Lexington workshop details for 23rd and 24th May announced and CA dates confirmed!

I’m delighted to say that I’ll be back teaching at The Tin Thimble in Loomis CA on 2nd, 3rd and 4th May. I absolutely love the time I spend here catching up with old friends, meeting new fibre fanatics, facilitating workshops and staying with the most wonderful and welcoming hosts, Sharon, Mark, Dawn, Morry, Jan, Bruce and Kevin, you’re the best!!! Over the next few days I’ll be finalising class descriptions for Loomis and Plainwell (9th and 10th) plus confirming what I’ll be teaching at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival (17th and 18th). Woo hoo, watch out US, here I come again!

In addition to my regular slot at the KSFF I’m back for the fourth time facilitating workshops for the wonderful Jan Durham in Lexington. This two day workshop (one day by arrangement) happens on 23rd and 24th May, there is also a possibility of an additional afternoon/evening class on 22nd, more about that another time! I’m really excited that we’ll be felting on Saturday and having a full day natural printing on sunday, here’s the full workshop description and an example of a naturally printed wrap. Please email Jan if you would like more information and to book your place!

May also be used as a wall hanging or a throw

Silk, merino, bamboo and Firestar nuno felt wrap, naturally printed with eucalyptus leaves, onion skins and tea leaves

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 felt 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!

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

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My first food colour dyed nuno scarf, American update and one space available next Wednesday to learn nuno felting!

As promised here are some more musings re my first  hand dyed nuno scarf experiment.  Once I had zapped the scarf in the  microwave for the second 5 minute session I left it in the bowl to cool down a little bit.  As soon as it was cooler to handle I rinsed it out under running water before spinning with a damp towel and then hanging it up to dry. 

My first scarf dyed with food colouring

Contrasting textures

I absolutely adore the mohair locks combined with the nuno texture but wouldn’t include the corn fibres again for this type of work.  As mentioned before I did know that they would not dye with the food colouring but because I intended the scarf to be various shades of blue and green I thought that the fibres would add a nice touch, I actually think that they don’t!  I am happy however with the blending of the green and yellow colours which was carefully planned and not an accident by any means, oh ye of little faith!!  The scarf seems to be amazingly soft after the process and I really don’t know if the dying altered the handle of the nuno felt or if it is just the addition of the mohair locks.  Dying with food colouring is something that I will experiment with a little further as it was quick, safe and only required items already here in my house (except obviously the food colouring itself!).
At the moment I am just trying to finalise the Michigan leg of my US felting trip this October.  As soon as I have confirmed news I will post here and sort out the Californian and Oregan side of things, I can’t wait!!!
I am teaching a nuno felting workshop here at Clasheen next Wednesday and due to the arrival of my new tables this morning (HURRAH!) have one space available for the day.  Please email me asap if you are interested in attending.  The cost is E75 for the day including materials and ongoing tea or coffee, silk fabric is a little extra (you can use cotton gauze or muslin if preferred) depending on whether you go for hand dyed or commercial silk.

Workshop details and photos of new nuno felted wrap/shrug!

At last I can post more details for Sigrid Bannier’s exciting August workshops!  All the workshops will take place either on site or within walking distance of my studio and farmhouse here at Clasheen, Borris, Co. Carlow.  Inexpensive self catering accomodation will be available at my neighbours newly renovated farmhouse (only 1 minutes walk!!) or participants can organise to stay in B&Bs locally or the one high quality hotel within a 5 minutes drive.  All workshop costs include materials and tea and coffee throughout the day, please bring a packed lunch with you or you can walk through the fields to the local shop if you want to get something basic to eat.  I really think that this will be a FANTASTIC series of workshops.  Sigrid is a great facilitator and so generous with her knowledge, I hope that as many of you as possible will take this opportunity of investing in your felting future and as they say here in Ireland ‘the craic will be mighty’!

Anyway, here are the details and please note that if you want to participate in two workshops there will be a €10 reduction or if you wish to join us and felt for three or four workshops a €30 reduction will apply.  Please also note that the mosaic nuno day is more expensive in order to cover the cost of the silk chiffon we will be using.  A non refundable charge of 50% of the workshop price is payable with your booking to secure your place and the balance to be paid by 29th July.

5th August – Mosaic nuno felt  – Discover the possibilities of creating your own unique fabric for clothing using the mosaic nuno technique. €90

6th August – Incorporating found objects into your felt – Learn how to incorporate natural and found objects into your felt whether as a focal point in a piece of jewellery or to add embellishment to flat felt or 3 dimensional bags and sculpture. €85

7th August – Incorporating found objects into your felt  – Learn how to incorporate natural and found objects into your felt whether as a focal point in a piece of jewellery or to add embellishment to flat felt or 3 dimensional bags and sculpture. €85 

8th and 9th August – Felt lampshades – a two day workshop – Sigrid’s pictures speak for themselves if you want to learn how to plan, design and create quirky and stylish lampshades or wall lights! €160

Sigrid's flower explosion lampshade

Sigrid's flower explosion lampshade

Nuno mosaic scarves made at a workshop Sigrid tutored in Italy

Nuno mosaic scarves made at a workshop Sigrid tutored in Italy

Please email asap or call me on 00353 (0)87 2789740 if you wish to reserve your place!

And now on to some pictures of my latest nuno felt project, a simple but striking lightweight wrap or shrug.  This developed from an idea that I had when creating some flower corsages the other evening; what would happen if I enlarged the size of my circle, cut out a wedge as per the corsages and then manipulated the felt into a collar or shrug??? 
'Peony' - my new nuno felt wrap

'Peony' - my new nuno felt wrap

I was thrilled with the results and here I present my second shrug which I have called ‘Peony’.  The photos really don’t do the colours justice (it was overcast and raining when I shot them) but I thought that you might like to give this a go for yourselves when you see how simple it is!  Check out my Flickr images for the side and back view and please email me some pictures if you give this a go yourselves!!