a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘past workshops’ Category

Last workshop of the year

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Fittingly, it was a felt wreath workshop, a busy but very productive and successful day. The hall was trimmed for the festive season which added to the ambience.

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The misteltoe wreath below is by Zoe and the addition of the robin with the red breast enabled her to use a red ribbon for hanging. That little flash of red amongst all the green and white works very well.

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Next up is from Suzi. This wreath is very calm with it’s colour choice and yet the spirals give it such energy. Try as hard as she might, the  wreath resisted all attempts to have any extra bits added so all the shop bought lovelies, with the exception of one small bark bird, stayed in their bags! Perhaps they’ll make it onto the next one. The hanging mechanism is a handmade cord made from handpsun yarn.

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On first sight I wasn’t won over by the face on the little brd brought in by Claire but Oh the tail!!  You have to love it for the tail. Roses in bright red, maroon with red sparkle angelina and old gold Merino.

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Mandy worked in a similar colour palette but added white roses to the mix which worked very well. I also like the way the spirals have been arranged into a fan creating a real strong focal point.

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Lynne (I hope I’ve spelt this correctly, please forgive me if I haven’t) wanted a wreath that was quite simple and unfussy so although there’s a lot of items on here their placement has achieved the look she was after. Again, the one flash of red lifts it and allowed her to use a red hanging ribbon.

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I asked what colours people wanted to work in on the wreath as I needed to card the fibre in advance and did wonder what a purple wreath would look like. Well, I think it’s stunning. Rachel did a fantastic job with her colour combinations and despite or maybe because of  her angst over colours, placement of items and how much to put on, it all worked very well.

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Francesca also surprised me with her colour choice by asking for teal but went on to add that she would put red and orange roses with it which I knew would be a stunning colour combination. Turning up with a large bag full of baubles  enabled her to choose a good mix of colours and there were plenty of the appropriate size for the wreath. This wreath is glorious fun!

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Mainly, people need to be encouraged to put more on a wreath, everyone remembers the adage less is more but sometimes more is more. You don’t need to cover the whole wreath but where you do place items they need to look abundant. There’s something about wreaths, I definitely need to make one for our shop and am now planning another workshop in my head.

Thanks ladies for a brilliant day and thanks very much for help with tidying away, have a great Christmas.

Poncho workshop

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Don’t ask me to recall which poncho belonged to whom, it’s a few weeks ago and I’m sorry to say I have forgotten!  I could perhaps describe one or two people but as to names, well, that is a weakness of mine. Howver, that doesn’t detract from the work put in nor the beauty of the outcome. Enjoy 🙂

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Did you notice that they’re reversible and that the one above is a beautiful dark chocolate colour on the reverse?Two people chose to leave them as oversize scarves and they do look rather cosy that way.

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We’d begun the day by salt and pepper dyeing of the silk chiffon.

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Whilst waiting for the silk to dye some people chose to spend the time making prefelts which were then applied over the silk side of the poncho. It adds weight as well as interest.

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So sorry I didn’t get these up earlier ladies so that I could have named the creator of each one.

 

Poppy bag workshop

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

So many poppies made in the last month and not just by me. Take a look at the beautiful poppy bags made on Saturday.

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The majority of people had little or no felting experience so it’s a double achievement to have made such splendid pictorial bags.

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Carol isn’t a bag person so chose instead to create two pictures onto which she will later stitch.

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The poppies just glow don’t they. Mandy was at the workshop and happened to mention she’d been working on a needle felted nativity scene since September, aw, lovely we thought. Once we discovered she actually had it with her we insisted on an impromptu show and tell.

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It’s still a work in progress and there are one or two more characters / animals to make an appearance but aren’t they just lovely? And so well felted.  As in the Shrek film, it was the donkey that stole the show.

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Thank you Mandy Gordon for sharing these with us.

2nd Eco print workshop

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Just a few pictures from the second workshop I ran on eco printing. I know at least two participants have gone on to do more at home which is so satisfying for me, to inspire people to make and experiment is what it’s all about.

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There are far fewer photos this time because all I had with me was my phone, you think I’d have learnt by now! Not only that but I seemed to take a few out of focus and some with my finger in the way. Obviously a bad photo day!

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Still, they looked stunning didn’t they?

School workshop

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

School workshops are fun but are often very quick affairs of just an hour or two. Imagine my delight when a local shool, Moorfield School, commissioned me to create a wallhanging with the upper sixth to be a permanent feature in the dining hall. Discussion with the art teacher led us to working in neutrals with a tree theme. I was so looking forward to the day.

We began by laying out the background fibres onto a piece of cotton muslin. I was using the muslin because I wanted the hanging to have extra strength. As the tree was to be quite pale I wanted a slightly darker background and chose fawn Masham, sandwiching some white between the layers to keep it lighter still.

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Every once in a while we swopped activities so that everyone got chance to have a go at everything. The girls laid out backgrounds. made wet felted berries, flat felt with mulberry silk on and cords and needle felted some large balls to chop in half and hide under the tree roots.

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On top of the Masham we put milk protein and tussah silk followed by all the cords to form the trunk and branches. The cords were made with Merino, some had inclusions of Wensleydale locks, cotton scrim and flax fibres for a little deeper colour.

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Finally we added real skeleton leaves and leaves cut from the white felt made earlier, It was really starting to look good and then there was the hard work of felting the whole thing together. The girls worked very hard both rubbing and rolling the hanging. Once felted it was time to stitch on some more skeleton leaves, white felt leaves, beads, buttons and berries to create a very full and textured effect.

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It always looks a bit flat when wet but once dry it comes to life. If you look at the base of the tree you can see the texture created by hiding wool balls under the roots and including more Wensleydale fleece and wool nepps.

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Just some of the many berries that were made.

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There was scrim, cords, fleece, flax, cotton chenille and lace in the trunk

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The girls worked very hard and it was so, so worth it, the hanging looks fantastic and now that the channel is on the back for hanging I’ll be delivering this tomorrow.

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A great days work, don’t you agree? It will look splendid in the hall.

Textured vessel workshop

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

I always look forward to workshops, to seeing what people make but, on the day, some workshops seem to have a really good feel about them that makes them stick in your mind as a good one. This workshop was one of those, great atmosphere and I just loved what people made. It’s a fab feeling to think I helped them to achieve such brilliant results, especially as two were new to felt making.

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Unusually, I took a couple of shots during the laying out process and the one below is my absolute favourite, so pretty.

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In the flesh it looked like a most delicious cake! The monotone below also caught my attention., I was drawn to it’s curly exuberance.

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I just had to show you this one again, finished, with the lace on the bottom which reminded me of a potters’ mark.

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And a full frontal of it!

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The next two were made by new felt makers and, for me, the red one has a romantic feel, love the vibe.

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What can I say, purple and orange are one of my favourite colour combinations, I was always going to love this.

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It’s hard to believe at times that every one of these pots came off the same shape resist. It’s about where you cut and how you shape. This next one really did have the feel of an underwater scene so scalloping the opening was perfect.

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The ‘cake’ somehow became less cake and more vintage as it was felted and the plain white second opening really helps to set it off.

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Sadly people weren’t willing to leave their creations with me 🙁 I guess I’ll have to make my own.

Bag workshop

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Saturday was lovely and sunny outside and in as we created some fab felt bags.

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The small blue/green bag on the left was made by Mandy. It’s only her second ever piece of felt and she made a great job of it even venturing into adding a pleat. On the right is the blue / red bag by Chris who decided upon a spiral pleat repeated on both sides.

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Repeating the spiral pleat, on both sides, in the same position also made a wonderful gussett on the bag. Gill wanted a large fairly plain bag for everyday use. It had an internal pocket and was destined for a leather strap.

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Irene was very taken with my leaf shaped bag and created her own autumnal version with a green interior. Many pleats means more stitching and felting but it was on it’s way to completion by the time she left. I can’t wait to see a photo of it finished.

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Irene was also inspired to try one with more pleats and this shape I created based on a shell but Irene’s colour choice of turquoise with a white interior was stunning.

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It was a joy to work with these lovely ladies and a very big thank you to them all for their help in tidying away. Clifton Village Hall is a really nice small hall with views into adjoining fields full of sheep and donkeys. All my workshops are being held at this venue for the remainder of the year, I hope to see some of you there.

Ruffle scarf workshop

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Pictures from the ruffle scarf workshop last weekend. The lighting wasn’t the best and the scarves are a little less lively than they will be when they’re dry but delightful all the same.

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This was Mandy’s first ever piece of felt, The workshop was a Christmas gift from her husband, didn’t he do well?  Mandy did really well too and was so excited by the whole felt making process that she’s hooked.

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Lisa is a self taught feltmaker and despite an early hiccup with the scarf, overcame her difficulty and finished it beautifully. Such a shame that the colour isn’t better on this shot.

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Sheila is a more experienced felter and chose to create her scarf with a double ruffle. They’ve all turned out really well.

Vessel workshop

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Last month was the vessel workshop where we had a great time making pots from British wools including; Blue Faced Leicester, Manx Loaghtan, Jacob and Wensleydale.

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They look particularly pleasing as a group don’t you think? The blue colour is dyed BFL. We all began with a circular resist yet you can see the variety of shapes achieved from that same simple beginning. It’s one of the great pleasures of workshops that people produce such variation from the same start point.

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The red is dyed BFL and the blue is hand dyed Swaledale. With the second set of pots we worked on producing a resist for felting around vases and jars. Again, it’s the grouping that makes it so pleasing. It’s fun to make two in one day, one free formed and one around an object plus, it was an opportunity for everyone to try two separate wool types.

Every sheep breed produces different wool and it’s one of the many joys I get from felting is to play and experiment with the different wools. There are more pots coming up in April with opportunities to add fabrics, spikes, cut backs and cut through to our work. Check out the workshop page if you fancy coming along.

Turquoise wrap

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

One of the samples that I made for the nuno wrap workshop last month. I always seem to be behind in blogging about them but I will make sure that you see them eventually. The turquoise devore behaved slightly differently to the other colours and lost dye during the felt making but nothing too drastic.

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A flamboyant wrap needs a flamboyant corsage too.

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Using devore gives a great texture to the wrap and makes it super warm too for the colder weather.

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The coloured frill is so nice and really sets it off well if you use the reverse of the wrap. I always like them to be double sided and this side has dyed bamboo.

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I’m very pleased with how it turned out, it’s so pretty and turqouise is one of my favourite colours.