Online workshop update

The last few days have passed in a whirlwind, I can’t begin to explain how happy and excited I am that the new online workshop ‘Eco printing, an intensive foundation for successful results‘ sold out in just about 36 hours. I’m humbled by the response and wish to thank each and every one of you who helped make this exciting new adventure a reality! I also want to apologise to those of you who wanted to join but didn’t manage to sign up before the magic number of 50 was reached, sorry. As a result of the intense interest and volume of emails I’ve subsequently been dealing with I’ve set up a new mailing list specifically to keep people informed in advance of subsequent offerings. Here’s the link for those of you who are interested! I’ll also be writing up some frequently asked questions and post them to the website, these will help explain how the online workshops will be delivered.

 

 

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.

 

 

Houston calling and felting and eco printing update from Clasheen

I'm delighted to announce that I'll be making a return trip to visit Houston this May! My lovely hostess Barbara and I will be visiting thrift and consignment stores then playing in her studio for a week or so, I'll also be facilitating an intensive one day eco printing workshop on protein fabrics. This will take place on Tuesday 12th May, please email Barbara if you would like to book a place and the workshop description is the same as that for Plainwell MI. You can view it here!

Eucalyptus leaves on felt, tencel embellishment

Those of you following my personal page on Facebook may have seen my recent woes regarding the stolen courier van and problems booking flights to the US, I've tried not to harp on about them too much on the business page for obvious reasons, no one loves a moaner!!! Anyway, as a result of the stolen courier van two of my Showcase trade orders went missing without a trace, the last couple of weeks have been spent trying to print replacement pieces as well as battle it out to try and get insurance compensation.

Oak leaves on lambswool, part of a replacement order

Now that the replacement stock is all finished I've finally time to start felting some vessels for Ross Fine Art Gallery and Craft Boutique in Ramelton, Co. Donegal. These all need to be felted, printed and ready to deliver before I head overseas, I'm hoping to have them completed before my house sitter arrives on 12th April then I can spend a day or so showing her the ropes here.

90% felted and ready for the printing pot

Got to fly, the studio is calling.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning Mendocino!

Merridee and I had a lovely time in Mendocino, staying and socialising with friends Susan and Dale by night and felting with a lovely group of ladies by day! Working with participants who have different experience levels is always good fun and interesting, a stunning array of purses, jewellery and nuno wraps were created over the course of the three days and I also had time to discuss design ideas more extensively with one of the experienced felters, hi Flo! I really enjoyed myself watching as each project progressed and I think you'll see from this photo rich post how everyone seems to be happy with their felt, not to mention laughing and relaxing while spending creative time felting together. Thanks Merridee for all your expert help and thanks Susan and Dale for your fun and generous hospitality!

Merridee, Flo, Patty, Sasha, Zanna and me
Flo, Sasha and Zanna
Patty and Merridee
Flo
Sasha's lovely felt beads work brilliantly brilliantly with this fused glass bead that she made

Zanna's fabulous first nuno felt wrap includes silk from two saris that her father gave as a gift to her mother

Flo

Flo, Patty, Sasha and Zanna

I love this picture of Patty, Sasha and Zanna hamming it up for the camera! One final shot for today, Merridee and I joined Susan and Dale for a walk after class one evening, what better way to end the day thank watching the sun set than with friends, wine, cheese, olives and beer!!!

 

 

Natural printing and dyeing day two…..

It’s been very busy but fun this past week, felting, teaching (two natural printing days, a raw fleece workshop and a flower workshop), working the dye pots, invigilating the Feltmakers Ireland exhibition at the Botanic Gardens, spending time with mum and having my sister and her family down to celebrate her birthday after the market in Borris on Friday! I’ve blanked out the whole of this coming week to work in the studio, please excuse any sketchy internet activity if I appear to be slacking. I need to get a lot more pieces felted before heading to teach in the US and Canada, I do hope though to be online in the evenings, work permitting so no promised!!! I’ll leave you now with three pictures from day two of the natural printing and dyeing days I had at Clasheen.

IMG_8264 IMG_8291 IMG_8286

Nuno felting with alpaca and/or merino in anticipation of my KY classes!

I decided not to go to my studio at Duckett's Grove today, rather I'm staying home and felting some more pieces to bring with me on my travels. Yesterday I made myself a very simple but much needed nuno felt scarf as well as preparing three pots of naturally printed and dyed silk bundles.

So far I've only had time to open up the bundles I steamed in the microwave, unfortunately the eucalyptus leaves from a new source left almost no imprint but the onion skins gave fantastic colour and a light dusting of tea leaves also imparted a soft, warm colour. I'll open the other bundles this afternoon and see what the results of these are like. They were simmered in two differen pots (stainless steel and aluminium) and although my intention was to include rusty metal in the aluminium pot I obviously got a bit distracted (a lot on my brain?), I discovered last night that I had included one rust wrapped bundle in the stainless steel saucepan as well. Uugh. Anyway, whatever the outcome I'm sure they'll be interesting, it's just that I wanted to have an obvious difference between the two pots, ah well, c'est la vie!

On the felting side of things I'm going to make a nuno felt wrap/shrug today using some of the fantastic alpaca and embellishing goodies I got from the wonderful Roo Kline and Elizabeth Taylor of Alpaca Fiber Solutions. I met Roo and Elizabeth at the Kentycky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington last year and they very kindly are sponsoring all the fibre for my nuno felt scarf/neckpiece class at this years festival on Saturday 18th May, thanks a million girls!!! There are several places available for this workshop so if you're interested in nuno felting with alpaca do please check out the website asap and book your place, the cost for this workshop is an impressive $120 including all the necessary silk, alpaca and embellinshing materials! Here's a picture of a simple neck piece I felted two weeks ago using ponge silk, alpaca locks, Firestar and bamboo. Roo is a MASTER at dyeing and I just love the way the different fibres compliment and play against one another, for once the pink and lavender colours in these two pictures are an accurate representation of the actual felt itself! Check out the close up shot, don't the colours just sing?

 

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!

 

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