Fantastic felting fun (and some serious learning time) in Denmark!!!

I have just returned from a marvellous time celebrating Grima’s 20th anniversary at Silkeborg in Denmark.  Grima (the Danish Felting Association) did a wonderful job bringing together felters from all around the world to share with them in this special event.  Today I am so tired that it will not be possible to write coherently about any of the happenings so I am going to leave you with a couple of taster pictures from my felted household textiles workshop with Charlotte Buch, an AMAZING experience!!! 

Sea life inspiration

Starting to lay out the white rolls

Beautiful felt ring arrives in the post!

By the time you read this I will be part way through my two day workshop with Charlotte Buch at the ‘Felt Naturally’ symposium in Denmark! 

Beautifully packaged treasure

Last week I fell totally in love with a little ring created by Kate aka Tastykaeru and I was thrilled that it arrived in the post right on time to wear for my early morning departure to Grima’s exciting felting get together.  Opening the package just confirms my thoughts that judicious beading and stitching can really add another dimension to hand rolled felt.  Kate’s Etsy shop is a pleasure to browse through, jam packed with gorgeous but simple embellished jewellery and at such amazing prices it is difficult to decide where to start!  Green being my FAVOURITE colour to wear for the last few seasons I finally decided to break the bank and buy this little beauty!!! 

Nestling in the black satin

‘Convergence’, ‘Obviously Felt’, exciting news and my latest felt vessel!

Two international felting events taking place worth noting in your diaries are the 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence (a bi-anual event happening from 2nd to 7th October 2011) and the ‘Obviously Felt’ symposium (28th July to 1st August 2010) organised by the Danish Felting Association Grima in honour of their 20th anniversary. My exciting news this weekend is that Carlow Co. Council have confirmed that they are awarding me E400 under the Arts Acts Grant scheme meaning that I will be able to participate at ‘Obviously Felt’ in Silkeborg, Denmark this summer, I am thrilled!!!  On the other side of the world expressions of interest are being sought from tutors interested in running workshops at Convergence 2011 so if you live anywhere within striking distance of Bunbury, Australia it could be an excellent opportunity to become involved in an international symposium and a brilliant way of show casing your work. Check out their excellent blog and email feltconvergence2011@westnet.com.au to submit your ideas!

Felt vessel

Yesterday I felted this simple but striking (to my mind!) vessel using Norwegian C1 wool and luscious locks of Wenslydale.  At least that’s what I ‘think’  they are because unfortunately I mislaid whatever information I had describing the locks so this is just a wild guess!  I used a round resist and once I had covered it with 50g C1 on each side I laid a further round resist on top of one side, this resist had a hole cut out in the centre to allow me to lay and attach the gorgeous curly fibres.  To start the felting I was very careful to rub gently but firmly over the raw locks but as soon as I was happy they were starting to combine with the other wool I just rubbed, rolled and felted as normal.  At the beginning I worked with coolish water and loads of soap (Anna Gunnarsdottir does this and the felt doesn’t shrink very much) but for the fulling process I rinsed it in hot water and made sure to seal the cut edges where I removed the resist very well.  Over the summer I am taking part in several exhibitions where I have to show sculptural pieces.  This piece is the starting point for a series of vessels combining C1 or Icelandic wool with raw locks and fibres from Irish and rare breed sheep.

Alan has been pretty sick this week and today was no exception.  He did join my mother, Suzanne and I for lunch (local chicken, leeks, potatos and the first rhubarb of the season) but has headed off to his own house now and is hopefully tucked up in bed having a sleep.  As a result I have been a bit frustrated trying to pin him down re. my planned felting trip to US in the Fall but eventually this afternoon he told me to go ahead and finalise my dates leaving him out of the equation so for those of you waiting for me to confirm dates, I am on to it!