Thanks to all my friends and family who attended the opening of the Winter Exhibition at Kozo Gallery in Thomastown yesterday. Special thanks to my mother Lynette, my sisters Suzanne and Lizzy, my partner Alan and my friends Cathy, Martin, Eileen, Remmy, Duncan and Helena who all make the effort to attend, a great turnout! The exhibition continues until 31st January and as work is sold I can replace it with newer pieces. A second opening has also been organised for 6th December and another 5 artists are joining us then in the run up to Christmas. This was the first time that Kozo have invited artists to participate in an open selection and the work seemed to be very favourably received by both the public and the press.
With all the coming and going over the last few days I decided to felt something simple and quick this morning, prefelts seemed the obvious choice. I had promised my students that I would have some prepared for their next lesson and of course as soon as I started making them I have been having all sorts of wild ideas of what I myself would like to use them for. Now I want to spend all my time preparing some funky colour schemes and know that I will be in a frenzy over the next few days to prepare a wide selection of colours! For those of you not sure what I mean by prefelt it is a piece of felt in the making which you stop fulling and shrinking as soon as the fibres are holding together into an obvious piece of fabric. This lightly felted piece can then be cut into any shape and laid on top of loose wool roving or batts, wet out and felted fully as normal. The big advantage of using prefelt in a design is that because it has already started to mesh together into a fabric your design edges will be very clean cut and sometimes this is exactly what you require. Anyway, I am having fun making quite large pieces in solid colours (so far!) and embellishing part of each prefelt heavily with either tussah or mulberry silk. Tomorrow I will continue making some more pieces and on Tuesday or Wednesday start cutting some of them up to use in some vessels I have been brooding over!!
Just a quick post today as I have a mountain of tidying to do before my first evening course starts tomorrow!! The opening of Breaking Out was fantastic, thanks to everyone who came and to all of you who have left comments on the blog. It was very interesting to see that there was work from 3 felt artists on display, it really seems to be the up and comming craft at the moment. Marika Miklosi Manning had very sculptural pendants and vessels, Nicola Farrell showed 3 large discs of felt (hung on the wall) and I had 4 neck pieces and the rug I made with Mehmet Girgic in September. Overall the exhibition was brilliantly curated by Ann Mulrooney and it is well worth a visit if you are anywhere near Kilkenny. As Micki has mentioned in her comments, Kilkenny Castle is definitely a place to see and the 2 exhibition galleries are housed in the old coach yard of the Castle, beautiful light filled spaces. Other selected exhibitors include ceramicists, jewellery makers, textile artists, wood workers, reclycled paper artists, metal workers and glass makers so it would be true to say that there will be something to excite everyone interested in cutting edge craft.
On Saturday I am going to pop down and take some images of my work on display, then I will upload them to the blog. I actually did an interview with a reporter this morning (her paper was emailed an image of me with my work at the opening) so I am going to be featured in the Carlow People next week, yipee!
My Etsy shop WILL be up and running early next week I promise. My biggest problem over the last week and a half is the sheer volume of organising I have had to do to get my tax returns sorted (not exactly sorted yet) and to prepare the house for my first class of students. This has all been on top of trying to prepare work for my next exhibition, the deadline for this work is mid next week so I am sure you can all imagine how hyper I am!!
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.