a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘past workshops’ Category

British wool book covers

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Piles of Masham, Blue Faced Leicester and Shetland wool turned into five smashing book covers.

We included lace, natural and synthetic fabrics and dyed Teeswater curls onto the fibre. At the pre felt stage we stopped and stitched into it before continuing to felt.

In the photo above you can see the broken lines of navy stitch which were put in at the pre felt stage and have sunk into the background as opposed to the cross stitch which was done after felting was completed and which floats on the surface.

Again, the pale pink stitches done at the pre felt stage have become part of the background whilst the stitching added later stands proud. I love the layering and effects that can be achieved by stitching at two stages in the felting process.

Beautiful, hard wearing British wool note books. Another successful day 🙂

 

Aha! the photos have been found

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

At last, I’ve found the photos from the wet felted vessels workshop last month. We were working in British wools and if I remember rightly the ones chosen were Shetland, Masham and Blue Faced Leicester. The idea was to make two smaller pots to get a feel for how different wools behave.

They’re cute aren’t they, we then went onto our second ones in which people made larger ones and played with the shape.

All the shapes above come from a circular resist.

They look really great as a group, everyone did really well with the pots. One or two have silk on but it doesn’t shine when wet, more’s the pity.

Picture workshop

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

A couple of pictures from yesterday’s workshop to share with you.

This one by Anne was still in the making and the soap is obscuring the colours somewhat but I bet it’ll look great once it’s dry.

Margaret was working from a photo and wanted to know how to bring more life into her work by using relief and working with pre felts. It was coming together quite nicely and I know it will be transformed with more relief work and stitch before we next see it.

This was Angie’s first picture, worked from a photograph and quite successful. Another one destined to be stitched into!

Jackie brought in a black and white photo of a landscape reflected in water to work from. It’s come out very well and the silk added to give greater lightness to the piece is just beginning to shine as it dries.

Catch up one

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

I’m back playing catch up on my posts again! I seem to have a few weeks where they’re flying off the keyboard and then time runs away with me in other areas of my life and the posts roll to a halt.

I was hoping to show pictures from the wet felted vessel workshop but they seem to have disappeared from the camera. I suspect Hubby may know something about this. If they turn up I will share them here but in the meantime you’ll have to make do with a few pics from the bag workshop earlier this week.

All the bags are worked in Shetland wool and all but one of the workshop participants were compete felting newbies. The end of the day turned into a terrible rush as just as we were taking photos the next group turned up to use the hall half an hour early. There’d been a mix up in the admin and our bookings were overlapping so we had to shoot round and tidy up very quickly which meant photos were rushed and not all bags were on the photo above.

The light areas in the photo above is the silk which was just beginning to shine as it dried and this bag was made by Mary.

Steph is responsible for the bag shown above, it was her first day felt making and was paid for by her son as a Mother’s Day present – wasn’t that a nice thought.

I loved the way Karen decided to frill the edge of her bag flap, it really suited the decoration on the bag too. I must thank all the ladies for their speedy work in helping me to clear up and pack away tables etc. I don’t think I’ve ever been out of there in such quick time but the youngsters were waiting for their dancing lesson.

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.