Eco printed nuno felt top

It's full steam ahead at Clasheen, felting and eco printing will be on the agenda from now until I head to the U.S. and I'm really trying to restrict answering emails and the bulk my internet time until after well after lunch each day if at all possible. I'm always freshest brain wise in the mornings, if I postpone starting a new project until too late in the day my head is so full of ideas I often find that I just can't actually get started, especially if it's felting.

rose and bramble printed nuno felt top

Yesterday morning I made a nuno felt top, it was actually the first time that I'd used Crepe de Chine 14 as the fabric (combined with merino, silk, bamboo and Firestar) and I like the finished texture very much. This is not a cheap fabric but I'd several ginormous silk scarves 138cm square and actually felt that they were so large it made them difficult to wear.

Large rose leaves give a very definite print

I printed it in the afternoon using rose and bramble leaves, now all it needs is a little stitching up the sides and it's finished.

 

 

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Busy times at Clasheen

Apologies for the lack of posting here and to Facebook recently, since arriving home from Showcase I've had a lot of paperwork and eco printing to do, bringing home the dreaded flu bug definitely didn't help. Tomorrow I've a product photo shoot so I'm sure many of you can imagine the tidying and prepping I needed to get through today, tidiness is not one of my strengths!!! Anyway, here're a couple of pictures of a little silk twin set that I included in the printing pot the other day, I've happy memories of finding it on a thrifting expedition in Sacramento with Sharon from The Tin Thimble last spring!

Silk twinset eco printed with onion skins

I included some dried rose hips in the bundle there's absolutely no sign of them in the printed cardigan, the stronger pinkish blush comes from overlapping brown onion skins predominately although there were a few red skins in the mix too.

Close up of the lace, it took. The colour differently because it is not made from pure silk

This week I hope to have my wood gasifier delivered. I can't wait to have a brand new central heating system installed that will actually run the underfloor heating, the cost of oil is soooooo huge here in Ireland that it's totally impossible for me to run the old boiler efficiently and heat the house. Next week I've two guests staying for a tailor made intensive felting and eco printing workshop, let's hope that the heating is working before they arrive and we can have a fun time felting and printing in comfort!

 

Brief studio update and rose eco prints on silk and felt

You might be forgiven for thinking that I'm not working on anything in the studio currently, nothing could be further from the truth though. I've a felt sculpture underway, I just won't be publishing pictures of it as I'm felting some sample pieces for Showcase and want to get things worked out in my head before actually sharing any of the photos. There're a lot of website, video and branding details getting sorted out too at the moment and I've made final decisions about the carpet and wall colours for my stand at Creative Island. Peter Martin and his assistant Eamon were here to shoot the video for the new website earlier this week and Patrick McHugh visited the same day also. We're planning a fashion shoot for early in 2015 and he's also designing the website in advance of Showcase, busy times!

I've a few favourite plants at Clasheen that I love to print with, a small climbing rose, blackberries from the lane, oak from the plantation and eucalyptus from the young grove at the back to the house. Here're a few rose related pictures………..

Rose leaves soaking in rusty water

 

Rose leaves eco printed on silk satin

 

Rose leaves eco printed on felt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting website news, thanks, ticket giveaway and a brief event update.

It’s controlled mania here preparing for next weekend’s Marlay Fair, the National Crafts & Design Fair which is set up just two days after Marlay ends plus Creative Island at Showcase in January. Everything is coming along nicely thanks to a structured plan, plenty of long but fun working days and lots of help when needed from good buddy George.

Eco printing at Clasheen

She’s great at keeping me on track finishing printed pieces and happy to be a sounding board when I ramble on about all the detritus involved in preparing for a major show.

Eco printed wrap by Nicola Brown

Eucalyptus leaves and bark on a large felt wrap, one of my pieces that is heading to the RDS fair

I’ve several pairs of tickets to giveaway for Thursday 4th and Friday 5th at the RDS, please email me your full name and address ASAP if you would like me to pop some in the post for you, first come, first served!

Eco print on felt by Nicola Brown

Oak leaves on nuno felt, another scarf heading to Dublin

I’m also very busy at the moment collating information for my new selling website, this will be launched in January in advance of Showcase and I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved who has helped me get to this stage in my business and is currently helping make this vision a reality.

  • Frances McDonald – excellent craft mentor who has acted as a sounding board all year. Thanks too Frances for your generous mention recently on Craft Words, much appreciated!
  • Emer Ferran, Mary Whelan, Emma McGrath and team, ongoing support and feedback from the DCCoI, especially in relation to Showcase preparation and providing one to one mentoring with Eddie Shannahan
  • Carlow Local Enterprise Office – 1000 thanks for approving my grant application for the web voucher scheme, none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been approved
  • Eddie Shanahan – retail, branding and marketing guru, clearly saw within minutes of meeting how I could pull the three separate strands of my artistic practice together, a fabulous help and the person who introduced me to Patrick
  • Patrick McHugh – wonderful fashion photographer and super duper website designer, a pleasure to work with
  • Peter Martin – quirky film maker and videographer, can’t wait to have a short video for the website to help communicate my making process
  • Greg Dorney – excellent product photographer

Ok, one final picture before I head back to the printing studio, professional photographers avert your eyes!

Oak leaves eco printed on silk satin by Nicola Brown

My own oak leaves printed on silk satin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article from yesterday’s Sunday Business Post

Thank you Margaret O'Brien for featuring me in yesterday's 'Made in Ireland' article in the interiors section of the Sunday Business Post Magazine! As plans progress for 'Creative Island' at Showcase 2015 it's good know that I'm heading in the correct direction with my naturally printed felt throws and large squishy feather filled cushions. This month I'll be felting like crazy and also printing heavy quality silk and wool yardage ready to be sewn into more of the cushion covers. Luckily I have an excellent seamstress living locally, if I didn't I'd be in a bit of a state by now, sewing really isn't my forte!

 

Wonderful hats from Dawn Edwards’s amazing nuno felt hat workshops and a selection of photos from the past week!!!

It's been a whirlwind of activity since Dawn's arrival in Ireland last week, both days of nuno felt hat making went like a dream, congratulations to all the participants who felted such amazing hats and thanks to Dawn for her fabulous teaching!!! Here are some highlights from the last seven days, more pics to follow later in the week.

The Raven, a beautiful beach with forest parallel to the dunes
Dawn about to dive into the Irish Sea!
Roaming the dunes
A marvellous find in Wexford town, expensive but then I've always wanted a copper boiler for natural printing!!!
Anita's hat all ready to rub
A mossy looking masterpiece
Some happy participants at the end of the first workshop
Wow Maureen!
This hat is titled 'leftie', all wool laid out with my left hand just to prove to Maureen that I could!!!
Here's the finished hat modelled by Maria, thanks!
Beautiful hats and beautiful smiles all round
Fab assistant Niki Collier's hat from day two on the left, mine on the right, thanks for all your help Niki!
A detail shot, hand painted silk with merino peeking though

 

A tidy printing and dyeing studio?

Work progresses slowly but surely on organising the garage as an efficient storage space cum printing and dyeing studio. Thanks to buddy George some of the larger items that were stored there have now been shifted and delivered to new homes, I've also taken the decision to sell (at a good discount!) some lovely hand made jute/hessian tool belts and fishermans smocks which I've been holding on to for sentimental reasons. These are stock that I held on to from a previous lifetime, I'm planning to post some pictures to my personal FB page later today so if anyone local is interested in any of them I'll bring them in my truck to Borris Food & Craft Market tomorrow morning.

On the felt and naturally printed side of things, I'll be bringing this silk/wool blend printed wrap to Borris too, I've a few sculptures in the pipeline, my last five silk scarves to wash out and iron in time for tomorrow, a selection of new fabrics ordered to print over the festive period and yesterday I updated my Showcase profile with new text and images. I'll leave you today with an image of a large nuno felt wrap/throw and a small silk cushion, this one is printed with rose and blackberry leaves from my garden with a little bit of onion in the dye pot.