This week has really just flown. I need to finalise a working description today for my upcoming three day felting workshop at the wonderful Tin Thimble, Loomis CA, this takes place from Friday 31st May through to Sunday 2nd June. These classes coincide with the annual Felt Fest organised by The Tin Thimble, I've always wanted to attend this fabulous sounding event so I guess this year I've finally hit the jackpot!!! As a result I've not got much time to write today, instead I'm going to post a few pics here (from the workshops that I've taught this week) and let them do the talking for me.
This first shot is of the beautiful flat felt pictures created by Myshall Art Group on Monday night, for some of the ladies it was their second night felting, for others their first.
Here's a closer shot of some of these pieces…….
and another! The last shot shows Anita with her beautiful first felt bag at Duckett's Grove yesterday. This bag has integrated handles, a flap and an interior pocket, great job Anita!
Yesterday morning I worked with 70 four and five year olds then in the evening I started a course of four sessions with an art group in Myshall, a busy day you might say. I'll be posting before and after pictures of all the wonderful felt pictures to FB later this afternoon but here's a little taster for you to enjoy now!
I think that the participants did amazing work, none had ever felted or handled wool batts before, it was a wonderful night!
I just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know that I’m offering a workshop exploring the basics of flat felting for beginners and improvers next Tuesday, 22nd January at my house in Clasheen, Ballybrack, Borris, Co Carlow from 10.15am until 4.15 – 4.45pm.
Flat Felt Sample – I don’t know why this is showing upside down but never mind, I can’t seem to change it!
During this workshop participants will have fun learning and experimenting with the fascinating technique of wet felting. Working with a selection of colourful wool and adding silk, linen and other vegetable fibres each participant will have the opportunity to felt a beautiful piece of flat felt suitable to be framed, used as a place mat or stitched into a clutch bag or book cover. Improvers will have the opportunity to learn new techniques such as including found objects and resists into their work during the layout stage of the felting process. The emphasis during the day will be to have fun in a creative and supportive environment, participants may expect to leave with the knowledge and confidence to replicate the techniques learnt successfully at home!
The fee for this workshop is E75 including all materials, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Participants are asked to bring their own packed lunch and wear comfortable, warm clothing, the workshop will run from 10.15am sharp until 4.15 – 4.45pm with a break of approx one hour for lunch. Please contact me asap to reserve your place, I have a maximum of three places left!
I had a lovely weekend filled with fun, felt and friends both old and new.
Fantastic first felt pictures!
Here are two pictures that sum things up, firstly Jack and Denis with their beautiful felt pictures from Duckett’s Grove on Saturday and then the ladies from Killoughternane Social Club with their fabulous felt from Sunday. Thanks Anna for organising such a great workshop, the food at lunch was fantastic too and I look forward to returning for a felt jewellery session before Christmas!!!
Final pictures of more finished work from Portugal on their way I promise, there’s just so much catching up to do and I don’t want to forget to advertise upcoming workshops too!
I had a really fun weekend felting and teaching for the first time at Duckett’s Grove, congratulations Maya and Valerie, you both felted wonderful pieces for your first time felting. Head on over to my FB page to see pictures of the beautiful flat felt and fun flowers they created, please like the page too if it appeals to you and you haven’t already done so!
A few of my own flowers from the weekend
Next Saturday I’m running another full day ‘Simple, Stylish and Colourful Flat Felt’ workshop for beginners and improvers, details over on the workshop page and if you’d like to reserve your place please email me asap. On Sunday felt flowers are the theme again. From 2 until 4pm I’ll be hosting my normal workshop costing E25 (incl materials) where you learn the basics for a variety of flowers with and without stems. Integrating stamens and/or ring backs are also options for more experienced felters and everyone will felt at least two or three complete flowers using the special short fibre merino I love to work with for jewellery. To celebrate Duckett’s Grove hosting Carlow Garden Festival on Sunday afternoon I’m also going to offer short 15 – 20 minute taster sessions costing E10 per flower throughout the day. At these sessions I won’t be doing any actual teaching but rather have the lay out done in advance (simple flowers with no stems) and participants will just have the felting to do, I will of course supervise this and think it could be fun!
I’d now like to alert you all to an exciting bit of news, I’ve decided to host an intensive but relaxing residential felting retreat (hopefully not too late in the day!) at Clasheen. I’ll confirm it next post with all the fibre related details but for now put 7th – 10th August in your diaries, the idea is for this to be an affordable and creative mid week break!!! Participants will stay in ‘Tom’s House’ (the adjoining rental property), felt in my studio and be wined and dined in the evenings, watch this space!
Descriptions for my September workshops at The Tin Thimble in Loomis CA are now online and I’m sure Emma won’t mind that I’ve copied and pasted her text here for you to review (please be advised though that I won’t be teaching anyone how to make a skrit, that should of course read skirt!). Please email Emma asap if you are interested in coming along and joining us, these classes are almost full now I think and it’s always such a fun place to teach and meet fibre friends.
Three Days of Felting with Nicola Brown! – Friday, September 28 – Sunday, September 30 10:30-5:00
We have had the honor of hosting Nicola Brown from Clasheen in Ireland the last two years and we are thrilled to announce that she’ll be back for a third workshop this Fall! Here are some of the projects that she has suggested you can make with her:
Large Nuno Felt Wrap/Skrit, Shrug or Simple Vest (will start on Friday and continue work through Saturday and Sunday along with joining in on the other projects and demos)
This workshop will share with participants a stress free way of creating a large nuno felt wrap/skirt, shrug or vest using the tumble dryer method. Because there is no rubbing or rolling involved in this workshop participants are free to concentrate on the design process and spend time enjoying laying out ultra fine layers of merino, colonial, polwarth or other fibre suitable for their pieces. Wraps will be multifunctional and entail no stitching, simple shrugs or vests will have minimal stitching but Nicola will have all the necessary needles and thread on hand so that participants can leave at the end of the day with a fully wearable garment! EMMA’S NOTE: IF THIS IS THE KIND OF PROJECT THAT YOU WANT TO TACKLE WITH NICOLA I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SIGNING UP FOR ALL THREE DAYS – IT’S A LARGE PROJECT
Funky Felt Vessel or Purse(Saturday)
This one day workshop will share with participants the skills needed to felt a wonderful vessel or large purse with integrated shoulder strap. Depending on felting previous experience participants will have the opportunity to experiement with adding inclusions such as stones, glass nuggets or other found objects into their felt. Vessels will be strong and sculptural, purses may include internal pockets and interesting flaps and closures.
Fun and Funky Felt Accessories (Sunday)
This one day workshop will encourage participants to explore and experiment with a variety of wet felt techniques and discover ways in which they may be combined to create unique felt jewelry and accessories. During the day participants will be able to felt a selection of buttons, belts, brooches, bracelets, necklaces, purses, closures or other small three dimensional items and all the techniques discussed and learnt may be translated into larger three dimensional felt or clothing. 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 Nicola will help them design one off pieces using these as a starting point.
Instructor: Nicola Brown
Class Fee: $150/day or $400 for all three days
At the beginning of our first session felting I asked all the participants what was the most important technique for them to learn over the course of our week together. Working with the Bordeleira wool was going to be a new experience for all of us although I had had the opportunity myself to felt 3 small samples and one little vessel prior to arriving at Dominio Vale do Mondego. From the teaching point of view I wanted every participant to be able to leave having absorbed new skills or ways of working and most importantly having had plenty of fun!
Samples and materials laid out at the start of the workshop, picture mosaic thanks to Terriea
For the first two days we felted using washed and carded wool, flat felt pieces first then three dimensional vessels and bags of many different shapes and styles. The wool roving that we used was either a natural white or chocolate brown, it felted beautifully and it’s amazing to me it is not more widely known or appriecated elsewhere. I found that it felted every bit as quickly as mernio with an approximate rate of 25% shrinkage on pieces that I would normally achieve a rate of 33%. We incorporated a selection of other fibres with the Bordeleiera wool for added surface decoration or texture. I’d brought a lot of undyed fibres with me for everyone to share including linen, silk, milk protein, soy, banana silk, wool neps etc. and I’d also got some of my favourite mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill, mohair waste (from the brushing process after weaving), angelina, firestar and various natural and artificial yarns to dip into as well as a few different colours of merino roving in case anyone wanted to use these too. These were displayed inside with the samples and examples of other work I’d made at the beginning of the week, from Terrie’s picture mosaic it looks as if everything was very organised, obviously knowing me you’ll appreciate that it never looked as neat and tidy again!
Sandy working on her large felt vessel
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of our flat felt from day one or two, I think that I was concentrating so much on answering questions and making sure that the new felters had a successful first piece I forgot to take any pictures. Here’s a picture of Sandy though from day two starting to shape her piece, she’s working here on a stunning large vessel felted from the chocolate wool with a design in natural white with gold linen strands. As the week progressed we found that the Bordeleira wool was perfectly soft enough for wearables and nuno felting yet strong and easy to work with for bags and vessels.
On Wednesday morning we all visited a wonderful museum dedicated to wool and started working with the raw fleece in the afternoon. I’ll post about that next time and for now leave you with a great picture of Heather modelling one of her bags as a hat, watch out Dawn, you’ve got some competition!!!
Heather modelling her very flexible bag! Doesn’t she look great???