall hanging which she started on Saturday then finished at home last night, beautiful work on Friday and Saturday everyone, I really enjoyed my time with you!!!

 

Right now I'm at the airport in Dallas Fort Worth waiting for my connection to Sacramento so no more writing until tomorrow or Tuesday, watch out The Tin Thimble, I'm almost there! For now, here are those pictures…….

 

 

 

Having fun felting, KSFF reflections and preparing for the workshops in Lexington!

I've been having great fun with Jan this week, scouring the local Goodwill stores for printed silk (she's still in training but a quick learner Dawn!), exchanging skills, brainstorming ideas, felting and preparing for two days of workshops in Lexington this coming weekend!

My first task was to finish felting the nuno scarf I laid out last Saturday at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, it's really interesting to see the contrast between the scarf that Jan felted and the one I've just finished. We both chose a western inspired colour scheme of chocolate ponge silk with brown and teal shades of alpaca plus loads of Roo and Elizabeth's beautiful hand dyed bamboo for surface embellishment. Jan also added some of her own dyed cotton gauze on top of the alpaca and I used quite a lot of Firestar for added glamour and shimmer, I love them both!

At this point I have to say that I LOVED every minute of the KSFF!!! Teaching for the full day on Saturday but only half a day on Sunday was a perfect combination. I was able to have a good chat with Roo and Elizabeth on Friday evening plus check out my workshop space, having Sunday afternoon free gave me plenty of time to do the rounds of all the stands, see the animals plus pick up a tonne of yummy fibre to bring home to Ireland, not ALL for me mind you, some for Anita who's looking after my studio while I'm gone. The organisation of everything was SPOT ON, thanks so much to all the committee and helpers who were friendly, helpful and put on a wonderful event!

Yesterday I shared the open resist method of making vessels with Jan, in turn, I was inspired by a wonderful teapot she felted at a Pam MacGregor workshop to try including a handle in one of my own vessels. I love this exchange of ideas and brain storming, I've now an idea in my head for some new bags with long shoulder straps (purses!), I doubt that I'll get to felt them though until some time after I return from teaching in Portugal! This week long residential workshop is now fully booked but if you live within shouting distance of Lexington why not come and join us for our workshop here next Saturday 25th May!!! If you're interested in more information or reserving a place please email me ASAP, if you don't have any idea what to make don't panic (because I'll help you) and if you need materials in a hurry Jan will bring extra on the day if you let her know which colours you prefer.

I'll leave you today with this picture of my new vessel drying, I call it 'Ode to Pam'.