Another nuno felt bag, a bit of a ramble and working titles for my KY and MI workshops in May!!!

After I returned home from the market in Borris on Friday afternoon I laid out and felted the nuno section of another new bag, this time I worked in mossy greens and various shades of chocolate and olive. I also fulled the piece more than usual as you can see from this picture, note how the green wool has travelled further through the various thicknesses of silk and mesh fabric.

Well fulled nuno felt

Yesterday Alan and I attended the opening of our friend Eileen MacDonagh’s extraordinary exhibition LITHOSPHERES at Visual in Carlow, this is not to be missed if you live in Ireland and are at all interested in art and sculpture, absolutely wonderful!!!

Today is the first day of a new tidier me. Hm, I’m not actually sure if I should even be writing that sentence but if I don’t try to sort myself and the house out I’ll never achieve anything! In order to have some virtual and actual space in which to felt productively I have put 3 days aside in which to…..

  • gut my office once and for all including removing one table, throwing out LOADS of obsolete paperwork and bringing in a futon which has been taking up space elsewhere
  • strip out the hot press and get rid of any clothes I don’t wear regularly or that have shrunk, I’ll be passing these on where possible and not throwing them out. Items gone beyond repair will become cleaning rags!
  • strip out the upstairs bathroom including the wash stand and basin, it is too high and the tap is not actually working now. This is in preparation for my glamorous new double sinks and cabinets which are currently on the kitchen floor but at this stage I’m wondering if they are actually a little big for the upstairs space, oh dear
  • putting spare duvets and pillows into the vacuum storage bags I invested in ages ago, this will also tidy up the vacuum bags!
  • changing the door curtain between the dining room and my office
  • writing up some sample social media related workshop descriptions to present to the VEC and other local adult education organisations
  • check and give feed back re a friend’s blog

From the felting perspective I’ll be…..

  • adding some new kits (in wonderful colours!) and finished items to Etsy. Now that I’m felting quite a lot of smaller items for Borris Market each week I’ve decided to bite the bullet and go back to selling product as well as supplies on Etsy. I’m not sure that Big Cartel is working for me even though I do like the layout and look of my store, have any of you got any other ideas???
  • continuing with my studio clear out and reorganisation
  • collating all the email addresses of felting friends whose business cards I have collected over the last 4 years. I’m planning to put them in my Gmail address book and then get rid of all the floating cards (I’ll gather them as I tidy), pretty as they may be I can never find them when I actually need them!

Finally over the next 3 days Jan, Dawn and I will be confirming details and prices for the felting workshops I will be facilitating in Lexington KY and Plainwell MI during May, I just can’t wait to be back in both places!!!!! My Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival workshops have also been confirmed (wey, hey!!!) and I hope that they will be available to book online through the festival website sometime later this week too. For the moment please visit the workshop page if you would like to book your places with Jan and Dawn, here is a shortened excerpt of the workshops to give you a sneak preview of what we’ll be covering! (I’ve designed the workshops so that participants will get the maximum amount of benefit from attending both days, in certain circumstances it will be possible just to come for one so don’t panic if you aren’t available on both days, just have a word with Jan or Dawn.)

‘Fantastic Felt Inspired by the Natural and Built Environment’

Let the shapes, forms, colours, patterns, textures and structures of the natural and built environment fire your imagination! During this two-day workshop participants will design and create their own unique and beautiful wearable, functional or decorative pieces of felt using nature and the man-made landscape for inspiration. Some participants may choose to create a purely decorative art piece such as a complex vessel, sculpture or wall hanging while others may decide to design and felt some wearable art or interior accent, possibly a bag, some jewellery, some nuno felt or maybe a framed landscape or table runner.

There will be time to experiment and discover techniques or materials over the two days that you may have never considered using in your felting before. Nicola will be bringing some of her favourite mohair off cuts for everyone to try out and will share with participants how she is currently using free machine embroidery selectively to accentuate design elements in some of her new bags and framed landscapes. She’ll also demonstrate the use of an electric sander during some stages of the felting process and speak about the possibilities of fulling nuno felt using the tumble dryer, Nicola doesn’t use a sander all the time herself but sometimes it can really help with certain tasks and it is definitely useful to know when this might apply. The tumble dryer technique is wonderful for difficult to felt fabrics and to eliminate all the traditional rubbing and rolling, it’s not for everyone but it is fantastic to speed up the process especially if you have a bad back or other health issues so again, another technique it can be handy to know about!


‘Pick up your Needles’ and yesterday’s nuno felting workshop

Before I post about the brilliant nuno felting day we had here at Clasheen yesterday (promise to continue with the complex felt bag weekend tomorrow!) just let me remind you of the event where I will be facilitating the wet felting workshop next weekend.

PICK UP YOUR NEEDLES –  a fun day of fibre craft!

Sunday 21st Feb – The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co Wicklow

1 Day Workshop @ €55 incl all materials and complimentary tea/coffee and homemade cookies throughout the day!  Full payment taken upon booking through

KNITTING: Beginners will learn the basics of knitting and start a project. Improvers will learn to design a unique hat, work on finishing techniques or learn cable and lace stitches. You can also bring along any knitting project that you would like assistance with.
Tutor: Stephanie Kennedy

CROCHET: Beginners will learn the basics of crochet and start a project to work on at home. Improvers will learn classical Tunisian crochet and start a bag or a hat in this exiting technique. You can also bring along any crochet project that you would like assistance with.
Tutor: Irene Lundgaard

WET FELTING: Felt your own fingerless mittens! In the AM experiment with different colour combinations of fibre and in the PM design and make a gorgeous pair of warm fingerless mittens. Suitable for both beginners and improver felters.
Tutor: Nicola Brown

PICK UP YOUR NEEDLES but DROP THE SPINDLE FIRST!: Make smooth and lumpy-bumpy yarn from commercial and raw fibers using the drop spindle; preparing raw fleece for spinning or dying and spinning wheel demonstration. No experience necessary but you are welcome to bring spindles, wheels or fibers you already have.
Tutor: Catherine Cronin

Should any of you following my fibre adventures be anywhere near Tinahely on 21st these sessions are a fabulous way of getting your fibre fix at an absolutely rock bottom price and in the company of many interesting, funny and talanted people!  Why not drop along and check us out???

Sylvia's fabric, merino and glass brooch

Alison's fabric, merino and glass brooch

Now on to this weekend’s workshop!  I had a brilliant time yesterday with Sylvia, Alison and Ann as we explored the basics of nuno felting a scarf.  To get the day off to a cracking start everyone made a brooch incorporating fabric, merino and a small glass nugget.  What is absolutely fascinating to note is how different all the brooches turned out to be considering that the fabric was cut from the same length, the glass nuggets were the same colour and only the merino was a different colour in each of the experiments!  We spent a long time examing some of my own nuno felt and talked about the pluses and minuses of using various types of natural and artificial fabric.  Eventually Ann decided to work with one of Lyda Rump’s beautiful hand dyed silk chiffon scarves while Sylvia and Alison both choose larger lengths of dark violet and turquoise silk respectively. 

Ann with her stunning nuno felt scarf and fabric, merino and glass brooch

Until I went outside with Ann and Alison to take some pictures of their work I had no idea that Ann was wearing this apple green top under her fleece.  Look how perfectly her nuno felt scarf compliments her colouring and really looks fresh and springlike against the apple green top!  Alison decided to make her scarf for her mother (but possibly she may keep it for herself!!) and was concentrating on texture and movement within the design.  Check out my Flickr photos to see her wearing the finished scarf but for the moment here is a shot of the beautiful finbished texture.