Wonderful Portugal, a pictorial tale of two weeks……..

Two wonderful weeks have passed since I've been able to take time and update the blog from Portugal, it's now changeover day between the two felting and eco printing workshops so I'm grabbing the opportunity for a little internet activity. I've set myself up with a simple outdoor office, the Internet connection from the studio appears to work well on the roof so I can write in peace whilst enjoying the sun and views!

Week 1: The Joan Morris workshop 'stitched resist dyeing with ecology in mind' was definitely an eye opener, her work is both fascinating and incredibly beautiful. I learnt so much about natural dyeing and mordanting during the week that I hope to bring forward in some small way into my own textile practice. The following pictures share a fraction of the progress and some samples that I made.

Week 2: Some felting and eco printing images. Many congratulations to all the participants from the first workshop I facilitated, you were wonderful students as our exhibition last night clearly demonstrated!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A few more pics from Tahoe!

Having a ball with Merridee, Susan and Dale in Mendocino, just wanted to post another few pics from Tahoe today!

Tina with her fab nuno felt scarf naturally dyed with onion skins (mordanted with Alum) then modified with iron.
Tina and Lupe at the of a fun and active retreat!

 

Natural printing and sewing, a fun and instructive exchange of skills!

Over the last few days good friend Maureen helped me sew my first ever proper garment, in exchange I shared how I go about my natural printing and helped her print some beautiful nuno felt and silk scarves! Here's a picture of Maureen with her fabulous first felt wrap out of the dye pot……….

and here's a picture of my new merino dress, perfect for layering with leggings and a long sleeved T-shirt in Canada methinks!!!

I'm off now to take a wall hanging out of the dye pot and try to sort out some paperwork. I'll leave you today with a close up of the stitching and a felt flower, I love how this flower I felted two weekends ago absolutely picks up the red and purple colours perfectly.

 

 

Natural printing and dyeing day two…..

It’s been very busy but fun this past week, felting, teaching (two natural printing days, a raw fleece workshop and a flower workshop), working the dye pots, invigilating the Feltmakers Ireland exhibition at the Botanic Gardens, spending time with mum and having my sister and her family down to celebrate her birthday after the market in Borris on Friday! I’ve blanked out the whole of this coming week to work in the studio, please excuse any sketchy internet activity if I appear to be slacking. I need to get a lot more pieces felted before heading to teach in the US and Canada, I do hope though to be online in the evenings, work permitting so no promised!!! I’ll leave you now with three pictures from day two of the natural printing and dyeing days I had at Clasheen.

IMG_8264 IMG_8291 IMG_8286

Natural printing and dyeing, day one…..

Tamara, George and I have just finished our intensive natural printing and dyeing day at Clasheen, we had loads of fun and by the end of the day had a wonderful and varied selection of beautifully printed silk, cotton and card! I need to recharge now and have some down time before repeating the workshop with two more participants tomorrow, here're some pictures from today to whet your appetite.

Tamara laying out her natural materials on a silk scarf
Ready for the dye pot
George's layout looks good enough to eat!
Tying the bundle with thick rubber bands
Interesting prints from small ferns on one of Tamara's scarves
Some wonderful details being revealed on a cotton piece of George's
George and Tamara with two of their beautiful scarves!

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!

 

 

 

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
 
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!

 

 

 

 

Lake Tahoe, Mendocino and Canada, September/October felting workshop updates and some pics of my latest naturally printed nuno felt scarf!

Whew, sorry about the long title for this blog post, there's a lot to share with you though so here I go with all the details!

One of the confirmed participants for our sold out felting retreat at Lake Tahoe (17th to 22nd September) may not be able to take up their place unexpectedly, as a result Merridee and I are looking for one enthusiastic felter/dyer/fibre artist to join us at the cabin! You can check out all the details on the workshop page, please let either of us know ASAP if you would like to come. This is a super opportunity to have our undivided attention in a wonderful location, click here to email me if you've any questions or would like to book, Keith's cooking and the fabulous location are just the icing on the cake!!!

Who knows but Merridee may even inspire me to try my hand at acid dyeing some of my felt too, I'll never even attempt to paint on silk though, aren't these pictures of her's absolutely amazing?

Mendocino, another absolutely fabulous location, this time on the west coast. Merridee's actually going to be my helper for the fun felting extravaganza I'm facilitating there at the Mendocino Art Center, this takes place from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th Sepepetember inclusive. There'll be tonnes of individual attention for everyone each day, class size is small so there'll be loads of felting completed! To a degree, participants will dictate the direction this three day intensive workshop goes but from my perspective I'd like to really help people hone their three dimensional skills (think craters, spikes, jewellery, bags and quirky vessels!) and share how to felt large nuno felt pieces using the tumble dryer method. These are the felting skills that I find most helpful at home, regardless of what project I decide to tackle! You can register online for this felting extravaganza directly with the Mendocino Are Center, here's the link to make things easy.

Moving northwards on to Canada, three individual workshops over the course of a week, Vancouver, Winnepeg then back to Vancouver, I'm still pinching myself to make sure this is happening!!! Here's the schedule first, followed by details of the workshop content below, the scarf in the first picture was felted yesterday morning and dyed twice in the afternoon therefore easily achievable in one day!

Thursday 3rd October NATURALLY NUNO – a beautiful scarf inspired by and printed with natural materials! 10.30 to 5.30pm at The Loafing Shed Glass Studio, 9060 184th Street Surrey, BC. Please contact Sharon at 604 916 7633 or 778 298-8545 to book your place!

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October NATURALLY INSPIRED – wearable felt and household textiles inspired by and printed with natural materials! This two day workshop takes place at the Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre, 611 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba and costs $275 including materials. To book your spot at this two day workshop please contact Margaret ASAP, there also is a dedicated Facebook page for this event!

Thursday 10th October NATURALLY NUNO – a beautiful scarf inspired by and printed with natural materials!10 to 4pm at the Marpole Place Neighbourhood House (1305 West 70th Ave), Vancouver. The cost of the workshop is $155 and includes the following materials, a silk habotai or gauze scarf, 4oz of merino (19 micron), 1/2 oz silk hankies plus materials for the natural dyeing segment. To book your spot at this workshop please contact Sara asap at 604 781 1724.

Now for the full workshop descriptions……

NATURALLY NUNO During this fun one day workshop participants will create a simple white nuno felt scarf in the morning using the no roll tumble dryer method then print/dye it in the afternoon using a selection of easy to find natural plant materials and rusty metal.

This super easy technique of nuno felting will transform your arts practice if you’ve never tried it before and is ideal for anyone who finds the traditional rubbing and rolling hard on their body… We’ll work in white and add a selection of un-dyed embellishing fibres to the scarves, everyone can enjoy the process of laying out the wool knowing that this will be the biggest design decision of the morning!

In the afternoon we’ll transform the scarves by bundling them together with a selection of simple, easy to find natural plant materials then they’ll be tied together and either steamed or cooked in plant enriched water for a couple of hours. Nicola will bring a good selection of samples with her for participants to study and she’ll explain how to achieve different effects and strong leaf outlines depending on the method chosen prior to putting the pieces in the dye pot. Different ways of folding, bundling and tying the scarves also create different designs in the finished pieces.

Participants are encouraged to bring along previously completed felt (bags and vessels too, not just wearables!) as well as plain thrift store clothes in wool or silk and these may all be included in the dye pot providing we have space!”

NATURALLY INSPIRED – wearable felt and household textiles inspired by and printed with natural materials!

During this intensive two day workshop participants will have the opportunity to create a beautiful large nuno wrap, table runner or wall hanging using the tumble dryer method of felting. They will then have the opportunity to totally elevate it to another level as we experiment extensively with different methods of natural printing/dyeing using the bundling method.

Day one – using the no roll tumble dryer method of felting each participant will create a large nuno felt wrap, table runner or wall hanging, depending on the complexity of these pieces some people may also have time to felt additional samples to put in the dye pot on day two! This super easy technique of nuno felting will transform your arts practice if you’ve never tried it before and is ideal for anyone who finds the traditional rubbing and rolling hard on their body. Concentrating on simple shapes with optional ruffles, we’ll work in white and add a selection of un-dyed embellishing fibres to the lay out. Each fibre will take up the colour from the natural materials differently when put in the dye pot the following day, this leads to stunning wearable art or striking and unique interior accents.

Day two – wonderful results will be achieved by bundling the felt created on day one together with a selection of simple, easy to find natural plant materials, tying them up and then either steaming them or cooking the bundles in plant and/or rust enriched water. At the start of the second day Nicola will explain and demonstrate how different results when bundling are influenced by using different pre-treatments, materials, fabrics, dye pot solutions and ways of actually tying up the pieces. There will be plenty of samples for participants to study and before we dye the felt created on day one everyone is encouraged to put some smaller items of felt and fabric in the dye pot to get a feel for this method.

Participants are encouraged to bring along previously completed felt (bags and vessels too, not just wearables!) as well as plain thrift store clothes in wool or silk and these may all be included in the dye pot providing we have space!

Finally for today, a few pictures from yesterday's felt and natural printing/dyeing efforts, thanks Liz Nicholls for being my happy cohort! I've actually got loads more silk and cotton pieces from today hanging up to dry but until they've been ironed and brought inside I'll stick with images of work already almost finished.

A length of cotton and a silk scarf bundled together. The eucalyptus leaves from Christine didn't actually give any prints in these experiments, they did add a wonderful colour to the dye pot though so thanks Christine, I'll get working on your silk next week!

Eucalyptus pods and cotinus leaves on cotton

Extremely wishy washy prints from loads of eucalyptus leaves, the sycamore leaf was ok and the cotinus gave a strong print. This was one of the scarves that I felted yesterday morning and I was very disappointed with the colours achieved, after over dyeing with onion skins I'm thrilled with the result!

The final picture shows both sides of the scarf.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Langley, BC – change of time and a few bundling pictures to whet your appetite!

Due to many participants travelling in from the islands to participate at the Langley, BC workshop, we have decided to change the class time to start at 10.30 and work through until 17.30. This workshop is almost full now so if you’re interested in joining us do please contact Sharon on 604-916-7633 or 778-298-8545 immediately!

Starting the revealing process!

Starting the revealing process!

Although I haven’t been able to do any felting this past week (booking my flights was fraught with problems and just seemed to take FOREVER!) I was able to do some bundling experiments on cotton and card stock. I picked up a few inexpensive white long sleeved T-shirts in Kilkenny and in addition to these I tied up a well worn and loved over dress (Dawn, it’s OUR dress), another T-shirt and a new throw/tablecloth kind of thing I picked up in Ikea as well as a batch of my cream luggage tags, they’re a heavy card stock.

Unwrapping is always very exciting

Unwrapping is always very exciting

I wanted to see how the different fabrics and card picked up the colour from the various leaves and plant material that I was using. Anyway, the card picked up all the different leaf materials beautifully, the cotton long sleeved Ts picked up the purple from the cotinus leaves and the gold from the onion skins brilliantly (although without very distinct leaf outlines except where the iron water was touching the fabric) without any evidence of the small eucalyptus leaves I used and the throw/tablecloth took the onion skins brilliantly but nothing else very well, interesting!!! It was far too windy to take pictures of the finished pieces today, in fact my mannequin fell over whilst I was trying to get them. Here’re two close up shots though of one of the finished long sleeved T-shirts.

Lovely wavy lines

Lovely wavy lines

Don’t forget that if you are attending the retreat in Lake Tahoe (full) or the workshops in BC (contact Sharon, phone numbers above) and Winnipeg, Canada (please email Margaret) this is something that you can try out in addition to bundling the felt scarves and wraps we make during the classes!!!

Gold tones from the onion skins

Gold tones from the onion skins

Winnipeg, Canada on FeltUnited day – workshop description!

Although I don’t actually have a price or venue address yet for the class in Winnipeg I thought that I’d post the workshop description and dates to give people time to think whether they wanted to attend or not! If this sounds like something you’d consider joining us for please email Margaret and she’ll answer your questions and take your bookings. The workshop will run over Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October, this means that we will be felting together on FeltUnited day, in Canada, how exciting!!! Anyway, here’s the workshop description…..

NATURALLY INSPIRED – wearable felt and household textiles inspired by and printed with natural materials!

During this intensive two day workshop participants will have the opportunity to create a beautiful large nuno wrap, table runner or wall hanging using the tumble dryer method of felting. They will then have the opportunity to totally elevate it to another level as we experiment extensively with different methods of natural printing/dyeing using the bundling method.

Day one – using the no roll tumble dryer method of felting each participant will create a large nuno felt wrap, table runner or wall hanging, depending on the complexity of these pieces some people may also have time to felt additional samples to put in the dye pot on day two! This super easy technique of nuno felting will transform your arts practice if you’ve never tried it before and is ideal for anyone who finds the traditional rubbing and rolling hard on their body. Concentrating on simple shapes with optional ruffles, we’ll work in white and add a selection of un-dyed embellishing fibres to the lay out. Each fibre will take up the colour from the natural materials differently when put in the dye pot the following day, this leads to stunning wearable art or striking and unique interior accents.

Day two – wonderful results will be achieved by bundling the felt created on day one together with a selection of simple, easy to find natural plant materials, tying them up and then either steaming them or cooking the bundles in plant and/or rust enriched water. At the start of the second day Nicola will explain and demonstrate how different results when bundling are influenced by using different pre-treatments, materials, fabrics, dye pot solutions and ways of actually tying up the pieces. There will be plenty of samples for participants to study and before we dye the felt created on day one everyone is encouraged to put some smaller items of felt and fabric in the dye pot to get a feel for this method.

Participants are also encouraged to bring along previously completed felt (bags and vessels too, not just wearables!) as well as plain thrift store clothes in wool or silk and these may all be included in the dye pot providing we have space!

NB Although this is a two day workshop participants may be accommodated for individual days by prior arrangement.