Amazing felt pictures!

I've just spent a lovely morning with my buddy Shaz, her son Jack (my godson!) and Jack's cousin Dale. Jack felted with me before at Duckett's Grove but this was Dale's first time working with wool, aren't their completed flat felt pictures absolutely amazing???

 

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!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultra short update

It's been an action packed week to date hence no blog posts or much of any Internet activity. I worked until 10.30 on Monday night, taught all Tuesday and was in Galway yesterday with Alan, today I need to catch up with things at home and prepare for the market in Borris tomorrow. Here's a picture of one of Monday evenings felt pieces prior to wetting out, I'll blog properly and get more pics online but it might be the weekend before I do so!

 

 

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!

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.

First time felting with fifth year students

On Wednesday morning I had a very enjoyable session working with 20 fifth year Enniscorthy VEC students helping them complete their first flat felting project.  My good friend Shaz is their regular art teacher and had invited me several weeks ago to speak about feltmaking and give a short demonstration explaining the process further.  Because there is no funding for this type of activity at fifth year level parents contributed a small fee per student to cover my time and costs while I provided all the materials necessary for everyone to create a beautiful piece of flat felt to take home for themselves at the end of the morning. 

Students with their beautiful felt pictures - please excuse the quality of my images today

This workshop was optional for the students and as a result everyone who attended wanted to be there although as always some people found the actual felting and fulling harder than initially anticipated!  

I started the morning by asking everyone to choose just two main colours, less choice is MUCH simpler I find at the beginning and weighed out 60g Icelandic wool per person.  They laid out the wool in several overlapping layers and when all the wool was used then came the fun part deciding what colours and fibres to use for the decorative top layer.  Many of the students were quite adventurous with their selection enjoying a range of fibres including a coarse bamboo, silky corn, fluffy angora (from a friends bunny!), shiny acrylic yarn, painted sliver, merino and more Icelandic wool, there was also some silk chiffon and cotton muslin which a couple of the students choose.  I was very impressed with how everyone concentrated on their own work and nobody seemed to copy their friends which sometimes happens when you get a large group working together.  Quite a few of the students had started with the same two colour combinations but everyone was amazed at the end of the morning to see how totally unique each of the felt pictures ended up when finished!  One of the students incorporated a lock of his own hair in his felt, a modern take on a Victorian idea? 

Close up of various fibres and textures

Detail including human hair in the centre of the top right piece of felt

Anyone interested in a felt-a-long?

I am just throwing out the idea of hosting a virtual felt-a-long sometime during the first couple of weeks in January.  Following on from my last post I thought how much fun it could be for those of us already addicted to felting to share our knowledge and introduce some of our friends or children to this wonderful and fascinating technique.  I was thinking that a suitable project for us to do together would be a piece of flat felt which could be framed, stitched into a small bag or else stuck on the cover of a note book or diary.  My idea would be to make a piece myself taking pictures of the progress from start to finish, these would tie in nicely with the tutorial on the workshop page and would also expand on the instructions which I post out with all my flat felting kits.  I could set up a new group on Flickr for us to share our photos and ask each other for any help and advice, this would not be a competition but a sharing of knowledge and a great way to spread the fun of felting!  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Felt ornaments, beads and hair accessories

Yesterday was ladies day at the Golf Club and as I only had a couple of hours in the morning to attack a felting project I decided to convert some flat felt samples into smart and colourful Christmas ornaments.  Using this great tutorial from Betz White I slashed, manipulated and stitched a large felt ogee.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find my tailors chalk (no surprises there!) so it took me a lot longer than it should have to cut the lines.  This was a bit frustrating but I didn’t want to make any mistakes and the stitching did compensate somewhat as for once it only took a couple of minutes to get through this dreaded task! The resulting ornament is definitely pretty but until I find my chalk I am just going to string this with some large glass beads and enjoy it hanging in one of the trees in my garden.  Any more of these ornaments will just have to wait until I am properly prepared at the slashing stage although I might get inspired to cut a few out from paper as I try and destash my interiors magazines!

I did put up some images of the felt and ceramic necklace on Flickr yesterday forgetting for a minute that they would automatically link through to my Facebook profile so here is a close up for you to see the contrast of felt and ceramic. 

Close up of felt, ceramic and organza necklace

Hopefully the intended receipient won’t realise that the necklace is her Christmas present so the surprise will not be spoilt.  These large beads are strung on a copper coloured organza and this is an effect that I intend to replicate with a couple more necklaces using some gorgeous vibrant coloured lime ribbon that I brought back from Denmark. 

Felt hair bobble

Having routed out some pieces of flat felt my other project yesterday morning was this simple spiky hair bobble.  Just get a long piece of felt a couple of inches wide and using a sissors or craft knife cut lines into one long side but not right through to the other side (hope this makes sense!).  Starting from one end roll the felt up into a rosette shape stitching a couple of times as you go along.  The slashed ends form a funky anenome style design and you could add a brooch back or as I did stitch on an hair elastic to create a fun felt accessory!