Posted in Felt, nuno felt, tagged Dawn Edwards, Felt, Felting, firestar, Leiko Uchiyama, merino, nuno felt, nuno felt scarf, nuno felt wrap, nuno felting, silk on January 10, 2013 |
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The weather has been a lot brighter today after a very wet start this morning, good news for me as it meant that I could snap a few pics outside of my nuno scarves and the wrap I felted earlier this week.
Simple scarf combining ponge silk, merino and silk throwster’s waste
I’ll start with one of a simple scarf, this was felted combining ponge silk with some of Leiko’s beautiful hand dyed superfine merino and embellished with hand dyed silk throwster’s waste, a welcome Christmas present from Carmen. I love teaching this scarf as a beginner’s nuno felting project, it’s always successful and such a beautiful way to learn a new technique! The second picture is of a large mosaic style scarf felted combining my own hand dyed cotton gauze (dyed under the watchful eye of Jan Durham and written up in this post last spring!), more of Leiko’s merino and a whole selection of different weights of silk fabric. Good friend Carole buys silk pieces by the weight in the US and then we do a swap for mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill, Cushendale is a wonderful source of locally produced knitting yarn and weaving just down the road from me here at Clasheen. I totally forgot that I needed to send Carole another pack of these goodies so many apologies, I’ll head over to Philip Cushen next week and get them in the post to you asap.
Mosaic style nuno felt scarf
Anyway, I also had a small pack of beautiful hand dyed teeswater locks and some firestar fibre in my favourite shades of acidic green, it’s strange to say that although I’m not a glitzy kind of gal at all I really do love the sheen and shimmer from the firestar!!! The printed silk in this scarf was part of my stash from the US, in fact I remember buying it in the Salvation Army on a foray with Sharon of the Tin Thimble but it could just as easily have been from one of the many trips I made with great friends Dawn or Merridee either, I LOVE these silk gathering events!
Firestar adds a shimmer in places
If you’re interested in seeing more images of these pieces plus some photos of a large green wrap I made on Tuesday please check out this album on FB and do like Nicola Brown – Clasheen while you’re over there, only of course if you do like what you see!!!
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I’ve been researching ideas for home made displays wanting to get different height levels to add interest, check out my new board on Pinterest if you would like to see some of the ideas I’ll be putting into practice this festive season! Last night I tried out a cardboard Christmas tree and it worked really well, I just need to get some gold spray now and I’ll get into production mode. I’d pinned another idea recently about attaching an upturned wooden bowl to a wooden kitchen roll holder and using it as a hat stand, the new board has this and other ideas, hopefully it will inspire me to create seasonal interest at the studio, Borris Food and Craft Market and the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet.
Felt hat incorporating naturally printed and dyed silk
This morning I felted a highly textured hat (really a soft edged beret) incorporating some of the smaller pieces of naturally printed and dyed silk I’ve been working on lately. I really want to have nice items to offer customers that compliment each other, I won’t be making many of these but I do think they’ll work wonderfully with some of the nuno felt scarves that I have been enjoying making. Here’s a picture of the finished hat, check out my new album on FB if you’d like to see some pictures of it at the lay out stage.
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Posted in America 2012, Eco bundling and dyeing, Felt, Portugal 2013, workshops, tagged dyeing with eucalyptus, dyeing with rust, eco dyeing, eco printing, Felt, Felting, felting classes, felting workshops, needle felt, silk on September 6, 2012 |
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Gosh, I’ve had a busy morning on the computer so far, I’m almost not able to write quickly enough, respond to emails and upload pictures to FB and now it’s lunch time, I need to eat and then I have to prepare for another felt flower workshop tonight, happy days! As a result I think that I’m going to post most of my news today in bullet point format followed by some info and pics re another eco print experiment, of course Alan would probably say that none of my news is urgent, it’s certainly not life threatening but I would like to share it with you!!! Anyway, for those of you who are interested, here goes…..
- My upcoming workshops at The Tin Thimble CA from 28th to 30th September are now all full! Please contact Emma if you would like to be put on a waiting list or are interested in attending on a future date.
- Bookings are now open for next year’s felting extravaganza at stunning Dominio Vale do Mondego in Portugal, full details on the workshop page. The dates are from 15th to 21st June inclusive and places are booking up fast so please contact Karin immediately if you would like to join us!
- This morning I ordered more felting supplies in anticipation of Rami’s arrival from Beiruit at the end of next week. Rami (a graphic designer) will be staying with me for 7 days intensive one on one felting tuition, currently there are no opportunities to learn in the Lebanon so we will really be working hard to cover the various techniques that he is interested in learning. Do I see another potential workshop venue for the future???
- A lot of my workshop bookings are now coming as a direct result of this blog and FB. Often I meet other makers and artisan producers who are looking for advice about how to promote their small business with a zero budget, hence next Tuesday’s workshop at Clasheen titled ‘Social media skills to promote your artisan business‘! This is a full day event with a light lunch included, participants are asked to bring their own laptop and wireless enabled mobile devices with them so that they will go home at the end of the day armed with the knowledge of how to best promote themselves using a variety of free or inexpensive promotional techniques. Please check out the event on FB if you are interested in attending and email me asap if you would like to reserve a place.
Bundles, eucalyptus leaves, bark and rusty metal in the pot
Yesterday I received some lovely BIG eucalyptus leaves from Luarena. Thanks so much for the present Luarena and thanks a million to sister Jacqui for delivering them to me at Duckett’s Grove, much appreciated! I couldn’t wait until my next batch of silk arrived to try experimenting with them so last night I grabbed what I could from my studio at Clasheen, scraps of white needle punch, an old outdated yellow silk top (one of our ’5 for $5′ haul from the Salvation Army in Plainwell Dawn!) and a piece of pongee silk that I’d previously achieved only minimal colour change with when printing. I bundled the cut up yellow top with Luarena’s large leaves and some small leaves of a different eucalyptus variety and wrapped it around a rusty pin (thanks mum for the gift of some young sprigs from your garden!), the needle punch I bundled with more of the large leaves and the ponge silk I just scrunched up and included in the pot. This time I added some of my mother’s small leaves, eucalyptus bark (collected from the ground under a dead tree at the HSE head office in Kilkenny!) and some scraps of rusty metal I picked up down in Tom’s yard to the cooking water, the water I might add is from my own well and free from any artificial additives. After approx an hour simmering on the stove I was amazed to discover the water was incredibly dark, obviously this was something to do with the loose leaves, bark and metal. I had been expecting colour of course, just not this depth after such a short length of time before unwrapping. I couldn’t wait until today to open up the bundles so right before I headed to bed I unwrapped everything and was delighted with the results. I’m especially pleased with the rich colour achieved on the needle punch and now want to see how it felts, I’ve a project in mind for another large wearable and once my latest order arrives from Wollknoll I’ll be begging for more leaves and getting out the dye pot once again!
From left to right – the ponge silk, deconstructed yellow silk top and the needle punch after unwrapping
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Posted in Felt, workshops, tagged Dagmar Binder, Felt, Felting, felting workshop, felting workshop with Dagmar Binder, fibre, merino, short fibre merino, silk, Wollknoll on July 11, 2012 |
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After our introductory day observing and sampling how Dagmar Binder lays out her fibre I decided to felt a small neck piece in the evening, this time using some of my favourite short fibre merino from Wollknoll instead of the 21 micron roving which I used for the class piece, pics of both samples are in Monday’s post. I was far happier with the results, the surface texture of the felt was much smoother and I always like the way I can blend the colours as I go along. As a result I decided to use the short fibre wool for the rest of the week, maybe if I had used a 16 or 17 micron roving I would have had a similar outcome but for me I wanted to use the fibre that I have most affinity and feeling for and didn’t want to have to buy extra wool when I already loved the colours of what I had in my stash!
Don’t the colours just sing?
Our task for day two was to felt a scarf/neck piece incorporating resists using some of the techniques learnt about laying out fibres in different directions and subsequently playing around with the flexibility of the various attachments. I choose hot orange for the main colour and added red, purple and small amounts of yellow wool as well as pieces of silk fabric, gold silk fibre and red linen fibre for surface decoration. The silk I snapped up in a charity shop in Edinburgh so yes, you can get LOADS of silk there too if you look in the skirt and blouse sections instead of the scarf, I’ve done it!
I had a concept for my neck piece which didn’t work out quite as I had planned. Those of you who know me and my style of working understand that drawing and planning to the Nth degree is just not part of my creative process, rather I start with a concept and let the colours and fibres speak to me during the layout stage out and adjust my design organically as I go along.
The perfect length to throw around my neck
As a result I ended up with rather a nudibranch styled piece, surprise, surprise!!! As I was adding some silk pieces to the main body of the felt I was actually thinking of the speckles on a trout, once I got to the fulling stages however I totally changed the shape of the ‘tail’ end (it had 6 resists in it during the layout) the end result is quite shrimp like in places so overall the piece is very piscine in nature.
I’ll leave you with a picture of it sneaking up my cotinus, make up your own mind about the nudibranch influence but I can attest that it does seem to have a life of it’s own! Tomorrow I’ll blog about the wall hanging and vessel I made on days three and four, I’m particularly happy with my large felt vessel.
Nudibranch like neck piece at large!
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Posted in Felt, Portugal 2012, workshops, tagged Bordeleira, Dominio Vale do Mondgeo, Felt, felt vessel, felt workshop, Felting, felting in Portugal, fiber, fibre, flat felt, silk, wol on June 26, 2012 |
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At the beginning of our first session felting I asked all the participants what was the most important technique for them to learn over the course of our week together. Working with the Bordeleira wool was going to be a new experience for all of us although I had had the opportunity myself to felt 3 small samples and one little vessel prior to arriving at Dominio Vale do Mondego. From the teaching point of view I wanted every participant to be able to leave having absorbed new skills or ways of working and most importantly having had plenty of fun!
Samples and materials laid out at the start of the workshop, picture mosaic thanks to Terriea
For the first two days we felted using washed and carded wool, flat felt pieces first then three dimensional vessels and bags of many different shapes and styles. The wool roving that we used was either a natural white or chocolate brown, it felted beautifully and it’s amazing to me it is not more widely known or appriecated elsewhere. I found that it felted every bit as quickly as mernio with an approximate rate of 25% shrinkage on pieces that I would normally achieve a rate of 33%. We incorporated a selection of other fibres with the Bordeleiera wool for added surface decoration or texture. I’d brought a lot of undyed fibres with me for everyone to share including linen, silk, milk protein, soy, banana silk, wool neps etc. and I’d also got some of my favourite mohair off cuts from Cushendale Woollen Mill, mohair waste (from the brushing process after weaving), angelina, firestar and various natural and artificial yarns to dip into as well as a few different colours of merino roving in case anyone wanted to use these too. These were displayed inside with the samples and examples of other work I’d made at the beginning of the week, from Terrie’s picture mosaic it looks as if everything was very organised, obviously knowing me you’ll appreciate that it never looked as neat and tidy again!
Sandy working on her large felt vessel
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of our flat felt from day one or two, I think that I was concentrating so much on answering questions and making sure that the new felters had a successful first piece I forgot to take any pictures. Here’s a picture of Sandy though from day two starting to shape her piece, she’s working here on a stunning large vessel felted from the chocolate wool with a design in natural white with gold linen strands. As the week progressed we found that the Bordeleira wool was perfectly soft enough for wearables and nuno felting yet strong and easy to work with for bags and vessels.
On Wednesday morning we all visited a wonderful museum dedicated to wool and started working with the raw fleece in the afternoon. I’ll post about that next time and for now leave you with a great picture of Heather modelling one of her bags as a hat, watch out Dawn, you’ve got some competition!!!
Heather modelling her very flexible bag! Doesn’t she look great???
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If you follow me or Dawn on facebook you’ll know by now that we had some marvellous times scouring both Goodwill and the Salvation Army stores for printed silk to nuno felt with! This is a great way of sourcing interesting printed silk in a variety of weights, perfect for combining with other plain coloured silk and/or cotton gauze in the large nujno wraps I love to make.
Turquoise, pink and olive felt wrap
Printed silk is difficult to find by the metre unless one’s very lucky or prepared to pay an arm and a leg for it. Searching in a consignment or charity store is good fun and often results in amazing clothes that are in perfect condition but that have definitely passed their sell by date style wise. Don’t forget to check out the dresses and skirts too not just the shirts, outsizes give even more value for your buck and sometimes the lining is silk as well, not just the outside! These are the pieces that we snapped up with glee, a lot of the patterns are just too over the top to even consider wearing the items even if they were not outdated anyway, once cut up they are totally transformed when felted!
Chocolate, bronze, gold and cream wrap
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Posted in Felt, Felt for sale, nuno felt, tagged Borris Market, Felt, felt scarves, Felting, Nuno, nuno felt, nuno felt scarf, ponge silk, silk on March 26, 2012 |
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On Friday afternoon I felted two ultra lightweight nuno scarves, one for me and one to sell! The ponge silk that I used for both was a beautiful lettuce colour and I combined this with a very fine open layer of my favourite apple green short fibred merino from Wollknoll. I wanted to wear my scarf the following day at the Crafts Council training I was attending and have it match the bag I was bringing so added quite a lot of apple green and turquoise mulberry silk as well as plenty of hand dyed silk throwsters waste. The second scarf I added apple green mulberry silk and plenty of high sheen firestar, it’s lovely to be working with spring shades and I must say it was nice to make myself something for a change! I will be bringing the second scarf to Borris Food and Craft Market on Friday but on the off chance that anyone here is interested it is priced at E40 plus a couple of euros P&P so please just email me if you would like to reserve it and I can invoice via PayPal!
The two sides of my new nuno felt scarf
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Posted in Book, Book with Chrissie, Felt, nuno felt, tagged cotton gauze, Felt, felt wrap, merino, Nuno, nuno felt, silk on March 2, 2012 |
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Yesterday I was very busy felting! I’m going to be away unexpectedly next week (thanks George for stepping up to the mark at zero notice to house and Rex sit, Annette I’ll be in touch about July!) so I need have to have a batch of wearables ready for the golf club tomorrow morning. While I’m away there’s going to be a fashion night there so thanks must also go to Lady Captain Eileen Kelly who’s going to organise someone to display and look after my pieces! My beautiful new cotton gauze arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Charlotte Buch so I decided to felt some nuno wraps combining this with short fibre merino, ponge silk and sari silk from my stash. Killing two birds with one stone I also took pictures of the process, these pieces took a long time to lay out but were fulled in the dryer and that’s how I could felt more than one in a day. This processes is one I will be exploring in the new book with Chrissie and is wonderful for anyone who finds nuno felting either tiring or time consuming!!! Talking of time I must dash now, here’s a close up shot of the finished wraps, note how using the same fabrics but a different colour fibre results in complimentary but very different end results.
Turquoise and apple green merino combined with the same silk and cotton surface fabrics offer two different end results
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Posted in Felt, Felt for sale, tagged Felt, felt pouch, felt pouches, Felting, mohair, silk, up-cycled, wool on January 5, 2012 |
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I’ve been continuing to work combing off cuts of silk and mohair into my base wool while felting. My intention today had been to felt all morning and stitch all afternoon but then I realised that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to keep updating my Big Cartel store so that process ate into my time too!!! Deciding the price for the little embroidered pouches I uploaded was not the easiest, finally I settled on E18 each, only time will tell if this was the correct descision. Anyway, here is a picture of some embellishment laid out prior to felting and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon I’ll have cut, stitched and be able to reveal the finished pieces!
Mohair off cuts and silk scraps laid on top of short fibred merino
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