Work progresses slowly but surely on organising the garage as an efficient storage space cum printing and dyeing studio. Thanks to buddy George some of the larger items that were stored there have now been shifted and delivered to new homes, I've also taken the decision to sell (at a good discount!) some lovely hand made jute/hessian tool belts and fishermans smocks which I've been holding on to for sentimental reasons. These are stock that I held on to from a previous lifetime, I'm planning to post some pictures to my personal FB page later today so if anyone local is interested in any of them I'll bring them in my truck to Borris Food & Craft Market tomorrow morning.
On the felt and naturally printed side of things, I'll be bringing this silk/wool blend printed wrap to Borris too, I've a few sculptures in the pipeline, my last five silk scarves to wash out and iron in time for tomorrow, a selection of new fabrics ordered to print over the festive period and yesterday I updated my Showcase profile with new text and images. I'll leave you today with an image of a large nuno felt wrap/throw and a small silk cushion, this one is printed with rose and blackberry leaves from my garden with a little bit of onion in the dye pot.
This afternoon I'm spending a little time catching up with computer things and not rushing around quite so crazily as most days of late. Yesterday I had my first stint manning the 'Carlow Made' pop up shop with Ornat, the shopping centre was actually very quiet considering it's so near Christmas but our group collaboratively had a good day sales wise. I'm not trying to force my work on any of you but if you are considering buying a naturally printed scarf, wall hanging/rug/runner or cushion/pillow for a stylish Irish made Christmas present please don't leave it too late! I sold three naturally printed silk scarves at Borris Food & Craft Market this morning so the scarves that are currently in the pop up shop are the only ones now available until I finish another batch. I have about five waiting to be washed out and ironed, whether I get these finished before Christmas is anyone's guess at present, just saying, if you want one or two (complete with their tagged gift boxes) get them sooner rather than later!!!
I'm uploading this picture too just to let you know the position in the shop where my scarves are hanging. Friend and fellow 'Carlow Made' participant Catherine Sothern is also selling naturally printed work (FB fans may remember pics from a workshop at Casheen where I shared the technique!), Catherine's scarves are in front of her lovely cushions and vintage inspired hats while mine are opposite the shelves with the rest of my felt and printing. Do let me know if you're coming in and want a chat or a bit of personalised help, I'll be in Carlow most days in the run up to Christmas Eve but obviously I'll be working from home a lot too!
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!
Yesterday evening I had a lovely time sharing the technique of natural printing/dyeing on silk with some members of the Lexington Fiber Guild. We met in Jan's house late in the afternoon, by half past eight everyone had created a really beautiful scarf coloured with a selection of eucalyptus leaves, tea, onion skins and rust. I know that some purists would say it's necessary to leave the bundles simmering for longer but although some participants initially intended doing this they too ended up joining in the unwrapping!
Here's a picture of the beautiful scarves after they were revealed.
Next post I'll blog about the marvellous things being created during the two day Lexington workshop, brilliantly organised as usual by Jan!
Over the past two weeks I've been living in daily anticipation of a large delivery of fibre from Wollknoll in Germany, one of my all time favourite suppliers. This order should have contained the wool and silk to finish my Gaelscoil project, the materials for a new group that I'm just about to start working with, a big amount of wool for Carmen, a good few large blocks of olive oil soap and some more fibre for me to use at upcoming workshops in my studio at Duckett's Grove. I still can't quite work out what happened but finally my suspicions were confirmed yesterday morning that the order had never been received or processed. I've had a couple of sleepless nights but at last everything is sorted, there's light at the end of the tunnel thanks to Sonja Fritz of Wollknoll. I had to reorder the items yesterday afternoon (why oh why did I not keep a written record of them in the first place???), the goods are getting packed today (Saturday) and the order will be dispatched first thing on Monday morning, what a service. Thank you so much Sonja, your help and calmness were very much appreciated! On the positive side of things, it did give me the opportunity to add a bundle of silk fabric and more Kap merino to the order, these will be some of the supplies I'm bringing to my upcoming workshops in Lexington, KY!!!
The Nuno felt wrap and scarf in the first photo were felted using a selection of ponge silk from Wollknoll, the wrap on the left also incorporates some upcycled printed silk collected on a fun Goodwill expidition with Dawn! The bundled and naturally printed/dyed silk chiffon scarves with rolled edges in the second picture also came from Wollknoll. I like the contrast of the silk chiffon with the hardness of my new polymer clay brooches, soft ochre, gold and chocolate brown makes such a good bedfellow with turquoise!
I’ve been researching ideas for home made displays wanting to get different height levels to add interest, check out my new board on Pinterest if you would like to see some of the ideas I’ll be putting into practice this festive season! Last night I tried out a cardboard Christmas tree and it worked really well, I just need to get some gold spray now and I’ll get into production mode. I’d pinned another idea recently about attaching an upturned wooden bowl to a wooden kitchen roll holder and using it as a hat stand, the new board has this and other ideas, hopefully it will inspire me to create seasonal interest at the studio, Borris Food and Craft Market and the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet.
Felt hat incorporating naturally printed and dyed silk
This morning I felted a highly textured hat (really a soft edged beret) incorporating some of the smaller pieces of naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on lately. I really want to have nice items to offer customers that compliment each other, I won’t be making many of these but I do think they’ll work wonderfully with some of the nuno felt scarves that I have been enjoying making. Here’s a picture of the finished hat, check out my new album on FB if you’d like to see some pictures of it at the lay out stage.