Loomis and Plainwell workshop pictures, launch of FORM!!!

Internet time has been limited recently as I spend time with friends and facilitate workshops here in the US. I'm not going to write many words today but rather get you up to speed via pictures! I would like to mention though that our new Carlow based design led craft group 'FORM' launches tonight in Visual, I'm sorry that I won't be there myself but someone has to have fun, felt and travel in the US!!!

 

Now for some workshop pictures from The Tin Thimble in Loomis……..
….. and a selection from last weekend's Plainwell workshop! Do head over to the album I've set up on my Facebook page and have a look at all the pics, it's impossible to show every one of them here so this is just a representative sample. Enjoy!!!
Thanks sooooo much to Sharon, Mark, Hannah, Emma and all at The Tin Thimble and Dawn and Morry in Plainwell for your fabulous organisational skills and warm hospitality, I had a blast as always!!!!!
 
 

 

Pictures from The Tin Thimble and I’m on my way to Portugal!

I've been promising for the last week that I'll blog about my three amazing days teaching at The Tin Thimble, this year my workshops were part of their wonderful Felt Fest, an event not to be missed next year if you live anywhere within shouting distance! It was a totally inspiring experience to be part of this annual festival, each day up to 7 tutors strut their stuff, the participants were such fun and I loved meeting up with all my usual friends as well as meeting new fibre addicts that previously I've only known online.

Unfortunately I really don't have time to write about each day individually (I'm at the airport waiting for my flight to Portugal!) but I am going to share some pictures and let you see for yourselves how much fun we had and some of the beautiful felt created during my classes. I'll also upload other pics to my facebook page, hopefully before we board the plane but if not sometime over the next few days. Thanks to all my students, you were WONDERFUL as always, thanks Sharon, Emma, Mark, Lisa and Robert for making me feel as if I'd arrived home one more!

PS I'm not sure how good the Internet reception will be for our felting extravaganza at Dominio Vale do Mondego, I'll blog and upload pics to Facebook whenever I can but please bear with me if I can't do so every day, last year the connection was sketchy to say the least.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Tin Thimble!

On Sunday I promised to update you on all my upcoming May workshops in the States, today I’ll start with the wonderful Tin Thimble in Loomis CA, next post I’ll be writing about my workshops with the marvellous Dawn Edwards in Plainwell MI and the final post of the week will be about Lexington KY where I’m staying once again with great friend Jan! You’ve probably guessed by now how much I’m looking forward to this trip by the number of superlatives and exclamation marks in recent posts, forgive me if they seem a bit excessive but I am so excited to be heading back to stay with Dawn, Jan, Emma, Sharon and Mark!!!

This is the first time that I’ve actually managed to time my visit to The Tin Thimble to coincide with their annual fibre extravaganza, as a result I’m delighted to be included in the line up for Felt Fest 2013. I’ll be facilitating three full days of workshops with individual topics each day, obviously participants attending for 2 or 3 days may expect to tackle larger and more challanging projects over the duration of the festival. Full details of all the workshops are on The Tin Thimble’s website, I hope to see you there!!!!!

Felt Fest 2013

Felt Fest 2013

A short little film from The Tin Thimble!

Thanks to Maggie Celeste Worden for filming some of the felting workshops I facilitated at The Tin Thimble last September, Maggie's now posted the edited video to YouTube so if you'd like a look here's the link. It's really a snapshot from several days, a little of the nuno felting, some other snippets and a few nice shots of The Tin Thimble itself. Thanks Maggie!

 

Home, natural dyeing/printing, unexpected presentation taking up my time…..

I’m home safely after a wonderful time in California! It was great to be back at The Tin Thimble catching up with old friends both before, during and after the three days of workshops plus put faces to the friends I’ve previously been in touch with through the blog, FB and various other forms of social media, I’m not going to mention everyone by name but you all know who you are!!! My intention had been to write a long and proper post yesterday about the workshops and my trip with Merridee and Keith to Lake Tahoe, unfortunately I just don’t have the time so apologies in advance to those of you who were expecting all the low down about the exciting work that was created during my three days of teaching. An unexpected opportunity arose while I was away (thanks Paula for getting in touch to alert me!) so yesterday I had to make a presentation in relation to an exciting art project and this morning I got a call asking me to come back in tomorrow and discuss a few of the points raised during this session. Fingers crossed everything will work out, I’ll keep you posted once I know the outcome!

My own naturally printed chiffon with goodies I bought at The Tin Thimble, glass beads by Toni Lutman and beautiful hand dyed merino by Carin Engen and Laurie Simoni

As regards other work since I’ve been home I printed two lengths of silk chiffon on Monday evening then last night I filled two pots with silk and leaves in preparation for a natural printing and dyeing session today. One of the pots contained a tea solution, the other a vinegar and water mix. I’ve now bundled everything up and all the pieces are simmering on the Rayburn, most of the bundles contain a variety of eucalyptus leaves but two I wrapped using Cotinus leaves from my garden. I also sprinkled some of the fabric with tea leaves and wrapped one of the pieces in rusty metal, I LOVE opening these bundles, pictures next time, I promise. During my stay in CA I spent time with Merridee, Sharon and Nika Ivanoff experimenting more with this method of colouring fabric, thanks Nika for the wonderful leaves you brought last Saturday for us all to share not to mention the wine, chocolate and strawberries, we loved them all!!!

Emma and I are just sorting out dates for workshops in The Tin Thimble again next spring, keep an eye out over the next week or so as we hope to have everything sorted by then!

Quick little CA update!

My carry on bag is packed and I’m just waiting for Merridee and Keith to arrive and whisk me off to their cabin at Lake Tahoe. We’ll be hiking, felting, relaxing and possibly doing a little Eco printing/dyeing and kayaking too!!! On Thursday evening we’ll be back home then have a big day planned felting at The Tin Thimble with Sharon, Emma and Lisa on Saturday. More pics from
our three days of workshops now on my personal FB page!

The Tin Thimble – first pics at last!

Sorry about the delay posting pictures from The Tin Thimble, I’ve been having such a wonderful time here both working and playing hard that this is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down in front of a computer and actually upload any images.

Nika Ivanoff with her beautiful nuno felt from day one

Our three days of felting have just drawn to a close, I promise to blog properly about the workshops as soon as I get home, for now here are two pictures of participants modelling their beautiful nuno felt wraps/wall hangings!!!

Cassandra included some of her own marvelous shibori dyed silk in her piece

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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New retail venue, nuno wrap, workshops in Portugal and Loomis and help sourcing bag toppers please!!!

I submitted an application recently to have some of my framed felt considered by CCDP (Carlow County Development Patrnership Ltd) for a new art and craft based retail space they are launching shortly, this will be in the renovated stable yard at Ducketts Grove, Co. Carlow. On Wednesday morning I met with Pat McCarthy from McCarthy Integrated Design Solutions to show him my work, he is the person CCDP have contracted to launch the project successfully and he also is responsible for selecting the artists and crafts people whose work will be offered for sale. Luckily Alan suggested I bring some of my other felt too, lucky for me because Pat has choosen to display 3 of my vessels in the fine arts section, for the craft area he has requested several large nuno felt wraps, 8 to 12 nuno scarves, 14 pieces of framed felt, some small and large pouches, the book (From Felt to Friendship at the moment and the new book when it’s published) and some felting kits! I only have about 4 weeks to get all the pieces made so last night I ordered more business cards, care lables and a postcard/flyer, today I’ve been frantically ordering my favourite cotton gauze from Charlotte Buch as well as ponge silk and short fibre merino from Wollknoll. It’s nice to be nuno felting a series of wraps and scarves that will all relate somewhat to each other, I was about to felt some more pieces for the new book anyway but now I have a pressing need to get these finished and photographed asap!!! Here’s a picture of a recent wrap felted using merino and a combination of different weights of silk, cotton gauze and metallic mesh, I love the colours!

Large nuno felt wrap

Thanks to everyone who has already contacted me re. the exciting residential felting week in Portugal!!! I’m guessing from the initial interest that places are going to be in short supply so do keep an eye out for the full workshop description next week, if you have any specific questions right this minute please just email me. Emma and I will also have details of the fall workshops at The Tin Thimble for you next week, we just need some quiet time to discuss and put everything together properly!

Finally a question, does anyone know where I can get good quality bag toppers printed??? I’m talking about the stiff cardboard cards that fold over the top of a bag and are stuck or stapled in place, you know the kind of things that come with maybe a contents list and contact details? I want to get some really good quality ones printed because I need something better than my current home made ones for the felting kits! I also know that with time I could maybe design a better one myself, the problem is that I just don’t have time!!!

I’ll leave you with a close up of the nuno wrap.

Cotton gauze and ponge silk

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Musings from the exhibition to date and new nuno felt wrap today

It’s been very interesting and revealing invigilating at Grennan Mill Craft School, each of the 6 artists needs to either man the show for 3 full days or 6 half ones, I have chosen to do 3 full days.  If I wanted I could nominate someone else to do my stints but for me a lot of the pleasure at this stage of the process is to meet the public and see how people engage with all the work on display.  It has become increasingly obvious as the days go by that people either love the felt or hate it (maybe hate is too strong a word!), there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground at all.  I love watching everyone’s expressions when they first enter my space, many people are totally surprised when they discover the vessels and sculptures are wool, they know that they appear tactile but they often think that they are ceramic none the less!

Stitched seascape

It has also been interesting to discover that even if people do like these non functional pieces they may not have a place in their homes to display them.  After I sold my only stitched seascape on the first day several people said that they were interested in hanging this type of work in their home, in fact I actually got a commission for a framed piece during the course of the opening evening.  As a result of this I decided to spend Monday and Tuesday working and finishing some more wall pieces, I framed them yesterday morning at Grennan and two of the four sold during the day, actions speak louder than words sometimes!

Today I spent a lovely time at Carmen’s with her and an Argentinian fibre friend Patricia, we started with a big breakfast, felted all morning, had a delicious stew for lunch and then stuffed ourselves on pancakes before more fibre related fun in the afternoon!!!  Getting totally away from vessels and seascapes for the day I planned and felted a large wrap using some of the beautiful silk my Auburn friend Merridee dyed for me at The Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA recently.  This was an experiment using the tumble dryer method, a technique I want to work on further before offering it as an option for workshops but this might be a good time to say that it entails NO rubbing or rolling making it perfect for larger projects and anyone who might find the methodology of traditional nuno a little time-consuming or dare I say it even boring!  I would like to stress though that I don’t find rubbing and rolling boring, relaxing and therapeutic would be my personal take on this process but I suppose it’s horses for courses isn’t it and who doesn’t want to make a larger piece but with a lot of the effort removed and in a fraction of the time???  I’m not going to blog further about this method until I have fine tuned my timing but I will definitely include a couple of projects in the next book Chrissie and I are publishing (nuno clothing, out before Christmas!), for now here is a picture of todays finished wrap.

Nuno felt wrap