Friendly faces and Clasheen Christmas Swap update

Having fun at the Kozo opening

Having fun at the Kozo opening

The smiles say it all!  Thanks to Remmy Quinn for taking this picture of us at the opening of the Winter Exhibition at Kozo last Saturday.  I have to say that it is one of the only nice pictures of all the Browns together, me on the left, my mother in front wearing black, my sister Lizzy in red and my sister Suzanne beside her also in black.  Check out my Flickr images to see a couple more images that Remmy took at the exhibition including one of my work.

Swap partners have been assigned for the Clasheen Christmas Swap and are as follows …..

Juniejo swaps with Clasheen
ScrapStampSew swaps with Dara
Jean swaps with Martina
Carmen swaps with Shemacgo
Gingersnap Hollow swaps with Vicky Plum
SmitoniumAndSonata swaps with Annabie

REMEMBER that we are swapping either a handmade Christmas ornament or a handmade Christmas gift, a seasonal receipe and a little extra surprise. Packages need to be sent by Friday 6th December and everyone MUST post pictures to the group pool when their package arrives.  Have fun!

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Using a wire brush while felting! Silk paper workshop.

An amazing tip learnt during the Anita Larkin workshop concerns the use of a wire brush!  People had brought different sized brushes to try, but for fairly small pieces of work a suede shoe brush seemed perfect.  We used these when repairing a seam or depression caused by uneven rolling, attaching an object or closing the hole created when removing the plastic around a resist (explanation re resists Anita’s way to follow in another post).  I hope that I can explain what we did clearly but if it is not obvious enough please let me know.  The type of ridge/depression I am talking about is that created by uneven pressure when rolling a ball or a cord, often a problem for me and I am sure that most of you know what I am talking about.  Once you notice a ridge or depression forming at the pre felt stage use your wire brush gently to fluff up the fibres on either side of the problem area.  Holding the piece of felt lightly in your hands (or on the table if easier) smooth the fibres with your fingers and encourage them to move towards each other.  It is important that if the ridge goes in one direction you make the smoothing action in the opposite direction, ie. at a 90 degree angle to where the ridge is lying.  Keep smoothing very gently for quite a few minutes and you will notice that the ridge or depression magically seals over.  This method of fluffing up the fibres with a wire brush also allows you to attach a prefelted object to another piece of felt, just fluff up the side where you wish to make your join and work the seal very slowly and carefully.  Next time that I write a post I will discuss Anita’s method of making cords and inserting wire into felt. 

I did want to mention today however that on Saturday I attended an excellent one day workshop about silk paper making facilitated by Tunde Toth.  This workshop was organised by the South East Textile Group and took place at our usual venue in the Demense Yard at Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.  Tunde is an artist working from the Kozo Gallery in Thomastown and specialises in different types of paper making.  She brought a great range of fibres for us to work with, initially we made a basic silk paper and then got really stuck in using inclusions and dyes as we became more experimental.  I found the whole process really inspiring as depending on the thickness of the paper made I feel it will be possible to insert the silk paper into a piece of felt at the early part of the felting process.  Already I have made a couple of experiments with silk paper that I made on Saturday, more on this subject as soon as I have finished writing about the scupltural feltmaking weekend with Anita.

Nuno felt incorporating batik, exploring options

Work in progress

This week I am on an excellent batik course at the Grennan Craft Mill in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.  Facilitated by Alexandra Meldrew, our diverse group are basically having a crash course in different techniques and applications of this facinating craft.  My idea was that after the week, skill peremitting, I would be able to incorporate some of my pieces into some nuno felt work.  Here is a selection of my work in progress.

The fabric that we are working with is quite tightly woven so I have waxed and dipped on a piece of scrim today to see what that will turn out like, just realised that I left it in the bucket of dye when I finished this evening!!  I find that scrim is great to nuno felt with so hopefully this experiment will work out and I can have fun next week incorporating it into some bags or vessels.

Tomorrow I am going to bring along a couple of white silk scarves which I got from Wollknoll, I am intending on waxing them with simple designs and dipping in just one colour of dye.  I probably will keep one as is and then use the others in pieces of felt as well, will just wait and see how I feel next week.