Jeanette Sendler workshop cont ….. adding the surface design and felting the bag

Everyone was pretty tired and hungry at the end of day one and straight after the workshop finished a few of us went for a tasty Italian meal nearby with Jeanette.  Refuled and ready to go again I drove straight back to Alan’s small Dublin pad and proceeded to lay out my surface design and felt my bag.  As already mentioned I had made some provisional sketches giving ideas of where I wanted to position my silk fabric and flax fibres.  It quickly became obvious to me that I needed to adjust the positioning slightly if I wanted to get a balanced and pleasing look once the resists were opened up and the other layers of design exposed.  I spent quite a bit of time cutting around the edges of one of the flower motifs and some more time cutting out small splashes of red and grey silk which I laid out underneath some of the silver flax.  If anyone is interested in ordering dyed flax I bought several different colours online from Filzrausch.  The last descision I made was choosing to lay out three strips of the hand rolled edge of the scarf on the front of the bag, my design was now complete and I was ready to felt. 

Felting the bag did not take long at all.   Because it had already been wetted out and left sitting in the trunk of my truck while I ate my food the wool fibres were nicely relaxed and everything came together very quickly, probably no more than 30 or 40 minutes rubbing and rolling in total!  Even though I started the project with the intention of using less wool and having a slightly more ‘flexible’ bag than usual I still worked the wool firmly and finished when I was happy that plenty of shrinkage had occured.  I was really happy with how the silk combined beautifully with the wool and almost melted into the front of the bag.  Next time I will post some pictures from the workshop and write about a wonderful exercise (with trees and yarn!!!) we all did outdoors at the start of day two!

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Felting supplies, winter workshops at Clasheen and computer problems ….. again

My first really large order of wool and fibre arrived this morning and in a couple of minutes I have the great task of opening the box and delving into all the yummy contents!  A lot of this order is actually for myself and not to resell but will be used for my new range of winter scarves, felt jewellery and other wearable accessories and clothing.  There is also some new dyed flax fibre which I am interested in experimenting with and some gorgeous colours of silk chiffon and ponge silk to use for nuno scarves and other wearables.   Tomorrow is going to be my first full felting day for a long while and by the end of it I hope to have several completed items all ready to upload to my Etsy shop over the weekend, wish me luck!

Yesterday afternoon I finalised the workshops that I will be offering here at Clasheen from now until the beginning of December.  With the difficult financial climate we are all operating in I wanted to offer a good value, fun way for people to learn a new craft.  If anyone is interested in evening sessions as opposed to the advertised Saturday dates please just contact me and we can discuss your requirements.  

Computer problems have bitten again.  My new(ish) computer is in Dublin at the computer doctor and I am reduced to a nervous wreck trying to get this old thing to do what I want it to do, not happening very well I am afraid.  Alan is away also which means that as I don’t have access to his laptop I may not be the best communicator over the next few days.  It has actually taken me over an hour this morning to read half my emails (I got no further) and over another hour to write this post so please bear with me if I appear to be ignoring any messages, I’m not!

I took the opportunity before he left yesterday evening to update the workshop page and also printed some flyers to drop into Threads of Gold when I am in Kilkenny this afternoon.