Nuno felt scarves!

Today's workshop was great fun but HARD work, nuno felting is always an interesting process involving a gentle touch initially coupled with plenty of rubbing and rolling then finally some aggressive throwing to loosen up tight muscles and encourage the felt to shrink! I'm going to upload a picture rich post today, plenty to see from the lovely colours and work produced, my brain is too tired to write many words though. Drool over the supplies and colours so kindly provided by Alpaca Fiber Solutions and be amazed by the beautiful scarves the ladies all felted!!! I don't have a picture yet of the Nuno samples Chris was working on or Jan's finished scarf, I'll try and take pics of them tomorrow.

Alpaca locks ready at the start of the day
Silk fabric and embellishing fibres
My samples ready to show how some of the fibres look when felted
Carolyn, Nancy and Julie laying out their scarves
Pat's scarf in the foreground, Jan laying a scarf and Chris working on some samples
Chris's first sample underway
Julie's first ever piece of wet felt ready to embellish, it's the top scarf in the following picture!
BEAUTIFUL colours and textures in theses four finished scarves! Alpaca is wonderfully soft but doesn't travel through the silk to the same extent that merino would, this gives a highly textured effect on the reverse side but of course I forgot to take a photo of this, sorry!
Pat, Carolyn, Julie, Jan and Nancy
Pat modelling her stunning scarf!
To end the day some of us headed over to show Roo and Elizabeth what had been felted during the workshop using their beautiful fibre. I'll leave you with a picture of the ladies at the Alpaca Fiber Solutions booth (we say stand at home), the light is not the best but I think you can get the idea. From left to right……… Nancy, Julie, Elizabeth, Roo, Pat and Carolyn, see you tomorrow ladies!!!
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

A few pictures from day one felting in Plainwell!

I'm too tired and relaxed to write anything tonight but some stunning projects were well underway and Jan's beautiful silk, merino and banana fibre nuno felt scarf was finished at the end of day one of our Plainwell felting workshop. Here are a few pictures taken as the day progressed, enjoy!

 

 

My Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival workshops 2013

I accidentally deleted the previous post as I was just about to publish so forgive me now if I'm brief.

On Saturday 18th May I'll be facilitating a full day nuno scarf/neckpiece workshop at the KSFF and on Sunday 19th a half day fun felt flower class, two classes if we get enough sign ups over the next couple of months! Roo Kline from Moonwood Farm is sponsoring the yummy hand dyed alpaca and delicious embellishing fibres we'll be using for the nuno felt workshop and I'll be bringing some of my favourite short fibre merino from Ireland as well as a selection of different fabrics for participants to choose from. Thanks to Roo's very generous sponsorship this class will only cost $100 per participant including all fibre, fabric and embellishing materials, thanks Roo!!!.

The short fibre merino I'm bringing with me is also what we'll be working with for the flowers on Sunday, here's a picture of some which were completed during the 2012 classes, so stunning and colourful. The price for the flower workshop is $30 per person plus $10 for the materials, participants can expect to make 3 flowers each during the class!

 

Keep an eye out on the KSFF website as booking for all their great classes should be possible shortly, as soon as I know that it's live there I'll post a link here on my workshop page.

 

Alpaca nuno felt neckpiece

Since meeting Roo Kline of Moonwood Farm at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival last May I’ve often meant to work with the fabulous samples of alpaca fibre she gave me, I never seemed to find the right moment however as 2012 just seemed to be so crazy and I wanted time to think of something nice that I would felt for myself! I often took the bag of lusciously soft alpaca out of my special stash box but until today when I also pulled out some deep purple ponge silk from another box at almost the same time I couldn’t make my mind up what to make.

Luscious hand dyed alpaca locks and shimmery firestar laid out on top of rich purple ponge silk

Anyway, suddenly the hot oranges and purply pinks of the alpaca called out to the rich purple silk, immediately I decided to felt a small neckpiece and couldn’t be happier with the result. Susan McFarland of Susan’s Fiber Shop gave me a gift of some glittery bits at the festival too, amazingly the colours matched the alpaca perfectly so this really is a Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival neckpiece!

The pic below will give you an idea of what the finished neckpiece is like, I couldn’t get a great shot however because the light was fading and the wind was rising. I’ll be teaching nuno felting at the festival this year so if you’re interested in felting something similar why not come along and join me? Next week I’ll felt a simple closure and include a beautiful large glass bead made my Toni Lutman in CA, I didn’t take a pic of the bead yet but the colours just sing against the purple and orangy gold.

Alpaca, firestar and ponge silk neckpiece

Nuno felt wrap and scarves

The weather has been a lot brighter today after a very wet start this morning, good news for me as it meant that I could snap a few pics outside of my nuno scarves and the wrap I felted earlier this week.

Simple scarf combining ponge silk, merino and silk throwster's waste

Simple scarf combining ponge silk, merino and silk throwster’s waste

I’ll start with one of a simple scarf, this was felted combining ponge silk with some of Leiko’s beautiful hand dyed superfine merino and embellished with hand dyed silk throwster’s waste, a welcome Christmas present from Carmen. I love teaching this scarf as a beginner’s nuno felting project, it’s always successful and such a beautiful way to learn a new technique! The second picture is of a large mosaic style scarf felted combining my own hand dyed cotton gauze (dyed under the watchful eye of Jan Durham and written up in this post last spring!), more of Leiko’s merino and a whole selection of different weights of silk fabric. Good friend Carole buys silk pieces by the weight in the US and then we do a swap for mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill, Cushendale is a wonderful source of locally produced knitting yarn and weaving just down the road from me here at Clasheen. I totally forgot that I needed to send Carole another pack of these goodies so many apologies, I’ll head over to Philip Cushen next week and get them in the post to you asap.

Mosaic style nuno felt scarf

Mosaic style nuno felt scarf

Anyway, I also had a small pack of beautiful hand dyed teeswater locks and some firestar fibre in my favourite shades of acidic green, it’s strange to say that although I’m not a glitzy kind of gal at all I really do love the sheen and shimmer from the firestar!!! The printed silk in this scarf was part of my stash from the US, in fact I remember buying it in the Salvation Army on a foray with Sharon of the Tin Thimble but it could just as easily have been from one of the many trips I made with great friends Dawn or Merridee either, I LOVE these silk gathering events!

Firestar adds a shimmer in places

Firestar adds a shimmer in places

If you’re interested in seeing more images of these pieces plus some photos of a large green wrap I made on Tuesday please check out this album on FB and do like Nicola Brown – Clasheen while you’re over there, only of course if you do like what you see!!!

Cow hair, scarf closures and important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’

I need to confess, the raw fleece and cow hair iPad cover I felted the other day was not a success, in fact, I could go so far as to say it was a big disaster!!! Cow hair is very slippery and likes to protrude through the layers of wool in any project, I did know this from previous experience and was happy to use it to my advantage in the little vessel pictured.

Back CameraWhat I did for this narrow mouthed vessel was lay the hair against my plastic resist, encase everything in several layers of lamb’s wool then felt them together. The hair worked its way through to the outside during the felting process and ended up as an interesting surface detail, I love this piece. For some lunatic reason however I decided to include cow hair in the iPad cover even though I was able to predict a hairy interior, stupid! I loved the idea of raw fleece and cow hair combined but unfortunately the resultant felt is shedding like crazy both on the outside and the inside of the cover. The soap I used, the felting net, the utility room and my kitchen are covered in loose strands of the hair days later, you know by now how much I HATE cleaning and tidying so you can imagine how thrilled that makes me feel!

Anyway, yesterday I knuckled down to felt 23 flowers with ring backs with a lot more success, these are multi functional acting as colourful scarf closures and are also one of the components of my flower bolo.

IMG_4530The flower bolo has proved to be a best seller since I came up with the design prior to my trip to the wonderful Tin Thimble last September. It may be worn in several different ways and as all my stock of them sold in the run up to Christmas I decided to felt more for both the studio and design shop at Duckett’s Grove when we reopen the first weekend in February. It was really nice to work with bright, cheery colours for the flowers and I’ve continued this theme today while working on some nuno felt, pics tomorrow, weather permitting.

Finally for today, I just wanted to let you all know some important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’. Due to circumstances beyond my control I regret that from this point forwards purchasers will no longer be able to get a free set of templates for Chrissie’s designs when they order the book. This was a unilateral descision taken by Chrissie, she is however making them available from her at an additional cost of £2.50 per template.

Undercover!

I’ve been undercover all day today, no Internet at all as I’m trying to get as much felting done as possible before I crash out with exhaustion! The sum total of my finished work so far is one VERY long silk and merino scarf plus two nuno felt scarves. Yesterday I facilitated a social media workshop which was full on but good fun, hope the participants thought so too!!! I’ll link through to their relevant Facebook pages tomorrow and you can have a look at their respective art/craft practices. For now I’m heading to eat my lunch/supper (rolled into one!), 4 cheese tortellini accompanied by a warm baby beet and pink grapefruit salad. No email or Facebook action today so apologies to anyone expecting a response, I’ll be back to speed tomorrow evening I hope.

Day one of our felting workshops starts tomorrow!

I’m having an early night tonight in order to be in top form for the first of three days teaching at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA tomorrow. This morning I woke up at 3.40am and just couldn’t get back to sleep, too many ideas sparked by the wonderful supplies from the studio and obviously a little bit of jet lag doesn’t help the cause either. Already I’ve been having a fantastic time catching up with old friends. In the morning I’ll be meeting some good online friends in person for the first time, that’s going to be exciting too!!! I’ll try and post some pics to FB as we go along during the workshops.

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A wonderful collection of eucalyptus!

As part of my own preparation for 7 days of intensive teaching I wanted to have the materials gathered for my personal work during this time. Obviously I’ll be working one to one with Rami but while he’s laying out pieces and generally discovering all the joys of the various felting techniques I’ll get a certain amount if time to do my own thing. At the beginning of the week I’ve attachments to prepare for a large sculptural piece and some Eco printing and dyeing to do then I plan to lay out a large nuno felt garment incorporating some of the silks and prefelts that I’ll already have printed. The workshop proper will run from 10am until late afternoon each day and after we’ve eaten each evening I’ll be back in the studio felting, Rami will be free to join me if he’s not already mentally and physically exhausted, I also have a list of reading material for him to go through so I think I’ll be keeping him on his toes! I’m going to leave you today with a picture I love, me and my god son Jack gathering eucalyptus leaves and bark (from a variety of different trees) in his grandparents garden, thanks Sharon, Jack, Betty and Jack senior for all your help and the gift of the wonderful vegetation!!!

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‘Helping Herd’ collaged wrap and you’re invited to a studio and tea rooms open night at Duckett’s Grove

Yesterday I spent time felting a large nuno collage wrap, this was my contribution to the Helping Herd fundraiser which actually took place earlier in the summer.

Nuno collage ready to felt

The winning bidder (thanks Janet for being so patient!) likes purples, pinks, blues and cool based tones so I gathered a selection of plain and printed silks (recognise one of the patterns Dawn?) and laid out my design on a base of purple cotton gauze and purple and pink short fibred merino. I included some gold printed crinkled silk, it was actually from a very expensive skirt I bought myself a couple of years before I started felting but never wore, I just love the fact that it’s possible to rework fabrics and create something totally new that hopefully will be appreciated and used for years to come.

Leiko modelling the finished wrap

These large wraps may also be hung on the wall or draped on the table and used as a decorative runner. I’ve actually started hanging some up in Duckett’s Grove and they really add a splash of colour to the whitewashed walls. Speaking of Duckett’s Grove, Emma, Michael and Jackie, Madeleine and I will all be staying open until 7pm on Saturday 25th of August to celebrate our first few weeks successfully operating from the ‘Courtyard at Duckett’s Grove‘! From 5pm onwards each of the studios will offer a complimentary glass of wine or something similar to set the tone and we’re all hoping to have special offers on the night and let everyone know that both studios and tea rooms are well and truly open for business!!! Do come along and please feel free to bring your friends, an official event page will be up on facebook as soon as I get a minute to actually get it organised.