Sunday 22 January 2012

Experimenting with TEXTURES...

Lots of experimenting with textures over the last few days in preparation for the new workshop next week - with some very pleasing results ! 
The natural colours of the fibres & textures blend SO beautifully with the wool backgrounds. I deliberately chose non-Merino wool with a good natural colour range - Norwegian grey, Shetland browns, BFL and Welsh white.  
Quite a contrast to the bright scarves of previous weeks...

The fibres shown here before (above) & after felting (below) are as follows :
Wool Slub/Knops - Linen Noil - Jute
Synthetic Mesh - Banana Tops -  Skeleton Leaf
Bamboo Tops - Carded Cotton - Carded Jute
Soya Staple - Flax Tops - Crab Fibre Tops

It was surprising just how quickly all the fibres felted into the wool. 
The more fibrous flax & jute were easily trapped. The fine silky crab & banana fibres 
felted in beautifully leaving shiny crimps. The cotton & linen noil were applied more
 thickly and the wool worked through the base of these clumps leaving the top loose and easy to pinch into shapes and ridges - perfect for surface texture.

I plan to work further into these swatches with hand stitching & beads, but for now I've simply photographed them with shells, pods and other natural forms.

'Experimenting with Textures' is for those who have some felting experience and 
would like to try using this amazing range of alternative fibres. 
ALL these textures will be available to use and included in the price of the day, along with other organic & synthetic yarns and fibres. You can make sample swatches like the ones shown here, create a 3-D project or cover pebbles with felted textures.

This workshop will be held at OliVEN in Newport High Street on Wed. 25th January
 and places are still available. 
For more details and information about booking call 554 934.

Friday 13 January 2012

NEW Scarf Workshops...

I don't know what the collective name is for a group of scarves…? I thought a "breeze" worked well enough as I battled against the wind, while KC patiently tried to photograph the new scarves outdoors, trying to take advantage of the light on this beautiful sunny wintery day. But felt is very light-weight and these scarves fluttered at the slightest breeze…  So we moved back inside!

As promised here are photographs of the scarves I've been working on... 

The Scarf Workshops are taking place in Newport on 30th January and 29th February.  These workshops are for all abilities and as you can see from the photos there will be plenty of opportunity to experiment with techniques, colours, fibres and textures.

You'll find more information on the previous post 'Scarves & Textures'  and you can make a booking through OliVen the Patchwork Cafe on 01983 554 934.

It should be a really exciting day!

Sunday 1 January 2012

Planning ahead for 'Scarves' & 'Textures'...

The programme of workshops planned for the New Year include several new themes and I'm in the middle of all the preparation work at the moment. 'Felt Scarves' and 'Experimenting with Textures' are really exciting new workshops and I'm looking forward to both. In the planning and preparation stages I'm also discovering and appreciating certain similarities between the two...

Making felt scarves offers many opportunities to experiment with textures and fibres. As I'm working up samples it's also giving me the chance to use some of my supplies that I've been wanting to try. I recently bought some fantastic plaits of hand-dyed Merino tops from Fibre Factory (which make perfect scarf lengths) combined with dyed Wensleydale locks, dyed tussah silks, so many novelty yarns, hand-painted silk fabrics, woven fabrics, metallic gauzes and anything else I can find to blend in...  

This workshop is aimed at ALL abilities, which works well as everyone bounces ideas off each other and the beginners learn from watching the more experienced felters handling materials. A scarf makes a marvellous first project. There's plenty of practice in laying out fibres, with scope for experimenting with colour & texture and there's the added sense of achievement in being able to make something so very unique and wearable in just a day!

I will be demonstrating different techniques and will have a range of scarves on display. There will be simple ideas for beginners to try, such as a lattice scarf, plus advanced techniques such as nuno felting. You can decide on the day, and maybe even make two..?

I have been asked about holding a scarf workshop for a long time now and the difficulty has been finding a venue where everyone has plenty of room to work. Well, problem solved ! We have found a suitable place in Newport and there are two workshops scheduled - see here for all the dates & details.

'Experimenting with Textures' is for those who have some felting experience, but haven't yet tried using the amazing range of alternative fibres available. These are not just the animal fibres like alpaca, silk or mohair that we are familiar with, but have you tried using banana, jute, soya, bamboo or even crab fibre? Some of their unique characteristics I'm only just discovering for myself! They can be used to great effect to give texture and form to fibre pictures or 3-dimensional pots & bowls. All these textured fibres will be provided in this workshop, along with other organic and synthetic yarns & fibres. You can come along and explore the different effects by making a series of sample pieces or use them to create a 3-D project.

I'm really looking forward to these workshops as well as all the others in the new  programme for 2012. I know many of you have booked up already as a number of the workshops in Freshwater & Newport are full, so I look forward to meeting up with you again soon.

All the very best for this NEW YEAR... And enjoy your felting!

PS. I shall be posting up some photos of the new scarves and texture samples just as soon as they're finished… They can now be seen here

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