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.

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Experimenting with Nuno Felting…..

Yesterday I was teaching in Risley, just outside of Derby, working with a creative group of ladies called “Material Girls”.  They had invited me over to spend the day with them experimenting with Nuno Felting.

The ladies all brought a selection of lightweight fabrics ranging from pure silk, viscose and muslin through to polyester and netting as well as Merino fibres.  The idea was for this to be an experimental session making samples which could later be stitched and framed, making a unique piece of textile art.

The results were absolutely stunning!  Depending on the choice of fabrics this process can be very time and labour intensive and therefore I was a little concerned as to the staying power of my group!  I needn’t have worried….there was a lot of coffee, biscuits, laughter and determination to keep us going and the results really paid off.

Once their work was finished the ladies used picture mounts to select certain area which appealed to them for stitching.  Non of this fabric will get wasted as even small off cuts can be used for making brooches or used in card making, mixed media work, etc…..

Once again, it was a pleasure to work with a group of like minded ladies and be able to share my enthusiasm and passion for Feltmaking and Textiles.  Many thanks to Viv and Jenny for arranging my visit and helping to make the day a success.  I look forward to seeing you all again sometime.

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A quick update on the pictures made at this workshop and a big thanks to Anne who has sent me photos of the two pictures she made from her Nuno samples.  Just a little stitching is all it took to transform the fabrics into beautiful landscapes…..

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!

 

Beginners Workshop in Wet Felting…..

Today saw me driving down to Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden, Northamptonshire to deliver a beginners workshop in Wet Felting.  Colemans is a large out of town, retail outlet crammed with all manner of crafting equipment and materials including card making, stamping, fabrics, Felting, beading, knitting, etc.  There is a cafe area on the ground floor while the spacious, well lit workshop area is on the mezzanine above the sales floor.

There were nine ladies taking part in the workshop and for all of them this would be their first introduction to Wet Felting.  We began by discussing the basics of creating a piece of flat felt and everyone made an abstract sample using Merino fibres and adding snippets of yarn, fabric and silks.

Above are the pieces prior to Felting (apologies for the one that’s missing) and below are the pieces after Felting.

 

After lunch the ladies were given a choice.  They could either make a picture, using the skills they had learnt earlier, or they could learn another laying out technique and make a flower.   It was quite spooky how one side of the table chose the picture while the other side chose the flower…..I hadn’t realised the split until I looked at this photo!

The results were wonderful…..

The ladies all said how much they had enjoyed the day and all of them are keen to do more Wet Felting which is terrific to hear.   Colemans have invited me back to do another Wet Felting workshop for them on Saturday 14th April so I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones too.  Next time we will be creating felted landscapes and learning how to incorporate pre felts in our work.

Many thanks to Jo and the staff at Colemans for making me welcome and to my enthusiastic students!

Wet Felting at Withern…..

I’ve discovered an unexpected benefit of running local workshops……I’m discovering villages in Lincolnshire that I didn’t know existed!  Today I was at Withern Village Hall, deep in the Lincolnshire Wolds for the first time ever, with seven ladies from the local textile and art groups.

The workshop was to be an introduction to Felting so we began by laying out our Merino fibres and fancy yarns and then wet felting our backgrounds.

After lunch we did some needle felting, adding detail to the work, and then the ladies chose to either machine or hand embroider to further embellish their pictures.  I love the tiny bees on Kay’s picture!

There is still a little work left to do before all of the pieces are finished but I’m sure you will agree they are all looking great!  Thanks for inviting me to Withern, and for being such an enthusiastic group!  It was a very enjoyable day and I hope to see some of you again soon.

Forest Floor…..

I’m currently working on samples for a heat manipulative mixed media workshop with the theme  “Forest Floor”.  This is the first sample in the series in which I’ve used painted and heat distressed Tyvek and Lutradur, combined with natural tree bark, a leaf and hand embroidery.

The first of the workshops will be held at Simply Stitch, East Keswick on April 7th & 8th.  On day one we will be painting on, and experimenting with, various heat manipulative materials.  Using an iron, soldering iron and heat tool we will be working with Tyvek paper and fabric, various weights of Lutradur and polyester.  There will be the opportunity to include hand and machine stitching in your work.

On day two we will use the samples we have made, or create new ones, adding stitching and found objects to build up a layered, highly textured piece of work inspired by the “Forest Floor”.  For more info or to book a place contact Nicola on 07969 578289 or email nicola@simplystitch.co.uk

This is a photograph of two autumn leaves and a leaf skeleton I made from Lutradur.

Autumn Leaf skeleton made from Lutradur

On April 25th I will be running a one day “Forest Floor” workshop at All Sewn Up by Debs in Horncastle.  For this session we will be using the iron, soldering iron and heat tool to manipulate Tyvek paper and lightweight Lutradur.  Once they’ve been distressed these materials will be combined with natural tree bark and hand stitching to create our beautiful, layered Forest Floor.  This class is suitable for all abilities and is a great introduction to working with Lutradur and Tyvek.  For more information or to book a place call Debs on 01507 524566.

 

Textural Necklace…..

 

This is my latest “Ullapool/Ardmair” inspired piece.  I wanted this textural necklace to capture the atmospheric beauty of the monochromatic grey days and the grey pebble beaches, punctuated by the yellow/green of the seaweed and the lichen on the rocks.

The necklace is made from grey, taupe and white Merino with just a hint of yellow added.  It was embellished with Colonial knots made using Madeira metallic threads.

 

 

 

Wet Felted Wall Hanging…..

A quick post to show how Alison and Yvonne have got on with making their beautiful versions of my Yellow Poppies wet felted wall hanging today.

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Alison was quite at home with the free machine stitching while for Yvonne it was her first attempt and she admitted that she had got on far better than she thought she would.  Just the mention of free machining sends some folk into a state of panic but with a few basic pointers I find most people overcome the dread and start to enjoy it.

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Both pieces are looking lovely but there is still some work to be done so I will post an update once the ladies have finished their pieces.

Felted Mushroom Workshop…..

I’ve just been informed that we still have spaces left on my Needle Felted  Mushroom Workshop which will be held in Alford on the 9th February.  This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners as well as those who have experience of felting.  If you would like to book please contact the Alford Craft Market via their website http://www.alfordcraftmarket.co.uk or call Lynne on 01507 463341.