I’ve been to the library, discovered I’ve won some gorgeous hand spun from my buddy Heather, run a wash, stocked up on brown soda bread and milk as well as 100 dressmakers pins this morning (more in a minute) and now I’m ready for a FULL DAY felting and possibly dying too, woo hoo! I still need to catch up on emails, paperwork and many more other household tasks left over from the manic last weeks but for today that is it, no more procrastinating but rather creating and playing with fibre!!!
Nuno texture and merging colours
On Friday I shared with Gerda an experiment in nuno felting using a technique I hope to offer in workshops this Autumn. Basically it involves using a tumble dryer for some of the steps therefore meaning that anyone with physical limitations or a tendency to get tired rubbing and rolling will have this stage of the process either eliminated altogether or cut down to no more than ten minutes in total! Chrissie and I will be publishing a new book prior to Christmas (click here to check out a preview of our first book From Felt to Friendship if you are interested in what we have been up to so far) and this time concentrate on simple ideas for designing and felting your own clothing with a view to flattering your personal shape, not that ‘perfect’ shape we all aspire to but most of us never achieve!!!
Anyway, back to Friday and the nuno top I made. Working in white ponge silk and undyed 26 micron I laid out a front and back side of my top basing the design on a scaled up version of a favourite wardrobe staple. By using only white raw materials for the main layout area I was able to lay out the fibres really quickly, get on to the felting, piece my top together (thanks Gerda, you kept me sane, bought more much needed pins this morning!) and then have great fun dying using Horst’s wonderfully simple method of achieving graduating colours with no stress at all. Having the correct equipment now for my studio and working with Horst again over the course of our large felt garment workshop as well as observing friends Jan Durham, Dawn Edwards and Sharon Costello from The Tin Thimble in action during my US trip has given me the confidence to set up my dying station in the kitchen and just ‘get on with it’ myself.
My plan for the next few days is to felt and dye at least two pieces to be used for the fashion show at Felt in Focus next week, I leave for Copenhagen on Friday so I’m off now to get started!!! Thanks Cristina for house sitting while I will be away, Rex will be thrilled.
It’s 12.30 at night and I have finally made Horst and Gina’s beds, Kirsten’s will just have to wait until tomorrow evening! I still have about another hour of organising/tidying to go but I must say that Dawn’s ultimate method of shoving everything into a closet or chest of drawers when you run out of time is getting more appealing by the minute, my only problem is that I don’t have enough storage to hold everything, pity, hmm!!!!!
I did get to have a lovely lunch and chat with Cristina earlier in the day (lunchtime I think but the hours are now blurring into one) and then had a surprise phone call from the wonderful Australian felter Pam de Groot. Would you believe that Pam was at Cushendale Woolen Mill in Graiguenamanagh at the same time that Cristina and I were sorting out a lot of the logistics for Horst’s workshop? We did manage to meet for a coffee and a chat however in Kilkenny and discovered that we are both booked in for Lisa Klakulak’s workshop at Felt in Focus!!!
I really wanted to write a LOOOOONG post this morning complete with pictures of some recent felt accessories but I still need to assemble my materials for this month’s US workshops, get my hair cut, buy my suitcase, sort out the house, check my diary (ha, ha) to confirm which dates Alan and friends are staying at Clasheen during my travels, wash some clothes, photograph some felt, write a bio and statement (for my first solo exhibition in August), write a profile for a book Feltmakers Ireland are producing etc. etc. etc.!!! Instead I am going to beg your patience and write down today’s essential news as three bullet points reserving a longer post with pictures of the felt accessories for when I have some more writing time tomorrow. Here goes ……..
THANKS a bunch to Chrissie who now has the softback version of our book listed on the UK Amazon site, brilliant! Apparantly the more people who ‘like’ the book there, the higher up the rankings it moves so fingers crossed that when people actually have it in their hands we will get some positive responses and it will move upwards. If you are looking for the hardback version it is available (as is the softback too) by clicking on the picture to the right or going directly to our page on Blurb.
Congratulations to UK felters Annie and Lyn of rosiepink who have just released their first eBook, I have already ordered and downloaded mine and I love it, the book is titled ‘Creating Felt Artwork’, a step by step guide!
Horst has been featured today by felting editor Linda Lanese on the wonderful Craft Gossip website and blog. Thanks Linda for mentioning our ‘Large Felt Garment’workshop which takes place in The Studio, Bennetsbridge, Co Kilkenny, IRELAND from 17th to 19th June, the first time EVER Horst will be teaching outside the US, it will be an amazing experience. In fact, participants who work hard and finish their large garments early will have the opportunity to make a matching bag/purse for themselves, bring it on!!! There are only two places left for this unique workshop so if you would like to join us please email me asap, thanks.
I have just been notified of a really important networking meeting taking place in Carlow early this evening, as a result I have to drop everything I had organised for this afternoon and concentrate on getting myself into town on time. My intention had been to sort out the details for Horst’s large felt garment workshop, what I can tell you is that the dates are confirmed as Friday 17th – Sunday 19th June, the price and what we will be felting etc. will be ready tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled!
Dawn following Horst's directions to attach a roving skirt to a ready prepared bodice
Dawn and I had the most AMAZING time in Streetsboro, Ohio with Horst, Jess, Gina, Choxie and Panzer, Choxie and Panzer being a Pomerarian and a Corgi respectively!!! We can’t thank them enough for their warm hospitality and Horst’s mother for all the wonderful sweet deserts she brought every day, peach cobbler, apple crisp, cheesecake with cherry topping, German chocolate cake and some tasty and seasonal pumpkin cookies, reading through this list it’s amazing that we didn’t return to Michigan 2 stones heavier than we arrived late on Monday afternoon! I know from all the emails and Facebook comments I am recieving that you are really looking forward to seeing some of our photos from the visit so here goes with just a couple and as soon as the Kalamazoo workshops are finished (I had a marvellous time today) I promise to write a longer post and share the finished dusters (THREE!!!) with you. I do hope to add some more pictures to my Flickr account tomorrow evening but in case I don’t have time after the complex bag workshop is over please bear with me as I still need to prepare my presentation for Monday night’s talk to the Kalamazoo Weaver’s Guild! To give everybody some background information (for all of you who are SO envious out there in cyber space!) we started our ‘Horst Couture’ induction on Tuesday morning by learning how Horst attaches an organic style duster bottom to a partially felted bodice, watched as he wetted it out, worked with personally adapted electric sanders, rinsed to remove the soap, dyed the duster by hand (he is a master colourist!) and then fulled the dyed coat in the tumble dryer before removing it to a fanfare of trumpets just ready for Dawn to model and me to take some photos! The second day when Horst was off teaching we prepared HUNDREDS of various attachments for the next few dusters (petal like attachments, leaflets and loops) and spent some time that evening working out exactly what we would be doing on the following day as well as watching while Horst dyed the bottom of 8 sleeveless vests in preparation for further work the next day. It would also be fair to say that we prepared 5 large bags and 4 ‘pocklets’ but equally true to confess that not all of these worked out exactly as we planned. We nearly died laughing when we discovered how disasterous some of these bags (purses) turned out to be but more about this and loads more photos to follow in the next post when the KIA workshops have finished!!! I also can’t resist adding another photo to today’s duo, Dawn modelling a fun fur hat which we just happened to find in Horst’s studio and I’m sure you will agree looks absoultely stunning when modelled by her!
Dawn looking absolutely stunning!
Dawn modelling the amazing finished duster (which now sits proudly in her closet ready to be worn to the Weaver’s Guild meeting in Kalamazoo MI on Monday night!)
Just checking in quickly via iPhone from Horst’s house. Having a wonderful time here with Horst and Dawn surrounded by stunning couture creations and learning so much about design and production.
More to come on Friday ……