Jeudis at Manchester…..

Yesterday I travelled over to Manchester’s EventCity with fellow Jeudis member Christine Plummer for a day if stewarding at the Creative Craft Show.

We were there as members of the mixed media textile group Jeudis, to promote our group and our most recent body of work on the theme of Abstraction.  The work is very varied and include 2D and 3D pieces, wet felting, quilting, collage, hand stitching, machine stitching, etc, etc.  My main piece was inspired by rockpools and made with wet felted Bergschaf fibres,  found shells and pebbles, hand and machine embellished.

Rockpool on display at EventCity, Manchester

I took this theme further, making several items of felted jewellery for the sales table, and was delighted with the response these brought.  The rock pool bracelets were particularly popular and the grey necklet found a new home with a lady who looked absolutely stunning in it!

Rockpool Brooches

Rockpool brooches made from Bergschaf fibres

Rockpool inspired Necklet

The following photos show more of the groups work…..

…..by Gill Green

Close up detail of Gill Greens bowl

…..by Jean Baker

…..by Sue Lewis

…..by Cathy Ball

…..by Linda Settle

…..by Elaine Winterton & Sue Lewis

…..by Christine Plummer

…..by Hazel Brewer

Our next Exhibition will be at Birmingham NEC and I will confirm dates nearer the time.

 

Abstract Wall Hanging…..

Inspired by rock pools this Wet felted Abstract Wall Hanging, made from natural shades of Bergschaf fibres punctuated with orange, is very textural and tactile. It’s a mixed media piece combining pebbles, shells and paper with free motion stitching and hand stitched colonial knots. Size approx 54cm diameter x 10cm deep.

Wet Felted Abstract Wall Hanging
Close up detail of 3 dimensional abstract wall hanging
Abstract Wall Hanging detail

I will been exhibiting this piece with textile group Jeudis at the Creative Craft Show in Manchester from January 31st to the 2nd February.

Tyvek Seed Pod…..

I developed a ganglion on my right hand as a result of making the bird mask last week.  It’s giving me some gip so I’m resting the hand for a while and doing a few pieces that don’t require a strong grip.  Yesterday it was a Tyvek Seed Pod incorporating sari silks and acrylic paint…..

Today I made a start on a mixed Media piece with the theme “Abstraction” which was set by the textile group  Jeudis which I became a member of a couple of months ago.   I’m combining free motion stitch with painted Lutradur and wet Felted Merino, for now it’s work in progress…..

Abstraction

 

Bird Mask Workshop…..

Bird Mask Workshop with Gladys Paulus

Last week I attended a wonderful four-day Bird Mask Workshop with Internally renowned feltmaker Gladys Paulus at Big Cat Textiles in Newburgh near Perth.

Gladys has been high on my list of tutors I’ve wanted to work ever since I started felting.  Her three-dimensional work is exceptional and she is such a warm and generous tutor.

The first layer of fibres are laid down around a resist in the shape of a birds head.

Layer one of my bird mask

I chose to make my mask using Bergschaf fibres and originally he was going to be a red kite……I soon realised I wasn’t going to achieve that aim in the time we had so he morphed into a generic bird of prey!  Apologies for the fuzzy images but with a four-day schedule time was always going to be tight so photography wasn’t high on my list of priorities!

Sandra making her Blue Jay

Diana working on her Cockatoo

Caroline shaping her mask

Liz was always one step ahead of the group!

Sharnie working on her Lapwing

We all learnt such a lot in the four days and everyone came away excited and very pleased with their finished piece of work…..

A gaggle of bird masks!

My bird of prey mask

Thanks to Gladys for an inspirational workshop and many thanks to Alison and Netty at Big Cat Textiles for looking after us and being such wonderful hosts!

Forest Floor Workshop…..

Last Saturday I travelled back up to one of my favourite workshop venues, the Simply Stitch studio in East Keswick.  It was for the first of a new class I’ve put together which I’m calling my Forest Floor Workshop.

12 ladies took part in the two day workshop exploring the use of heat manipulative materials including Tyvek fabric, Tyvek paper, Lutradur and polyester fabrics which we painted, stitched, cut and distressed using heat tools and soldering irons.  For the majority it would be the first time they have worked with any of these materials and tools.

Our theme for the weekend was the forest floor and it was great to see that some of the ladies, like Juliet and Julie, had been out foraging for inspiration!

The samples that were created included a variety of leaves, bark, twigs, lichen, etc…..anything you might see on a walk through the woods, and a few things you might never see too!!

Carolyn arrived with her hand heavily bandaged and the intention of just watching the others.  That idea lasted all of a few minutes and she turned out to be one of the most prolific sample makers of the group!

Janet and Jackie were looking very proud of their hessian and Lutradur “twigs” and rightly so!!

The ladies threw themselves whole heartedly into experimenting with the various materials and created some wonderful pieces of work with fabulous textures.

Once again a big thank you to Nicola for being such a great host and to all of the ladies who took part.   I’m looking forward to seeing some of you again when I return to East Keswick in June.

 

Lutradur leaves…..

Busy making samples ahead of next weekends Forest Floor Workshop at Simply Stitch.  Today’s samples are Lutradur leaves…..

Lutradur is a wonderful fabric to work with as it doesn’t fray or tear but can be easily stitched, coloured (Inktense, Acrylics, watercolours, fabric paints, felt pens etc, etc) cut with scissors or a soldering iron and distressed using a heat tool.  It’s possible to create beautiful, lacy effects when making leaf skeletons.

I had intended to paint this leaf but it has a  ‘frosted’ look about it which I like.  It’s given me the idea of creating a monochrome Winter sample with frosted bark and grasses.

This Autumnal leaf (above) is my favourite so far….and this is the back of it…..

Tyvek Leaf…..

Today’s workshop was for four lovely ladies from the Nottingham area.  Freda and her friends had seen my Tyvek Leaf on Pinterest and got in touch to say they fancied having a go at making one for themselves.

Trisha and Carol

Freda and Pat

Non of them had used Tyvek previously so we looked at the various colouring mediums that can be applied, discussed the difference between the paper and fabric versions and saw how each reacted to heat.

With lots of chatting and laughter (hearing us from the hallway my other half swears I put something illegal in the homemade soup!) the day was gone before we knew it!

Work in progress

Each of the ladies produced some wonderful work which they will mount on their chosen papers and put in a box frame once they get home.

Thanks to all for being such eager students….I’m already looking forward to hosting you again on your return visit for Feltmaking!

Wall Hangings and Vessels…..

A quick catch up on the past week’s workshops which included wall hangings and vessels…..

 

Wednesday saw me driving back down to Podehole for the second session of my Wet Felted Wall Hanging workshop with the Spalding Embroiderers.  Last month the ladies created their wet felted backgrounds and added some needle felted flowers.  This week they concentrated on embellishing their work with hand stitching…..unfortunately they are not permitted to use their sewing machines in this particular hall which is something I’ve never come across before!

One or two  of the ladies had done some homework since we last met and added free machine stitching.  This is just a small sample of the wonderful work being produced…..

Once again it was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic bunch of ladies and as you can see from the photos the standard of work is terrific!  I’m already looking forward to my return visit in September when we will be experimenting with Lutradur and Tyvek to produce a forest floor themed 3D picture.

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In the studio this week I had a visit from Annie and Marisa.   Neither of these ladies had ever felted around a resist before but both were keen to have a go.   They certainly rose to the challenge and produced two wonderful wet felted Merino bowls with multicoloured necks and embellished surfaces……

On Saturday I was given even more of a challenge when Sue, with daughters Adele and Sharon, visited the studio.  They had said they wanted to make 3D vessels but made it very clear from the outset that they weren’t prepared to settle for something straight forward or easy.  They were only interested in making complex 3D shapes, the sort that require a book resist or differential shrinkage.  When you consider that none of these ladies had ever done Wet Felting, either 2D or 3D, prior to this visit what they achieved in 6 hours was pretty amazing!

 

Bergschaf Clutch Bag…..

Today I was back at the Simply Stitch studio in East Keswick to deliver a wet felting workshop for owner Nicola Hulme and ten ladies who were there to make their version of my Irit Dulman inspired Bergschaf Clutch Bag.

Mottled Irit Dulman inspired clutch bag

Two-tone Irit Dulman inspired clutch bag.

For at least two of the ladies this would be their first introduction to Felting around a resist.

I know that if I chose the colours and put together specific kits and made students follow my instructions to the letter we would all be done in the time allowed and be taking home a finished item………..but I can’t do that!  The last thing I want is for everyone to take home the same item!

When I deliver a workshop I like to encourage students to make the piece their own and this means allowing time to think, discuss options and take risks…..this morning was no exception!

As a result the ladies have all worked flat-out and produced a bag which is unique to them.  They are almost but not quite finished.  When I get photos of the completed work I will post an update.

Thanks to Nicola for hosting the workshop and keeping us all in coffee and biscuits and to all the ladies who took part….including Janet who managed to run away and hide when I took the final photo!  Hope to see you all again.

Wet Felted Fish…..

Last week I did a one-one Workshop for Alison who wanted to learn how to make a wet felted fish.  This wasn’t to be any old fish, Alison made it quite clear that she was on a mission to create a Wrasse as part of a local community project.  I’d never heard of a Wrasse so immediately turned to Google to see what it was we were aiming for.  I discovered that there are over six hundred species of this fish with two being native to the British Isles, the Ballan Wrasse and it’s more colourful cousin, the Cuckoo Wrasse.

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We decided to work with a combination of Bergschaf and Merino fibres.  This was the first time Alison has Felted around a resist but she took to it like a fish to water (I had to get that in somewhere!)

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This is how he looked once Alison had got him home and dried out, prior to embellishing…..

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…..and this is the finished Wrasse complete with hand embroidery and an impressive set of dentures!  Isn’t he handsome!  Well done Alison, can’t wait to see what you make next!