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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Tutors need training too

As a tutor I learn much from my students but when the opportunity to learn a new technique comes up with an international renowned tutor , I jump at the chance.
Thanks to the wonderful Ann Ross IFA co ordinator of all things felty in Scotland (and inspirational friend), Liz Clay visited Scotland and kindly agreed to do some workshops.
We crammed a two day event into one day but everyone present was very familiar with felt so we kicked off with Liz's great inspirational instruction.
Here are a few of the photos of that lovely day.

wet and felted before gathering

    How long can you go?

 What do you then do with that knowledge?
Yes I went home and played and i love this technique. Loads of work involved in creating something 1/4 of the starting size but the texture is just adorable and of course very sculptable. 

Thank you so much Liz Clay for a great day!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Dalmally Station textile workshop- painting with wool

This weekend was a great indulgent two days of looking at textile techniques to achieve 'effects' in felting to create landscapes.

the wet landscape being built up in layers
Wool and feltmaking is often a wild thing, elusive in its nature to conform to its creators conceived image.

This workshop allowed students the time to look at design and technique as the main focus and of course the lovely felting machine did a lot of the physical work.

We began by really looking at not just our subject matter but the way in which each student was comfortable to learn, we pushed many of these boundaries over the two days and much was learned on many levels.
working with pastels

By using pastel chalks and blending them we got an idea of how the combinations of coloured wools would blend together. It was not about drawing but the placing of blocks of colours and a seed of inspiration for the landscape pieces.

The students worked so hard and we all delighted in lunches on the platform with the trains tooting by.

The gift of chocolates by the lovely Dreamtime Studio in Inverarey saw us through the tired moments.
Initial exploratory drawings on the platform to dry

A great weekend and a lovely group, thanks girls.

fine detail of cornflowers

moonlight softly falls

butterfly was created on the embellisher and felted into the landscape 

The hard working students, well done girls
stunning work by Julie, shared learning

Sampling on black felt 'page' how much it intensify the blue range
Soft forms of colour like a watercolour dream

in the soft stage, lovely and free

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Workshops and that Autumnal feeling

Still technically Summer although it doesn't feel that way in the cooler downpours today.
There was a change in the air last night , you can feel Autumn clawing at the end of our Summer.
There is the hope of an Indian Summer, as there always is for the eternal optimist but the reality is rarely so.
I love the rain, I love the days when I can spend the day indoors without that longing to be outside.
So today I am tackling a long list of to dos.
Trying to change the size of my lovely blog picture so you don't have to scroll so far to read this post was on top. I have tried and resubmitted several times but a template is not changeable to my inexperienced fingertips.
So to workshops and the great range of different ones coming up soon.
Saturday 7th and 8th September Paint with wool.

I am excited with this two day event and working on samples and printouts for students.These are a few of the ideas
The landscape here at Dalmally is just breathtaking and the changing colours so perfect to capture with wool.

This weekend would be a great opportunity to indulge yourself in either a new art skill or perhaps to learn a little more about the ancient craft of felt making. The felt rolling machine makes it possible for students to work on larger piece than perhaps if the rolling was done by hand.
£100 is a steal with materials included.

Dalmally has a lot of great local b&b's and the food at the Glenorchy Lodge is fantastic.
 Local scenery and the light is fantastic
Lots of local interest too.

We still have a few places left if you would like to join us. visit on my workshop page for more details.

Monday, 29 July 2013

The patter of tiny feet in felt

It's been a while since I have made some work that is for 'the little people'.
I forgot how much I loved working on this scale.
A local request for a special one year olds birthday was the starting point.
A new camera and some time to make and document and a help to those out there who are getting to grips with the wonderful creative craft of feltmaking.
silk is laid on black plastic resist. Note both slippers are made at the same time.

Three different pairs of slippers laid out in varying colours

tools for the work in hand

This shows the first layer in the pink wrapped over both sides of the resist. The sage colour shows the process before folding over ready for layer two

Pink and blue fluffiness with the outside layer

Having repeated the stages of layer one the slippers have a thin layer of silk on top for strength and design and get rolled in a bamboo blind

The booties get rolled until they shrink on the resist. Attention is paid to the edges t avoid ridges 

preparing the wool for lace cords

The corded laces which are then wet felted 

The slippers after being cut out and shaped on the resin or wood forms ( see above picture)
At this point I latex the soles to come over the heel and the front of the toe . This assists the baby in crawling and the early walking stages

The finished baby booties ready to be danced in.