Friendly faces and Clasheen Christmas Swap update

Having fun at the Kozo opening

Having fun at the Kozo opening

The smiles say it all!  Thanks to Remmy Quinn for taking this picture of us at the opening of the Winter Exhibition at Kozo last Saturday.  I have to say that it is one of the only nice pictures of all the Browns together, me on the left, my mother in front wearing black, my sister Lizzy in red and my sister Suzanne beside her also in black.  Check out my Flickr images to see a couple more images that Remmy took at the exhibition including one of my work.

Swap partners have been assigned for the Clasheen Christmas Swap and are as follows …..

Juniejo swaps with Clasheen
ScrapStampSew swaps with Dara
Jean swaps with Martina
Carmen swaps with Shemacgo
Gingersnap Hollow swaps with Vicky Plum
SmitoniumAndSonata swaps with Annabie

REMEMBER that we are swapping either a handmade Christmas ornament or a handmade Christmas gift, a seasonal receipe and a little extra surprise. Packages need to be sent by Friday 6th December and everyone MUST post pictures to the group pool when their package arrives.  Have fun!

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Prefelt frenzy and thanks!

Thanks to all my friends and family who attended the opening of the Winter Exhibition at Kozo Gallery in Thomastown yesterday.   Special thanks to my mother Lynette, my sisters Suzanne and Lizzy, my partner Alan and my friends Cathy, Martin, Eileen, Remmy, Duncan and Helena who all make the effort to attend, a great turnout!  The exhibition continues until 31st January and as work is sold I can replace it with newer pieces.  A second opening has also been organised for 6th December and another 5 artists are joining us then in the run up to Christmas.  This was the first time that Kozo have invited artists to participate in an open selection and the work seemed to be very favourably received by both the public and the press.

With all the coming and going over the last few days I decided to felt something simple and quick this morning, prefelts seemed the obvious choice.  I had promised my students that I would have some prepared for their next lesson and of course as soon as I started making them I have been having all sorts of wild ideas of what I myself would like to use them for.  Now I want to spend all my time preparing some funky colour schemes and know that I will be in a frenzy over the next few days to prepare a wide selection of colours!  For those of you not sure what I mean by prefelt it is a piece of felt in the making which you stop fulling and shrinking as soon as the fibres are holding together into an obvious piece of fabric.  This lightly felted piece can then be cut into any shape and laid on top of loose wool roving or batts, wet out and felted fully as normal.  The big advantage of using prefelt in a design is that because it has already started to mesh together into a fabric your design edges will be very clean cut and sometimes this is exactly what you require.  Anyway, I am having fun making quite large pieces in solid colours (so far!) and embellishing part of each prefelt heavily with either tussah or mulberry silk.  Tomorrow I will continue making some more pieces and on Tuesday or Wednesday start cutting some of them up to use in some vessels I have been brooding over!!

Kozo Winter Exhibition and evening feltmaking course

I have just finished packing my work for the Kozo Winter Exhibition and am off to deliver it and meet a friend for coffee.  Hopefully Tunde will be happy with what I am bringing, several necklaces, several vessels and 2 beautiful (I think!) and glamorous neck wraps with matching pins.  These were made from some of the amazing silk jewels (recycled sari silk) that I got from Susan at Essential Textile Art in Australia.  I nuno felted them with a very small amount of merino and they crinkled up beautifully as you can see if you look in my Flickr photostream, although the light was not great when I took the images so imagine a lot more sheen!

Tonight is the second class from my beginners course, last week they made amazing pieces of flat felt and tonight we are going to make small felt vessels.  It was great seeing their amazement last week as the felt came together, tonight should be interesting!!

Invitation, felted vessels, necklaces and beading

Winter Exhibition at Kozo Gallery

Winter Exhibition at Kozo Gallery

I was very excited to see an image of one of my felt necklaces used on the invitation to the Winter Exhibition that opens at Kozo Studio and Gallery next Saturday.  This will be the second selected exhibition that I am participating in this month and I would love to meet any of you blog followers if you are free to come to the opening.  Please make sure to come and introduce yourselves if you are able to make the journey!

My days never seem long enough at the moment but I have to say that I am really enjoying all the felting!!  Today I made 2 amazing neckpieces using silk jewels (a bit similar to sari loom ends) and merino, the silk really crinkled up beautifully as the wool was felting so tomorrow I need to make a couple of brooches to use with them as closures.  These will be going to Kozo along with a couple of necklaces and some vessels that I made over the last few days.  I decided to use a much bigger resist than usual for these vessels (piece of laminate floor underlay used in the middle of my felt package to stop the fibres felting as a flat piece and create an ‘envelope’ instead) and have made one large bowl which I then beaded and one taller bowl with very organic grooves.  The beading was quite interesting, I love the glint of light on the seed beads and because of the result was not SO adverse as usual to plying the needle!!

Off now to try and put some images on my new Etsy shop and sort out the policy re. P&P etc., will check back in here and post the link if I am successful!!

Felted beads, exhibition and Christmas Craft Swap

I have been making a series of felted beads to incorporate into some new necklaces that I am making for another exhibition that I will be participating in.  Yesterday I was contacted by Tunde from KOZO studio and gallery to say that my submission had been successful for the Winter/Christmas exhibition that she is organising so I was very excited.  Twelve selected artists have been chose for this well organised event which is running at the KOZO Gallery in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny from 19th November until 31st January.  This means that both this exhibition and ‘Breaking Out’ run at the same time which is brilliant for me, hopefully it will also mean that more people may be interested in learning the fascinating craft of felting!

Christmas Craft Swap and Autumn Swap update  Everyone should have posted and received their Autumn Swap packages by now, please can you make sure to photograph your goodies and post them to our group pool on Flickr?  It is really important that everyone’s effort is aknowledged and it is brilliant seeing how many talented members we make friends with around the world.

Our new swap is the Christmas Craft Swap and to make sign ups a simpler process for me to organise and monitor from now on please sign up through Clasheen Crafty Swaps.  If you are not a member of Flickr it is really simple to join up (follow the instructions) and you will also be able to express your likes and dislikes in the discussion section of the group.  Our swap will consist of either a hand made Christmas ornament OR a handmade Christmas gift, a seasonal receipe and a small little extra.  Please say whether you would like an ornament or a gift when signing up to the swap and make sure to sign up before the closing date of Saturday November 15th.  Swap partners will be assigned on Sunday 16th and packages need to be posted out by Friday 5th December, this gives everyone 3 weeks to come up with the goodies!

Using a wire brush while felting! Silk paper workshop.

An amazing tip learnt during the Anita Larkin workshop concerns the use of a wire brush!  People had brought different sized brushes to try, but for fairly small pieces of work a suede shoe brush seemed perfect.  We used these when repairing a seam or depression caused by uneven rolling, attaching an object or closing the hole created when removing the plastic around a resist (explanation re resists Anita’s way to follow in another post).  I hope that I can explain what we did clearly but if it is not obvious enough please let me know.  The type of ridge/depression I am talking about is that created by uneven pressure when rolling a ball or a cord, often a problem for me and I am sure that most of you know what I am talking about.  Once you notice a ridge or depression forming at the pre felt stage use your wire brush gently to fluff up the fibres on either side of the problem area.  Holding the piece of felt lightly in your hands (or on the table if easier) smooth the fibres with your fingers and encourage them to move towards each other.  It is important that if the ridge goes in one direction you make the smoothing action in the opposite direction, ie. at a 90 degree angle to where the ridge is lying.  Keep smoothing very gently for quite a few minutes and you will notice that the ridge or depression magically seals over.  This method of fluffing up the fibres with a wire brush also allows you to attach a prefelted object to another piece of felt, just fluff up the side where you wish to make your join and work the seal very slowly and carefully.  Next time that I write a post I will discuss Anita’s method of making cords and inserting wire into felt. 

I did want to mention today however that on Saturday I attended an excellent one day workshop about silk paper making facilitated by Tunde Toth.  This workshop was organised by the South East Textile Group and took place at our usual venue in the Demense Yard at Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.  Tunde is an artist working from the Kozo Gallery in Thomastown and specialises in different types of paper making.  She brought a great range of fibres for us to work with, initially we made a basic silk paper and then got really stuck in using inclusions and dyes as we became more experimental.  I found the whole process really inspiring as depending on the thickness of the paper made I feel it will be possible to insert the silk paper into a piece of felt at the early part of the felting process.  Already I have made a couple of experiments with silk paper that I made on Saturday, more on this subject as soon as I have finished writing about the scupltural feltmaking weekend with Anita.