More pics from felting workshops this week

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…….

another……
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!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic first felt pictures!

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!

 

Beautiful flat felt and flowers!

I've no brain power left to write today so thought instead that I'd share a couple of pictures of the fabulous felt created by students over the last two days. Congratulations to you one and all!!!

First off here are the wonderful pieces of flat felt created by Anita and Ariane, they even had time to felt a flower each yesterday, pretty impressive for their first time felting!

Secondly here's a group photo of the beautiful flowers felted this morning by the parents group I'm working with at Carlow VEC, fabulous result ladies for our second time felting together!

 

Simple, stylish and colourful flat workshop

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

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!

Happy smiling faces and beautiful flat felt!

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!!!

What a creative and fun group of ladies!

Felting retreat alert at Clasheen and workshops, current and past!

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

Memories of felting in Portugal, part two!

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???

Up-cycling mohair off cuts into little felt pouches and hard at work organising my new online presence!

My sister Lizzy requested a little cell phone holder as one of her Christmas presents and since this proved to be a big hit with various members of the family I decided to get in gear and felt some more! Working with woven mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill and a few scraps of silk I laid out a simple design on top of two layers of finnish wool (thanks Chrissie!) and created a piece of flat felt. The completed felt was nice but not very exciting and that’s where the fun began, I got out my sewing machine!!!

Free machine embroidered pouch

Selecting just a few embroidery threads with a lovely high sheen I stitched simple shapes in both contrasting and complimentary colours on top of the silk and highlit various squares of the mohair off cuts. As learnt during a workshop with Lisa Klakulak at ‘Felt in Focus’ in Denmark last July, by stitching in a particular way it is possible to raise the surface area of the felt and create added texture and interest. Beautiful buttons picked up with Kirsten Lang in Odense completed the last two pouches and now I have four more pieces of felt completed just waiting for some stitching today. I do love how in places the stitching echos the shapes of my dry stone walls, free form but effective I think!

Finally for today, I am in the process of organising my online presence to work in the most effective manner possible during 2012 and from this time forth. In effect this means that I have joined Pinterest (check it out, it’s addictive!), set up a Tumblr blog (a little like Twitter for bloggers!), am working on my Big Cartel store and will be reactivating my Etsy shop, busy, busy time indeed!!!  Do please follow me on these new sites if you are interested, they will keep you up to date with all my activities in addition to my biggest love which as you already know is felting!!!

Wow ….. thanks and upcoming workshops at Clasheen

Wow, thanks to all of you who have been commenting and leaving such great suggestions about my current woes and successes with free machining on felt, I am going to take everything on board, promise!  Yes, I know that I have always sworn off stitching but since my class with the wonderful Lisa Klakulak this summer I seem to have lost some, but not all of my inhibitions!!!  Investing in my super-duper machine obviously has helped and in order to justify the cost I am thinking that I will be sewing for a little while yet.  I had forgotten Pam that you had problems with some of your thread at Felt in Focus, the thing that I found strange is that I had already successfully stitched another piece of felt with my shiny rayon and viscose threads, it just seemed to be the slightly squishy felt of the yellow vessel that defeated me this time.  Anyway, I will keep persevering and hopefully with time, improve!

This morning I finalised dates for some Autumn workshops here at Clasheen.  I am definitely going to be adding more workshop titles and dates (felt accessories, nuno felt, complex bags etc.) over the coming weeks but since Alan and I are still planning a week away I don’t want to jinx things and book anything for the middle/end of September just yet!  If you are a beginner or improving felter interested in honing your flat felting skills or wanting to experiment with three dimensional shapes check out the workshop page and get in touch with me asap, places are strictly limited to a maximum of 6 per session.  If clicking the workkshop page link seems one step too far, here is the info pasted below!

Saturday 17th September 2011 and Saturday 8th October WET FELTING – the basics

At this one day workshop beginners and improving felters will discover the magical world of wet felting!  Working with a selection of colourful wool and adding beautiful silk, linen and other vegetable fibres to enhance and embellish the surface design participants will each create a beautiful piece of flat felt to bring home with them at the end of the day.  Improvers will have the opportunity to learn new techniques such as adding inclusions like glass, stones and other found objects into the layout of their felt. The emphasis throughout each day will be on solid techniques learnt in a fun and creative environment.  Participants will leave with the confidence and knowledge to duplicate the process at home, learning the basics of flat felting leads to all sorts of exciting three dimensional work and nuno felting in the future!

All materials are included in the cost of E75, tea, coffee and soft drinks are provided throughout the day, participants are asked to bring their own packed lunch with them.  The workshop will start at 10am sharp and run until approx 4.30pm.   Everyone is asked to arrive about 20 minutes before the kick off time in order to meet the other participants, relax and have a welcoming hot or cold drink!  Please contact Nicola asap if you would like to reserve a place on either 17th September or 8th October, each class size is strictly limited to 6 people.

Saturday 22nd October 2011 SIMPLE VESSELS AND BAGS – the basics of seamless, three dimensional wet felting

At this one day workshop beginners and improving felters will learn and experiment with the fascinating technique of wet felting around a resist.  Working with a selection of colourful wool and adding beautiful silk, linen and other vegetable fibres each participant will have the opportunity to felt either a simple vessel or a small seamless bag.  Improvers will have the opportunity to learn new techniques such as including internal pockets and integrated handles into the layout of their felt. The emphasis during the day will be to create strong, seamless three dimensional felt in a fun and creative environment and participants will leave with the confidence and knowledge to duplicate this process at home.

All materials are included in the cost of E75, tea, coffee and soft drinks are provided throughout the day, participants are asked to bring their own packed lunch with them.  The workshop will start at 10am sharp and run until approx 4.30pm.   Everyone is asked to arrive about 20 minutes before the kick off time in order to meet the other participants, relax and have a welcoming hot or cold drink!  Please contact Nicola asap if you would like to reserve a place on 22nd October, class size is strictly limited to 6 people.

Excellent first workshop in Lexington!

After a VERY eventful time of it getting from Grand Rapids to Lexington via Detroit (rain, lightening, tornado warnings so change to flight path and very bumpy flight) I finally arrived safely and happy to get my feet on stable ground once more.  Jan, Bruce and son Kevin live in a really nice green area only ten minutes drive from the airport (just as well since I was so delayed!) and the church, where our workshops are taking place is about 500m from the house, another perfect set up!

Yesterday we had the larger of the two workshops, 11 participants many of whom had extremely limited felting experience, 1 day mostly!  It could have been a stressful experience for all concerned but instead everyone relaxed, concentrated and produced really amazing pieces, an iPad cover, three large bags underway, four flat pieces of felt (two being stitched into purses overnight) and two beautiful large nuno scarves/wraps underway too.  The less experienced felters who made the flat felt pieces are mainly nuno felting or making small vessels today and the experienced and more experienced felters making larger pieces from yesterday are continuing to work on theirs so I am really hoping to have good pictures at the end of the day and share with you all the beautiful pieces made here in KY.