a life of fibre

Festival of Making May 13th, 2018

We were unable to visit this festival last year and so were pleased to make it along yesterday. The National  Festival of Making is held in the centre of  Blackburn across a range of venues. It doesn’t matter what your interest there’s things to do, food marquees, makers fair (might have indulged in both of these), teenage makers, music, craft sessions, art, more music, drop in and bookable craft sessions and lots of manufacturing references. I quite enjoyed the steam pavillion which was right by where we parked.

I loved the steampunk submercycle and the cathedral was a refreshing change.

It’s been added to over the years and so is a mix of styles, was only made a cathedral in the 20th century and has lots of modern art.

It also had a display of photographs by Wally and Harold Talbot which I enjoyed. Everywhere we went Blackburn College was heavily involved which was great. One of my top marquees was the one dedicated to keeping alive some of the lesser known crafts like brush making (I had a ago) and safety pin making. Along every street were drop in sessions including making jewellery from bottle tops with this as your inspiration.

Further along the street was the clayground where we each made an item to add to the glorious mayhem. Mine was a fairly poor flower and pebbles, Charlotte made a lemur but put it so close to my phone that I couldn’t focus!

Simon managed a respectable owl and then it was on to the next thing. The making of an asian wedding drew me and after making samosas (mine was perfect!) I got a henna tattoo. There is so much going on that I can’t tell you everything so take a look at the website and go along on Sunday 13th May if you can or there’s always next year.

A canal walk May 7th, 2018

One early Sunday morning we parked by the canal at Bradley and walked into Skipton. It was a still and sunny day with few people about and short though the walk is, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

There’s something about the charm of old buildings plus the reflections on the pacid water.

We came across this amazing fungus, one I’ve never seen before. Does anyone know what it is?

Upcycling May 4th, 2018

I love upcycling, don’t you? I also love making book covers so I was very pleased when I came across a damaged vintage silk scarf and decided to nuno felt it into a book cover. These photos don’t do it justice, they really don’t but they’re the best I’ve got and I wanted you to see this pretty book cover.

It really wasn’t a scarf I’d ever have worn but remodelled like this I love it.

I left the little clusters of flowers to speak for themselves and did a small amount of hand embroidery on just three of the larger flowers.

The best news is, I have sufficient left for a second one 🙂

A little bit of weaving April 25th, 2018

When I have time I enjoy a few minutes on my knitters loom, when I don’t have time it, folds up and slips behind the chair. Recently I’ve been using some lovely Jacob yarn from The Knitting Gift Shop and am quite pleased with the outcome, two delicious bedside rugs.

You can see the one on the left has not yet had the fringe finished and been blocked but I couldn’t wait any longer to show you.

I thought I would like the one with more white in best but I think the dark one is stealing my heart, how unexpected.

Nuno scarf workshop April 19th, 2018

I ran a nuno scarf workshop last Friday. Everyone began with white silk gauze and white Merino but the results are very different. Enjoy…

Didn’t they do well!  Thanks to Claire and Kath for modelling their scarves. I’m also very grateful for all the help I had in tidying up at theend of the day – thank you x

Wool Stories – The Felted Mill April 15th, 2018

Yesterday morning was the opening of the exhibition down at Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills. If you recall my posts from earlier in the year when I talked about my involvement in the project, you’ll realise it’s been nearly a year in the making. There’s work from 21 felt makers, covering 2d and 3d work inspired by the mill, it’s contents or environs.

Is it a scarf? April 12th, 2018

Well, it was meant to be. I had some lovely broad french lace which I thought of using for a nuno scarf. Carefully laying out the wool, I added the lace on one side and dyed silk laps on the other and began rolling. Stopping part way to check how it was progressing, I decided I really didn’t like it and promptly ripped the wool from the lace setting it aside as a pre-felt I could come back to later.

Ripping the wool off whilst it was wet meant it stretched and pulled it, it looked quite good, I began to have thoughts of using it as a collar on a pot, hmm….

 

To begin, I made a basic white pot on a resist and took it to the pre-felt stage with the resist moved. Using about half the scarf length I began pleating and tacking it in place before recommencing felting.

I really like all the chunky texture around the opening contrasting with the plain pot.

Really pleased with how it turned out and I still have half the prefelt and all of the lace leftover for another project. Should I bead the collar??

Vintage style book cover April 6th, 2018

In my stash was a damaged vintage silk scarf which I thought it was time to use. I laid it onto a background of white Blue Faced Leicester wool and felted it to make a book cover.

It worked out even better than I had hoped and will shortly make it’s way into Out of the Ordinary in Skipton.

‘Wool’ pot April 1st, 2018

I had a little bit of printing left after my Armley Mills pieces were made and felt inspired to make a pot with them.

You can see I’ve cut round the shape of the letters, the plan being to shape the rim of the pot in the same way.

The word is repeated on the other side too but in a different font and true to form, I forgot to take another photo during laying out.

This huge O and fancy L are my favourite letters. The font on the other side was so large it was difficult fitting it all on.

I used silk paj printed and felted onto Blue Faced Leicester. I did consider embellishing the pot but wasn’t sure and allowed myself to be convinced to leave it plain. Sometimes less is definitely more.

Moorfield School Part 2 March 28th, 2018

Having the scale plan on the wall allowed the students to see what we were working towards.

We began by making all the prefelts ready to cut into shapes for the buildings.

The wall plan was useful for tracing the outline of the building sections preparatory to cutting out. Using a white prefelt for the background, we could then start laying on the pieces.

Building it up piece by piece.

Three main colours were chosen for the building – pink, purple and yellow with red for the roofs. Orange was chosen for the new part of the building and grey with sparkly angelina fibres for all the windows.

Time to start adding detail.

Down to work. Working in teams to roll both with hands and then feet.

It was worth all the work.

It’ll be hung by the means of tabs on the top edge. You’ll notice these aren’t evely spaced so that if, in future, the school would like to hang it as a triptych it’ll be a simple process of cutting it into three.

The students were a pleasure to work with and this may have been a large project but it was fun.