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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...

Monday, 28 March 2016

The WINTER GARDEN workshops...

I’m not sure what happened to February... or March? 
We may have had an extra leap day but it didn’t make much difference... 
I can't believe we're celebrating Easter

It’s been a busy time with the FELTED GARDEN workshops, 
so I’m just going to post a small selection of some of the fantastic 
students' work produced over the past weeks...
And don't forget you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

First, way back in February - a full weekend of ‘Painting with Fibres’ workshops 
at Ventnor Botanic Gardens


Certainly the winter gardens inspired some amazing pictures, 
using a whole range of fibres and textures to achieve 
some very wintery effects…


...many of these pieces were felted by new feltmakers.
  
A fun day felting flowers with the Guild of SW&D at Rookley 
bought plenty of colour back into the workshop!


Then followed two workshops at the lovely Seely Hall in Brook Village
felting scarves and 3-D forms.
 Again both very mixed groups with first timers
working alongside more experienced felters, 
which always works well... 

Lots of original ideas, inspired laying out and clever results, 
including a wonderful cherry blossom stole, a Celtic dragon scarf, 
a giant shell and a teddy bear hand puppet - 
which just proves the versatility of the process and 
how anything is possible!




It's always difficult to photograph felt at the end of the day when it's 
still wet and soggy - it never looks it's best, 
so it's a delight when someone brings back a finished piece to show me 


 Especially when it’s been worked and stitched as beautifully as 
these pieces by Sue, Rowena, Soosun, Barbara and Ann...





Now the winter workshops are over for the moment 
so I’m looking forward to the warmer months ahead and 
arranging some new FELTED GARDEN workshop dates in June
with some summery garden themes, 
and these will be posted very soon...


Happy Easter to you all! 






Thursday, 14 January 2016

SPRING 2016 Workshops...

Signs of Spring everywhere, Christmas way behind us...
It’s a perfect time to look ahead and plan some creative time for yourself…!

I’m delighted to be able to post these NEW dates for 
The FELTED GARDEN Workshops at some of my favourite venues on the island...

I’ve been invited back to VENTNOR BOTANIC GARDEN 
on Saturday 20th February to hold a
‘Painting with Fibres’ workshop with a winter garden theme.

This is such a perfect venue for The FELTED GARDEN workshops!

 I will be explaining basic felt making techniques and you will have the 
opportunity to seek inspiration in the winter garden,
sketch and photograph the plants and trees, 
then bring your ideas back to the studio where you can experiment 
with fibres & textures, creating pieces of flat felt...




This workshop is £40 per person, plus £3 for materials 
and is open to all levels of experience.
It is being organised by the Friends of VBG so if 
you wish to make a booking contact 
Carol Ann on 07881 677761 or caeades@btinternet.com


Everyone has been asking for more 3-D and Scarf workshops...
so I’ve arranged two dates at the lovely SEELY HALL in BROOK…

FELT SCARF WORKSHOP
Saturday 5th March : 10.00am—4.00pm



This workshop is for ALL abilities. I will show how to felt 
either a lattice scarf or a ’nuno’ style scarf and you will go home at the end of 
the day with a unique piece of felt to wear!



3-D FELT WORKSHOP 
Saturday 19th March : 10.00am—4.00pm

This workshop is for those that have some felting experience 
and wish to learn how to felt 3-D forms working around a resist.
I will show how to create vessel shapes and bags using this method.


The Seely Hall workshops are £35 for the day, with materials extra. 
ALL equipment will be provided.

I will have packs of fibres and beautiful hand-dyed fibres available to buy 
on the day, but if you already have fibres to use please bring them along

There’s plenty of working space at the hall, easy parking and access, 
with hot drinks available all day !!!

For more information on the FELTED GARDEN workshops 
at the Seely Hall in Brook please contact me direct on 01983 752872…



And I must just say a very big THANK YOU to all my wonderful students 
past & present who kindly let me use their work in these posts

It is greatly appreciated -
along with all their continuing support and enthusiasm!


Sunday, 20 December 2015

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS...

As Christmas fast approaches I’m looking back on another very busy year 
of workshops. One very special pleasure I’ve discovered from 
my relatively brief time teaching is the amazing feedback that comes, 
sometimes long after the workshops are over… 

e-mails are sent with attached photos of new feltwork, hand-written letters and
 beautiful hand-made cards arrive from the most unexpected places…


Some days ago I received this wonderful Christmas card from Debbie, 
along with a letter explaining that the “Winter Sunset” printed on 
the card was actually felted by her daughter Rachel. 

Debbie has been to several of my workshops, including the autumn
 ‘Painting with Fibres’ at Northcourt Manor and Rachel was so impressed with the 
results that she wanted to try felting some Christmas presents. 
Debbie went on to explain that Rachel has a speech and language disorder 
which prevents her from doing some things, but her artwork is very important, 
especially ceramics and she has now found another new creative medium 
which she loves… And is obviously enjoying, with amazing results!

I was really touched by Rachel’s card and Debbie’s letter. 
It made me realise that the knowledge that is taught and shared in my classes 
actually has a life of its own and is passed on again and again, 
usually without me ever knowing…

I came to teaching late in my working life, and rather reluctantly… 
Having free-lanced as a designer/illustrator for over 30 years, leading a very
solitary existence and having no teaching experience, the idea was 
somewhat daunting! When I started showing my felt designs at craft events I 
had so many enquiries for workshops that the persuasion was difficult to 
resist and I thought I’d have a go…

Now I’m in my 6th year of teaching workshops, which in itself is unbelievable! 
The pleasures and satisfaction that comes with this ‘new’ job are impossible to explain. There are many creative aspects to it, but it is that personal interaction 
with so many different people that is absolutely priceless.

So the workshops will continue next year and I will post up the new dates 
as soon as they are arranged.

I’m also celebrating the 100th posting on this blog! 
Another milestone, which also comes with the realisation that it is being read 
by so many people all over the world who I will never know…!

To all of you who have been to my workshops
 and to my blog followers wherever you are
THANK YOU
 for your interest and support and have a wonderful peaceful Christmas 
with your families and friends.




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