I had a lovely day yesterday learning Leiko Uchi’s pine needle technique. My biggest worry was that I would find laying out the ‘needles’ difficult and time consuming, instead, while they did take a lot of time in preparation the task was neither boring nor frustrating at all!
My finished pine needle scarf!
Seeing all Leiko’s beautiful samples spurred me on and I was thrilled by the end of the day with my beautiful, soft and ultra flexible scarf. It was also fascinating working with materials I don’t often carry in stock, gorgeous gold coloured 50/50 silk/ultrafine merino tops, a rich green 40/60 blend and a dark green plain merino for the body of the scarf. Leiko dyed all these fibres herself and I loved the sympathetic way the colours all blended together. The piece was laid out measuring 2.70m (a tad under 9 feet) and ended up after felting at 1.6m (just over 5 feet), a lot of shrinkage!!! Because I laid a very fine gold line around the edge of one side and two different ends for interest, this scarf may be worn in loads of ways! Check out my new facebook album for more pictures and the details.
It was a little breezy this morning taking pictures but a few people were asking for pictures of the silk I printed and dyed last week. Here are just two pictures, a rolled edge chiffon scarf that will be left as is and a length of ponge silk which I’m going to nuno felt later in the week, both were dyed using a selection of eucalyptus leaves, onion skins and rusty metal.
Rolled edge silk chiffon scarf printed and dyed using eucalyptus leaves, onion skins and rusty metal
Ponge silk printed and dyed using eucalyptus leaves, onion skins and rusty metal
Now that wonderful Japanese felter Leiko Uchiyama has moved next door we’ve started planning a series of workshops to deliver together designed to compliment our individual strengths. Our first three day felting retreat will take place at Clasheen from Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th November inclusive and this will be the first time in Ireland that Leiko is offering a full workshop to learn her ‘pine needle’ technique! She’ll be teaching this on Tuesday (and Wednesday morning/afternoon for larger projects), I’ll be concentrating on naturally printing/dyeing on Wednesday then felting large nuno wearables and household textiles using the tumble dryer on Thursday, fine felt without fabric or cobweb felt is also an option with this method. The emphasis on all three days will be learning new skills, creating beautifully felted and finished pieces inspired by nature and having fun in a relaxed, peaceful, rural setting. Simple, tasty home cooking will be the order of the day and shared rooms are on site in comfortable farmhouse accommodation! A maximum of 5 residential places are available for the retreat but we will also be able to accommodate a few additional participants for the printing/dyeing day on Wednesday. I’ll post the prices etc. over the next day or two, stupidly I left them at home and I’m now in Duckett’s Grove and felting here for the rest of the day.
I’ll leave you with an image of a simple necklace I made this morning. I liked this tiger wire fitting which I bought last year in CA so now need to research the best place to buy these at a competitive price in Ireland.