Tyvek Leaf Workshop…..

Tyvek leaf

Last night I was invited to deliver my Tyvek Leaf Workshop to 24 creative ladies from the Louth Textile Group who meet once a month at the Conoco Rooms above Louth Library.   Time was going to be a little tight with 24 participants and less than two hours to make our leaves but all of the ladies rose to the challenge knowing that they would have to complete their project at home.

We began by colouring our Tyvek using our chosen medium, either felt markers, fabric paint, acrylics or watercolours.  While this was drying the ladies made their wire leaf framework.

Every leaf was a different shape and there were some interesting colour schemes taking place………

Tyvek Leaves created by ladies at the Louth Textile Group

Selection of Tyvek Leaves painted and distressed and  ready for embellishing

It was a fun night which went all too quickly…..I wish I had made the time to take more (and better) photos!  With no time at the end for a “show and tell” I’m hoping to receive images of the finished work, complete with stitching and beading, when the group meet again next month.

Many thanks to all the ladies for making feel so welcome.

 

Weekend Workshop with Mandy Nash…..

My little group, Felt Inspired, have just played host to a wonderful wet felting weekend workshop with felt maker Mandy Nash.  The four “Inspired” regulars myself, Rosie, Dreda and Pat were joined by Jane, Enid, Joan, Helen, Sandra and Robyn (Feltybits).  As well as being an inspiring tutor, Mandy, who travelled up from Llantrisant, is Vice Chair, exhibitions officer and a regional co-ordinator of the International Feltmakers Association.

Mandy Nash

The morning began with Mandy showing the ten of us examples of her wonderful wet felted objects, including hats, bags, funky fish and vessels, mainly created using Bergschaf wool.

A small selection of Mandy’s work

Some of the ladies were keen to experiment with the “book” resist technique with five of them making vessels while  Robyn decided she would like to make a fish.

Sandra working with a book resist

Robyn’s fish & bowl, Rosie’s festival hat, Sandra’s coastline inspired vessel (centre) and Pats four-sided vessel (right)

The rest of us chose to make a hat using a flat resist and added embellishment.  In addition Mandy talked us through the various surface design techniques she uses and demonstrated how we could achieve these effects using Bergschaf wool batts.

Rosie working on her festival hat

Joan made a beautiful bowler hat with slash detail

Enid’s 3 sided two-tone grey vessel, Jane’s dark blue & Dreda’s light blue vessel.

Helen and I were both smitten with Mandy’s “fern” hat so chose to make that……


Helen’s “fern” hat

My fern hat

Many thanks to Mandy for an inspiring two days and thanks to all the ladies who participated.  If anyone would like to join our group we meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Belchford Village Hall.  For more information please use the contact form.

Concertina Hat Workshop…..

Back in the Summer I read a post on the Felting & Fibre Studio about a concertina hat workshop being run by Teri Berry.  It sounded really interesting but at that time I couldn’t commit due to holidays and other workshops.  Fortunately Teri’s first workshop was such a huge success that it is being run again this month.   As a result I’ve just finished my first wet felted Merino concertina hat and I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I’m now looking forward to trying out the next design which is Teri’s wacky but wonderful “Snail Hat”…….watch this space!

Side view blue/green hat

Ladies wet felted blue/green hat

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Too rear view of blue/green hat

 

“with patience and love”…..

Earlier this week, under the watchful eye of internationally acclaimed Feltmaker Annemie Koenen, I learnt to make felt “with patience and love”.  The workshop in Suffolk was hosted by Region 7 of the IFA and I had a wonderful 3 days in the company of Annemie, Sally, Rachel, Jenny and Gaye.

Annemie demonstrates how to make felt "with patience and love".

Annemie demonstrates how to make felt “with patience and love”.

A few photos of work in progress…..

 

Everyone looks to be concentrating hard!

Everyone looks to be concentrating hard!

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Sally working on her sculptural belt

I took my own Merino wool to the workshop but once I had seen the beautiful  hand dyed Merino with Tussah Silk that Annemie had brought with her I just had to use it!

My collar is taking shape

My collar is taking shape

Annemie’s approach to teaching this workshop was to ask each of us in turn what we would like to make and then ensure that we were guided and supported at every stage to accomplish our goal.  Annemie has a very relaxed and approachable style of teaching but that doesn’t make her a soft touch!  She watched us all like a hawk and kept a very strict eye on timings and on the quality of our work.  As a result I came away with a stunning collar and a head full of tips and inspiration for future projects.

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My finished Autumnal collar

My finished Autumnal collar

A big thank you to Annemie for a wonderful workshop and to the ladies in Region 7 for making me feel so welcome.

The ladies with their finished projects.

The ladies with their finished projects.

Marjolein Dallinga Workshop…

Last week I rode down to South Wales to attend a two day Marjolein Dallinga Workshop with the ladies from Region 12 of the IFA, organised by Mandy Nash.  Originally from the Netherlands Marjolein, an internationally renowned Feltmaker, now lives in Canada and I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered that, not only was she in the UK but that there was a spare place on one of her workshops!

The workshop was held at The Model House Craft & Design Centre in Llantrisant.  positioned at the top of the hill, close to the castle ruins.  The Model House has a gallery and gift shop on the ground floor and then several more floors consisting of more sales areas and craft studios where you can watch the resident artists, including Mandy, at work.

Marjolein’s workshop was different to any other I’ve attended.  The first difference was that she didn’t bring along any of her work as she didn’t want us to be influenced by it.  The second difference was that normally you would know  at the outset that you are making a bowl or a waistcoat or a picture, etc……we knew nothing!  What we were told was that we should allow ourselves the freedom of making something just for the enjoyment of “play”.  The aim was to allow our creativity to come to the fore and experiment with colours and shapes, with no preconceived idea of what the end product should, or would, eventually look like.

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We were asked to use different colour combinations at different stages of our work, some which we particularly liked, some we didn’t like, some warm, some cold. The idea was to get us to use colours we wouldn’t normally work with and to experience the changes in those colours, and in our perception of them, as they blend and merge together.

We made two pieces, the first was based on an egg shape and represented our “inner energy”.  Unfortunately I was so engrossed in what we were doing I forgot to take a photo of mine but you can see the basic shape and size from the one that Mandy has in the centre of her table…..

Mandy working on her two experimental pieces

Mandy working on her two experimental pieces

Our second piece represented our “outer energy”…..

My "outer energy" piece with resist removed

My “outer energy” piece with resist removed

Pleats are sewn into the prefelt before completing the felting & fulling.

Pleats are sewn into the prefelt before completing the felting & fulling.

My finished "Outer Energy" sculpture. It makes me think of a fossilised ballet shoe!

My finished “Outer Energy” sculpture, it makes me think of a fossilised ballet shoe!

.....and other side.

…..and the other side.

My finished "Inner Energy" sculpture

My finished “Inner Energy” sculpture

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…..and the other side.

My two finished pieces are completely different, both having been pleated, fulled and cut away.  Once again I learnt such a lot, met some lovely people and came away inspired!  It was a privilege to spend time with Marjolein.  Not only is she incredibly talented but she has a very calm and warm personality and you really couldn’t wish to meet a nicer person,  Here’s hoping she comes back to the UK very soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masterclass with Dagmar Binder….

I have just got back from a fabulous week in North Yorkshire with Region 10 of the IFA.  I rode up (yes “rode” up, with my motorcycle stacked high with supplies!) to take part in a residential Masterclass with Dagmar Binder and 9 other students at The Old Mill in Skeeby.  I am a huge admirer of Dagmars work and was thrilled to be taking part in her workshop.

Day one, making a start on our samples

Day one, making a start on our samples

My sample piece

My sample piece

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Over the three days we learnt such a lot about making a successful felt garment.  On day one we started with pattern making and then after lunch we made a small set of samples to explore the use of pre felt and how the direction of the fibres affect the finished piece.  Completing the sample would help us to get to get to grips with our “collars”.  Although only small this piece took quite some time to make and the majority of us ended up back in the studio after dinner in order to get it finished.

Laying fibres for my waistcoat

Laying fibres for my waistcoat

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Dagmar talks us through the fulling stage

Louise is the first to finish!

Louise is the first to finish!

Lamona proudly shows off her work

Lamona proudly shows off her work

Niki added some beautiful texture to her design

Niki added some beautiful texture to her design

It was an intense workshop with the majority of us working late into the evening, every evening, but it was so worth it!  I had intended to create several more collars on my waistcoat but soon realised that the work involved, for me, was too much to fit into the time scale we had.  My finished waistcoat isn’t perfect but I am confident that I now have the skill to know where and how I can improve when I make my next one.

My finished waistcoat

My finished waistcoat

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A big thank you to Dagmar, Iris and everyone I met in Skeeby for making this such an enjoyable experience.

Felting Demo for U3A members…..

It’s funny how one thing can lead to another.  A few weeks ago I was out having a coffee when I got chatting to a lady who told me she was keen on various crafts and a member of the Wellingore U3A.  I happened to mention that my passion was felting and as a result, this afternoon I held a felting demo for U3A members, Sue included, at home in Horncastle.

Non of the ladies had tried felting previously so I began by demonstrating needle felting and showing some of the different applications I had used it for.  They were all keen to have a go but, as time was limited and we had to cover wet felting too, the ladies just did a few minutes with a cookie cutter and some Merino to get a feel for it.

Lincoln U3A ladies trying out needle felting

U3A ladies Celia, Myra & Chris trying out needle felting

Two ladies trying out needle felting

Sue and Velma getting to grips with needle felting.

Unfortunately, as I was demonstrating, I didn’t get any other photos this afternoon but, suffice to say, the ladies were very enthusiastic regarding both the needle and wet felting so I’m hoping I’ve encouraged their creativity and they have gone away enthused about their new found hobby!

Nuno Felting with Clare Bullock…..

What had looked like being a pretty normal week suddenly took a more interesting turn on Wednesday.  I received the Artvango newsletter which mentioned there was a spare place on Clare Bullock’s two day nuno felting workshop, starting the following day.  Hmmmm…that would have been nice I thought, as I finished my lunch and set off back to work for the afternoon.  Unfortunately Artvango isn’t exactly on my doorstep so it’s not somewhere I get to visit as often as I would like.  But two days felting, with Clare, starting tomorrow…..it’s got to be worth the long drive down to Knebworth, and it was!

Clare began by talking us through the process and showing us examples of her nuno felting using various different fabrics i.e. silk, gauze, muslin, Indian cotton, etc.  The following three photos are examples of Clare’s beautiful nuno work.


Then it was our turn.  Each sample was created with one layer of Merino wool tops and various scraps of lightweight fabric.  With Clare on hand to ensure we didn’t skint on the rubbing, we rubbed, rubbed, and then rubbed some more…..then time for a coffee and then back to rubbing……



In the next photo you can see nine different scraps of scarves in the early stage of felting.

And the finished sample which I was really pleased with.


My green and blue sample worked pretty well too and I can see this possibly becoming a base for a landscape piece.

Another of my samples which I will add stitching to at some point…..

…..and a close up.

Before the workshop Clare had prepared some rust printed fabrics which she cut up and shared with us.  The following photo shows how my rust sample, made from four pieces of different fabrics, worked out.

And another close up shot showing the textures.


Clare is a very good tutor and full of fun.  We learnt a lot and laughed a lot during the workshop, and I’m sure I can speak for the other ladies when I say that everyone came away really happy with what they had achieved.