Invitation to an evening of celebrating at Kilkenny Arts Festival

It's difficult to keep up with everything online right now. So many exciting things are happening all at once and I'm also busy doing my bit to make sure that the 'FORM Designmade in Carlow' pop up shop in Kilkenny is manned and stocked. Please come along on Thursday night to help us celebrate out second year of participation in the Kilkenny Arts Festival, we'll have drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm and its a great chance to meet fellow makers and group members!

Eco printed up-cycled clothing, cushions and felt sculpture in Kilkenny

 

 

Success from disaster! My fulled (felted) jumper saga, South East Textile Group …..

I had a very enjoyable time yesterday at the monthly get together of the South East Textile Group.  We meet on the last Saturday of every month at the Demanse Yard in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny for inspiration, textile related tutorials and workshops, good food and a bit of fun!  Stephanie was teaching members how to needle felt a doll so making my apologies (needle felting really aggravates my back and I am NOT a doll person!) I settled in for a relaxing session of wet felting.  I felted a selection of glamorous flowers using some sparkly merino for the top layer and now just need to sew pins onto the backs and upload them to my Etsy shop.  I also felted three new rings and showed everyone how you can also use them as a ‘clasp’ with a scarf, really multi functional and fun items.  After a great lunch in the cafe I gathered a twisted stick and felted a flower onto the branch, part of my experimental work before I submit my proposal for ‘Sculpture in Context’ which is taking place at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin this September. 

When I arrived home from Castlecomer I was faced with my previously beautiful cerise mohair and wool jumper after I had made a mistake with the controls of my washing machine.  Previously I had washed this soft and beautiful jumper on a 30 degree wool wash but for some alsolutely crazy reason this time I had a rush of blood to my head and lumped it in at an active 40 degrees, disaster!  Although it was not totally ‘fulled’ it was getting there so nothing ventured nothing gained, I decided to bung it in on a 90 degree wash and take my chances with the resultant fabric.  Happily it worked a treat (obviously I would have preferred not to have shrunk it but once the process had started there was no going back) and this morning I cut up the jumper into various useful sections.  The piece that I am most pleased about is the neck, it now makes a really beautiful and warm headband with the addition of a crochet and felt green and pink corsage!  The sleeves are now fingerless mittens awaiting some embellishment and the body looks like it may be redesigned into a soft and comfortable cowl!

Breaking Out opening

Today is the official opening of ‘Breaking Out’ at the Craft Gallery in Kilkenny.  Alan and I will be aiming to arrive there at about 1 o’clock, have some lunch with friends and family and then go on to the opening at 3 o’clock.  I am really looking forward to seeing how the curator has hung/displayed my felt pieces although obviously I am nervous as well!

Felting courses, pictures, exhibition and mention in Press!

Where do I start.  It has been a busy couple of days finishing my work for ‘Breaking Out’, delivering it to Kilkenny, organising 3 felting courses and discovering that my blog has been mentioned in an article by Marie Boran for Silicon Republic and the business section of the Irish Independent today, thanks Marie!! 

Adjustable spiral neckpiece

Adjustable spiral neckpiece

I am delighted to report that my work is now finished for ‘Breaking Out’ and that I met the curator Ann Mulrooney yesterday for a chat and to deliver the pieces to Kilkenny.  Ann has been a great help with all sorts of advice; which items are suitable to exhibit, which are ‘product’, how to present your work to a gallery, how to package your work and label it, all sorts of things that I am new to so thanks Ann for the advice and support.  The images above and below are of ‘Sea Breeze’, one of the neckpieces which I left with Ann and the one that I almost burnt to a cinder in the Rayburn on Tuesday!

Waterfall of spirals

Waterfall of spirals

EXCITING NEWS RE. FELTING COURSES I am thrilled to announce that German feltmaker Sigrid Bannier, Turkish maestro Mehmet Girgic and English felter supreme Sheila Smith have all confirmed that they will come to Ireland and hold workshops in the Clasheen area!

Sigrid Bannier will be facilitating a felt jewellery workshop and a nuno felting workshop at Woodbrook House, Killanne, Co. Wexford on 29th and 30th November 2008. 

Mehmet Girgic will be teaching felt rug making in several three day courses between 15th and 27th January 2009 here at Clasheen, full details and dates of the different courses to be confirmed.

Sheila Smith will be here at the end of April, beginning of May, dates to be confirmed this weekend! 

I am putting up a new page on the blog this weekend with resumes of the tutors and links to their websites.  Please email me immediately if you are interested in provisionally booking a spot to learn from any of these exciting masters.

 

Felt rug and Podcamp Ireland

Some of you have been having problems with the link in a previous post so please click HERE if you would like to see some pictures of my rug in progress at the Mehmet Girgic course I took at Wollknoll in Germany last week.  For those of you still unable to click through here is an image of the completed and fulled rug prior to shaving.

Rug prior to shaving!

Rug prior to shaving!

Podcamp takes place tomorrow in Kilkenny and I am going to be participating by contributing to a session in the morning.  I promise to write a proper post about felting on Monday but obviously I am very busy this weekend.  What is Podcamp you ask?  Well I have copied an item from the Podcamp Ireland website explaining what it is all about (hope they don’t mind the copying)and here it is sounding a lot more complicated that I expect it really is!

“A PodCamp is a usually free BarCamp-style community UnConference for new media enthusiasts and professionals including bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, social networkers, and anyone curious about new media. The first PodCamp was held September 8-10, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. PodCamps are now being held worldwide.

PodCamp isn’t just about podcasting! If you’re interested in blogging, social media, social networking, podcasting, video on the net, if you’re a podsafe musician (or want to be), or just someone curious about new media, then please join us – and bring a friend or colleague.”

If you are in the South East of Ireland why not pop along and join in the fun.  To extend the weekend even further progress then to Tinnahinch in Graiguenamanagh where we are having the first revival of the old Michaelmas Festival which took place in the area for over 300 years but died out in the 60’s.  I am on the organising committee of the festival so what with talking at Podcamp and working in Tinnahinch I think that it is going to be a very busy weekend!

Exciting news re felt and ‘Breaking Out’!

I am so excited today as my felt is definitely going to be on display at ‘Breaking Out’, the Crafts Council Exhibition to be held in Kilkenny from October 19th until mid January 2009.  The curator Ann Mulrooney and I met this afternoon so that she could have a look at the current work I have been making.  I have to say that I was very unsure how the meeting would go as it is always difficult to be critically assesive about your own work, especially if like me you have no formal art college training.  Anyway, Ann was really nice and supportive, one of my pieces has been selected for photographing on Sept 18th (merino wool neckpiece with loads of spikes!) and the rest of the work needs to be delivered by the beginning of October.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that my work was up to scratch and I really am looking forward to inviting all my friends who have supported me develop my practice to the opening!  Another knock on effect of being selected has been the fact that I am now registered as a maker with the Crafts Council and have a profile page complete with images on their website.

Bag lady swap and podcast news!

Back from a couple of days R & R in Austria I have just finished lining the bag that I have been working on for my first swap as part of an online Flickr group ‘Bag Lady Swaps’.   The challenge was to create a bag using any technique that you had not previously used or something that you felt uncomfortable doing or lacked confidence in trying.  As I have mentioned before sewing is just not me but I hope my partner will be happy that I took on the challenge!  Firstly I created a nice piece of felt with her favourite colour blue as the background.  I tried to make the blue look watery and the surface design of white and pale pink waterlillies was added using some hand made lustrous silk and merino wool pre-felts, the lining is a striking rich blue silk.  I really enjoyed creating the felt for this bag and intend making a larger wallhanging in the same theme, as soon as the package is posted and I know that Sylvia (she lives in Denmark) has recieved it I will post some images here on the blog.

Tomorrow morning I will be recording an interview about my experiences with blogging, this will be published later this month in an on-line Podcast.  To be honest I really need to update my knowledge about all things relating to social networking and am really excited to have booked in to Podcamp, an ‘unconference’ taking place in Kilkenny on 27th September.  Why not check it out and see if you would like to join us!