Fabric and felt neckpieces, craft fair preparations

At the end of last week I made two fabric and felt neckpieces, basically a cross between a necklace and a scarf!  These were inspired by a piece of Lyda Rump’s that I saw in Denmark this summer and consisted of a long scarf of silk and linen pulled through large felt beads.  The two ends of the scarf were sewn together and a felt bead covers them and the whole ensembale may be worn wrapped once, twice or three times (if you have a small head!) around your head.  I used my short fibred merino to make the beads so they are exceptionally soft but even if you were actually allergic to wool it would be possible to enjoy the neckpieces as only the silk/linen mix scarf would sit at the back of your neck.   As soon as I get a chance I will upload some photos and you can see how simple but effective these are, a perfect present and a great way of combining some artificial fabrics with felt as well!

This week it is all about preparation for the craft fair that I am attending on Sunday.  I did mention before that I am only doing the one this year, Carmen is organising it and I really want to support the cause.  I have boxed up LOADS of books in my quest to tidy up the house and I am going to bring theses along as well (having of course asked permission) and sell them from beside my stand, hopefully I can make a little extra cash and sort the house out a bit more at the same time!  Here are a few details about the event …….

RAHEEN FAMILY RESOURCE CENTE

IS HOLDING OUR 2ND CHRISTMAS FAIR ON SUNDAY

DEC 6 FROM 10 AM TO 16 PM.

Venue: Raheen Community Hall, Raheen,

 Clonroche Enniscorthy

 

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better that last year’s craft fair. The diverse range of stalls include:

  • Handcrafted jewellery
  • Hand made felt
  • Festive Home made products
  • Festive Décor
  • Christmas trees
  • Clothing
  • Pottery and wood turning
  • Hot Drink and food
  • Hair wrap and face painting

Rush, rush, rush (and crochet neckpiece)

Crochet neckpiece

Crochet neckpiece

Well, although the snow has kept me off the roads yesterday and today I still have a mountain of things to do ….. paperwork, receipts for Mehmet’s workshops, massive tidy up of studio, prepare application for funding to Carlow Co. Council, get dates sorted for my own workshops, the list goes on! My biggest achievement over these couple of days has been a large nuno shawl/scarf, the completion of some projects for the procrastinators challenge and this soft crochet neckpiece. I bought the wool from Stephanie after the textile taster day on Saturday and I am very happy with how easy and soft it was to work with. The felt ball/button makes a sympathetic closure and I am now inspired to crochet a few more items when I have time on my hands but no way/space to felt, in front of the fire would be a good example! Anyway, will definitely post re. making cords for handles next time, just too tired tonight.

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.

 

Felted coils

Carmen and I had intended to meet up at mine this morning and settle in to a productive mornings felting.  Unfortunately poor Carmen has picked up some kind of bug or virus and was totally unable to make our session so I called over to her house and dropped back again later to check that she was OK.  As a result I didn’t get as much time as expected to work on my last couple of ideas for ‘Breaking Out’ but I did work on some felted components that I will utilise tomorrow at a marathon felting day!  I am working on a neckpiece which will feature felted coils, I am making the coils by wrapping felt cords around metal knitting needles while wet and then baking them in my Rayburn until the wool is dry and the curls are fixed.  They seem to be working.  My intention is to make a lariat or choker with both ends finishing in long curly pieces of felt, sounds strange and maybe it will be!  Update promised tomorrow and a few new pictures.

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.