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Monday, 10 July 2017

SHIBORI TEXTURES

The recent SHIBORI TEXTURES workshops have been a great success!
Thanks to everyone who came along, well-prepared with piles of wonderful 
pre-felts AND lots of energy & enthusiasm to experiment with
all the different techniques and possibilities…

As explained in previous posts the SHIBORI stages involve folding, pleating, stitching 
and binding lots of different shapes and textures into the pre-felts. 
This could include buttons, beads and felt balls which all give different effects...

Here are some photos from the workshops of pre-felts, 
prepared and ready for further felting…


And here are some of the results after felting...


Lots of amazing felted textures,and organic shapes
  -  some quite random and unexpected - 
all extremely unique!

When these techniques are applied to pieces of feltwork, 
whether a flat 2-D picture or a 3-D vessel, they create textures and provide an
 extra dimension that can be further embellished 
with stitching and beading..

At the end of the workshops everyone went home with lots of 
wonderful samples
and plenty of ideas for future projects...

And so did I...!    






Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Summer SHIBORI workshops...

Having taking time away from felt making to prepare for my exhibition 
in April things are slowly getting back to normal again… 
A very big THANK YOU to everyone who came along to Quarr Abbey.
It was wonderful to have so many visitors - lots of friends & holiday makers. 
Don’t worry if you were unable to make it, there is another chance to see 
the exhibition in July and there’s more photos + info at 
www.strictlycommercial.info

Now it’s back to feltmaking with two SHIBORI workshops coming up this summer. 
There was a great response to the first workshop in March so I’ve arranged two 
new dates and there’s more details if you follow the link at the end of this post.


SHIBORI is a Japanese term used to describe the various techniques 
of knotting and binding cloth before dyeing, which results in wonderful
patterns and effects. 
3-D textures can also be created by twisting, folding, gathering 
and stitching into the fabric.


If SHIBORI techniques are applied to felt making at the pre-felt stage, 
then you continue to felt the material, the shaping remains 
permanent giving some unexpected results!


It adds another dimension to feltwork.  
Areas of texture can be introduced into flat felted pictures 
and 3-D work.enhancing and emphasising detail,
 which can be worked further with stitches and beads. 



The folds, ridges, bumps and pointy tendrils create some 
wonderful organic shapes!



The SHIBORI workshops are aimed at feltmakers with some experience and 
offer a chance to spend a day experimenting with these unusual techniques.
No pressure to achieve a finished piece, just trying out different fibres and effects,
felting lots of samples and enjoying the day with like-minded people… 

 I’m suggesting everyone comes along well-prepared with plenty of pre-felts so 
we can start immediately with the shibori stages. I will be demonstrating and
bringing along plenty of examples as you can see here…
  

And there are more details of the new workshop dates 
at Seely Hall in Brook if you follow this link...



Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NOW for something completely different!



The felting workshops are over for a while and I'm busy preparing for my first 
solo exhibition to be held at Quarr Abbey Art Gallery, near Ryde on the
 Isle of Wight, just after Easter.

The exhibition is called STRICTLY COMMERCIAL and features illustrations, 
collage and craftwork from my published books... 
So not a piece of felt in sight!

I worked in children's publishing for over 30 years, free-lancing as an illustrator 
and writer, and worked on many publications - non-fiction and fiction, craft books, 
pop-ups, puzzles, magazines. There will be lots of original artwork on show 
and for sale, plus recently published books and cards. 

The exhibition is from Thursday 20th to Tuesday 25th April, open daily from 
10.30 am to 4.30pm with FREE admission and I will be at the gallery everyday. 
There's another chance to see it again in the summer from the 
27th July to 1st August.

I've held a number of feltmaking workshops at Quarr Abbey. 
It's an amazing place to visit with wonderful buildings and gardens, 
that create a unique peaceful atmosphere. 
I'm thrilled to be holding the exhibition at this very special place. 


There's lots more pictures and information on my other blog...


And normal felt making will resume after the show when I'll be posting 
up new workshop dates for June & July...








Sunday, 22 January 2017

2017 WORKSHOPS + SHIBORI TEXTURES...

The start of a new year and a new season of FELTED GARDEN workshops ahead....Including some exciting NEW topics which I hope will inspire both seasoned feltmakers and those of you keen to learn a new craft! 

Last year I came across a brilliant little book FILZ EXPERIMENT, written by a German couple, which really excited me and got me thinking about experimenting with shape and texture in my work. By using simple 'shibori' techniques - gathering, stitching and binding - before the final stages of felting you can coax the felt into amazing contortions... And once felted in they remain permanent, giving some totally unexpected results!!


It literally opens up another dimension to feltwork. Areas of texture can be introduced into flat felted pictures—possibly enhancing a foreground or emphasising details which can be worked further with stitches and beads…

In 3-D work patches of texture on vessels and bags add so much interest and are also reversible—giving a different effect to either side — convex one way, concave the other! The folds, ridges, bumps and pointy tendrils create some wonderful organic shapes.


The SHIBORI TEXTURES workshop on Saturday 18th March is a chance for everyone to spend a day experimenting with these unusual  techniques, sharing ideas and results. It’s aimed at felt makers with some experience and I’m suggesting everyone comes along well-prepared with plenty of pre-felts so we can start immediately with the shibori stages, make the most of the time and go home armed with lots of amazing samples and inspiration!

Sometimes it’s good to take a day out and allow yourself time to play and experiment with something new. No pressure to achieve a finished piece, just trying out different materials and effects and enjoying the day with like-minded people… It should be fun!

I'd really like to thank Annette Quentin-Stoll & Robert Quentin the authors of 
FILZ EXPERIMENT for sharing their work in this inspiring book. Although the text is in German, which I don't read, the brilliant photography is self-explanatory 
and speaks wonders!  


There are more details about all the new workshop dates coming up in March 
at Seely Hall, Brook Village, IOW if you follow this link...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

AUTUMN WORKSHOPS - looking back!

As another season of the FELTED GARDEN workshops draws to a close 
here's a chance to look back at some of the amazing work 
produced over the past months...
The FELT BIRDS were a brand new theme and I wasn't sure how they would 
work out - I needn't have worried! As with most felting techniques, once understood everyone quickly got to work and the variety of birds produced was 
 spectacular - way beyond my expectations... 


Not just garden birds, blue tits, robins, finches, even a Cornish chough, 
but also some fantastic parrots, owls and a penguin! 

Here's a rather damp flock at the end of the day, 
felted, ready to be stitched and decorated when completely dry! 


The 'Painting with Fibres' workshop also produced 
some wonderful work and
here are just a few examples of some pictures in progress
and don't forget to click on the photos to see more details... 



...by laying out a range of mixed fibres 
the designs are carefully built up
 using sketches and photos as reference.



At the end of the '3-D' workshop...
Lots of very interesting pods again still very wet after the days felting 
but firm enough to hold their shape. 
All felted around resists and then finished by hand...


and on a much smaller scale these beautiful seeds and
 berries were all wet felted using similar techniques.
Fantastic examples of how felt can be moulded and worked
 by hand to make almost anything 


And finally 
stunning work by some of my more experienced felters...
Truly inspirational!




The perfect end to another busy year!

Just remains for me to say a very big 
THANK YOU 
to all my students who keep coming along to the workshops.
You make it such fun and keep me on my toes!!!


A very HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you all!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

FELT BIRDS... and more workshops

The FELTED GARDEN workshops have been running for a while now, 
with topics connected to gardens, the countryside and the seasons. 
What better way to compliment these natural themes than to introduce
a new workshop making FELT BIRDS… 


I started making my felt garden birds last year and they had immediate appeal,
 with everyone asking when I was going to do a workshop… 
It has taken a while to organise things but I’m really delighted to be able to 
share my ideas in the first ‘FELT BIRDS’ workshop coming up in October.

This technique of making felt birds is something I have developed and as 
far as I know no one else is teaching this method. The birds are wet felted, 
NOT needle felted and can be made to look very realistic,,,


 ...or really quirky...
 and can be personalised with surface decoration and stitching 
as you can see here…
(And if you want to see more detail click on the photos to enlarge)


 With Christmas not too far away these birds make great gifts
and perfect tree decorations….

The ‘FELT BIRDS’ workshop will be at Seely Hall in Brook Village, IOW
 Sat 8th October 10am—4pm (now fully booked!)
NEW DATES arranged for Sat 19th November
and now Sat 3rd December....

  
During the summer I felted this flower picture using lots of 
different fibres, textures and pre-felts.


 I then worked into the felt fabric with machine stitching and hand embroidery. 



It is a good illustration of what my ’Painting with Fibres’ workshop is all about! 

During the workshop you create a felt picture, learning basic felt making 
techniques, experimenting with fibres and textures...
Then you have the extra pleasure of embellishing your finished piece 
with stitching, at home, at your leisure... 

The ‘PAINTING with FIBRES’ workshop will be at Seely Hall, Brook, IOW
 on Sat 1st October 10am—4pm

There will be also be a ‘3-D FELT’ workshop on Sat 15th October at Seely Hall.
We will be well into autumn by then and there will be a 'Seeds & Pods' 
theme to the day. This has to be my most favourite time of year and I shall be
 bringing lots of inspiration along to the workshop...


I will demonstrate methods of 3-D felting using resists.
You can choose to felt a bag or bowl, or come along with your own ideas!


All the workshops will be held at the Seely Hall in Brook Village, IOW..

The 'Felt Birds' workshop is £40 per person for the day and this 
includes ALL materials.

The 'Painting with Fibres' & '3-D Felt' workshops are £35 per person per day,
there's an extra charge for materials or you can bring your own fibre.

For more details or to make a booking please contact Gill 
on 01983 752872.
  


Monday, 18 April 2016

SUMMER Workshops...

It’s nearly a year since I re-named my felt making business
"THE FELTED GARDEN"...
 Now we are all looking forward to the warmer months ahead and getting out 
into our gardens, and the new workshops reflect the changes in the seasons…

Flowers are our main source of inspiration for the June workshops, 
starting with ‘PAINTING with FIBRES’ at Seely Hall in Brook Village, IoW
 on Sat 11th June - 10am - 4pm. 

Open to all abilities - you will learn basic felt making techniques,
experiment with fibres + textures and create a flat piece of felt fabric 
which can be stitched and worked into a picture, cushion cover or bag.  
Come along and discover the possibilities of working with felt!
  



 Joy’s Wayside Herb Garden in Yafford, IOW will be full of colour in June!
We will be holding a ‘FELTING FLOWERS’ Day there on Sat 18th.June.
For more details + booking contact Joy direct on 07879 613389


 Felting in 3-D is always a challenge for those new to the technique, 
but once mastered you can felt any 3-D shape - bags, bowls, hats 
or even hand puppets, using the same method. 

For the 3-D WORKSHOP on Sat 25th June at Seely Hall, Brook,
I shall be demonstrating something NEW!  
How to felt a ipad cover (with a flap), which makes a great protective cover 
for any ipad or tablet device and can also be adapted to slip over
a special sketchbook, paperback or journal. 

Once felted these covers can be personalised, stitched and 
embroidered and make great gifts… 
Come along to the 3-D workshop and make a bag or bowl if you wish - 
you can decide on the day!


  'Painting with Fibres' or '3-D Workshop' at Seely Hall, Brook on the IOW
cost £35 per person for the day. All equipment provided, 
there's an extra charge for materials or you can bring your own fibre.
For more information or to make a booking
contact Gill direct on 01983 752872 

Look forward to catching up with you in June...

In the meantime...

Enjoy your gardens!


PS. As always you can click on any of the workshop photos to enlarge...

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