Six week online eco printing workshop is launched!

Woo Hoo, it’s definitely a red letter day here at Clasheen!!! I’m delighted to announce that my first ever online workshop was officially launched on the web this morning, the title is ‘Eco printing, an intensive foundation for successful results‘. From gathering the necessary tools and equipment to experimenting with different processing methods, over the course of six weeks I hope to guide participants beyond the basics and encourage them to experiment for themselves.

Suitable for total beginners but hopefully with plenty of tips and ‘ah ha’ moments for the more experienced textile artist too, extras include printing on paper, an introduction to printing up-cycled clothing and one simple method for printing on cellulose fabric!

Please note, this first online workshop is offered at a once off reduced price of $160 and limited to 50 participants. This special offer is to say thanks in advance for optional feedback and the first group of participants will also have the opportunity to avail of a discount for the follow on workshop, eco printing on cellulose fabric and up-cycled clothing. Sign up has been wonderfully brisk already. Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the decision to put their faith in me, I hope you really enjoy our journey together! Please feel free to email me personally if you have any questions.

 

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!

 

 

 

 

Brief little update, felting and natural printing

It's been a frustrating weekend at times, the internet connection was deplorable at Duckett's Grove so all the paperwork and online work I planned for Saturday and Sunday went down the Swanee. It's nearly ten past eleven at night now and I'm trying to sort out my materials for two natural printing and dyeing workshops starting tomorrow morning. These will be the first, full day workshops I facilitate at Clasheen solely dedicated to this fascinating technique, I'm looking forward to exciting pieces emerging from the dye pots!

Following on from my last post, the unexpected vacancy for the Lake Tahoe retreat was filled immediately. Merridee and I are sorry one of the first participants has had to pull out due to family reasons but delighted to welcome CA artist Tina Wendon to our group!
 
Finally for today, I love this picture of Jackie outside my studio at Duckett's Grove with her finished clutch bag, this is the very first piece of felt she's made!!!

 

 

 

 

Sunny felt flowers for a cold and snowy evening!

Gosh, it took me 50 minutes to drive approx 11 miles to my felting class in Myshall last night and over one hour to get myself home, thanks snow! I took a less hilly (but longer) route on the homeward journey, a rear wheel drive pick up truck (without 4 wheel drive) just doesn't cut to the chase in wintery conditions, especially considering our rural hills never get gritted or salted.

Nevertheless, the participants who managed to weather the icy conditions created a beautiful array of sunny looking flowers, well done everyone!

 

Fantastic first felt pictures!

Yesterday morning I worked with 70 four and five year olds then in the evening I started a course of four sessions with an art group in Myshall, a busy day you might say. I'll be posting before and after pictures of all the wonderful felt pictures to FB later this afternoon but here's a little taster for you to enjoy now!

I think that the participants did amazing work, none had ever felted or handled wool batts before, it was a wonderful night!

 

Beautiful felt flowers

Although is was FREEZING at Duckett's Grove yesterday I had a lovely afternoon facilitating a 'fun felt flower' workshop. Next Saturday is a beginners and improvers full day workshop, we'll be working on flat felt pictures so if you'd like to join us please email me ASAP! Check out these beautiful flowers from yesterday, I love the different colour combinations!

 

 

Yummy alpaca and embellishing fibres!!!

Check out this yummy box of fibre I received from Roo Kline this week complete with beautiful handmade shawl pin!!! Roo and Elizabeth from Alpaca Fiber Solutions are the amazing sponsors for my nuno felt neckpiece workshop at this years' Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, we are going to have a ball!

I can't wait to dive in but I so want to felt something special with this, I'll be bringing the samples along with me to all my upcoming US workshops.

Alpaca of this quality is a total pleasure to work with, it's not a fibre easily accessed here but once you know a good supplier…..keep them!

On the everyday side of things my current project is coming along really nicely at the Gaelscoil in Carlow, to date I've worked with 300 pupils and by next Monday afternoon another 150 will have had their first experience felting! As a result I've not actually done a lot of felting at home myself over the last two weeks as my fingers are all wrinkled by the time I leave Carlow and my back's aching, I've been trying out a few polymer clay ideas instead. Thanks Elaine (editor of the polymer clay section at Craft Gossip) for linking to the post I wrote recently about my first 'official' necklace, it's always nice to get a thumbs up. I'll be facilitating a felt flower workshop at Duckett's Grove on Saturday so I plan on felting quite a few flowers and other small items then! I'll leave you with a link to a picture of a flower head piece that Mary felted this week (Mary was one of my super students at the VEC recently), I think that it's gorgeous.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=425275637551011&set=a.114109508667627.19391.100002057342575&type=1&theater

 

 

 

 

 

New felt bracelets, free machine embroidery workshop and the 2011 Irish Web Awards!

It’s a busy time here at Clasheen but I do seem to be managing my time a little better than usual, thankfully!

Stone wall inspired bracelets

As promised here is a picture of the two dry stone wall inspired felt bracelets I made at Niki’s last week, the bracelet on the right I kept for myself and the one on the left has just been added to my Big Cartel shop.  It has been interesting hearing the reaction of everyone who has seen these two pieces together, with the exception of one friend and myself, everyone has choosen the one on the left hand side as their favourite.  This leads me to believe people find the larger white surround of the stones appealing, whatever, I love them both!!!

I spent a wonderful two days over the weekend participating in a workshop with the South East Textile Group.  Our main focus for the workshop was free machine embroidery on various types of dissolvable fabric or paper but for me the biggest result was getting to grips with my Janome straight stitch machine and feeling comfortable with the results!  Our tutor was Arelene Shawcross, an English lady now living and working from Macroom in Co. Cork.  Arelene was an excellent teacher, I would highly recommend sessions with her for anyone interested in exploring free machining further, her manner is informed, relaxing and highly productive.  There were loads of interesting samples for everyone to examine and exclaim over.  For me the beauty of Arlene’s embroidery was most visable in some subtle tone on tone work, I don’t find highly coloured pieces as attractive to my eye but definitely there was something to suit everyone in the work on display and we all got inspired and ready to get down to business quickly.

Stitching on Romeo, is that a smile???

The first sort of soluble fabric that I decided to experiment with was a thickish plastic kind of one called ‘Romeo’.  Following on with my dry stone wall obsession I wanted to keep my work subtle and elected to stitch a bracelet (after a couple of small sample pieces!) using soft shades of silver, grey and blue machine embroidery threads.  The top two tips that I learnt over the weekend were that it is important not to have the presser foot (free machine or darning) down against the fabric you are stitching on and that you can use machine embroidery and metallic threads on top and in your bobbin if you follow this rule, magic!!!  You may remember I was having problems with my metallic thread breaking constantly when I last stitched into felt, changing to a new needle and following the above tips worked like a dream, I tried stitching into some very thick felt after I had finished the bracelet and no problems.  Following is a picture of the bracelet pinned to some polystyrene prior to dissolving the plastic, images of the finished piece tomorrow!

Finally a big thanks to Cathy for nominating this blog for a 2011 Irish Web Award, YAY!

Bracelet pinned to polystyrene and ready to submerge in water

Short little felting update!

I’ve run out of time yet again today so I  hope you don’t mind a very brief post!  Felting highlights of the week to date include …..

  • Monday – Fun felting workshop with Borris Active Retirement
  • Wednesday – Birthday trip with my friend Jan to beautiful Mount Usher Gardens where I took pictures of foliage turning for future reference and inspiration
  • Thursday – Email arrived notifying me my nudibranch got accepted for the ‘Seascapes’ exhibition, Philip and Mary from the wonderful Cushendale Woollen Mill bought 10 copies of ‘From Felt to Friendship’ in advance of Graiguenamanagh’s weekend book festival and I had a good round of golf to come in 5th place in the second last big competition of the year.   YAY, this was a good day!!
  • Friday – Another fun felting workshop, this time with clients of both the Wheelchair Association and NCBI (National Council for the Blind in Ireland)

I’m just off for a short walk with Rex now and then need to try and tidy up the kitchen YET AGAIN, help!

Playing catch up, sea slug and loads of felting workshops!

I’m going to be playing catch up all this week, paperwork, emails, tidying, medical (to renew my 10 year C1 driving liscence), paying car insurance and a host of other essential but non fibre related stuff.  Finishing my latest nudibranch (sea slug) last night was fantastic, I really put myself under pressure to have it ready to deliver to the Crafts Council today but hopefully as we say in Ireland, all’s well that ends well.

Gently working the protrusions through a net

I can’t upload pictures of the completed creature yet until I hear back if it has been accepted for the exhibition but here is a shot of me working on the protrusions, I added the hot orange tips with a needle (I know, me and needle felting!!!) and then contiued to wet felt.  Overall I am happy with the results but I am sure there must be a simpler way to make a piece like this, I’m still working on it though!!!

This afternoon I’m starting another series of workshops with Borris Active Retirement Group and last Friday I started some similar sessions with the Carlow Wheelchair Association.  On Saturday I have a wet felting basics day schedualed  here at Clasheen so please check out the details on the workshop page and email me asap if you are interested in attending, this workshop is suitable for total beginners as well as improvers!