Saturday, 22 April 2017

Nothing Boring About Shibori!!

Ann sharing one of her samples

Our April Felt-In was led by Feltmakers North Chair Ann McCullough and she introduced us to shibori techniques in feltmaking.  Ann had made lots of samples and shared some interesting ideas on dyeing to achieve traditional shibori effects.

Tying techniques

Some of Ann's lovely samples
Of course before we got down to trying this fabulous technique we had our usual Show n Tell and that was a treat!  Below are some of the amazing garments which the girls made at the recent Dagmar Binder Workshop.

Lovely designs

Pattern wraps round from front (clever girls!)

Wonderful to see all the creativity at play and how each garment is so very different.  Hopefully all the girls will sport their final pieces at our AGM next month.

This beautiful scarf was made by Tina who had interpreted Dagmar's technique and created a lovely diaphanous summer scarf.

Karen proudly shows her samples

Helen finally finished her bag - only took her six months!!

Maria's velvet scarf which she had constructed and then dyed

It was very pleasing to see so many lovely things on display at our Show n Tell.  Well done to everyone.

And then it was Ann's turn!  She demonstrated the basic tecnhiques to get everyone started and then did the rounds encouraging us to work even harder to get our samples completed in time. 

Our two latest recruits Elaine and Ida got stuck in!

Sarah tries to distract Jane!

Well as the photos show everyone got going and worked pretty hard - well some did, poor Sarah was suffering today and opted to encourage from the sidelines!

The versatility of the shibori technique in feltmaking is wonderful - from creating pattern through the careful application of the resist material, to adding raised surfaces and texture, to creating 3d stones for a hanging and lots more.  It's a great skill to master for the feltmaker.

Lots of lovely samples which will look even better when the felt dries and the resists can be removed.   Everyone  thanked  Ann for her inspiration and help today and I know we'll all be looking forward to creating our own masterpiece soon!

Dympna decided she wanted to begin her masterpiece today and as you can see from the above photos, she has almost finished - well done to her.

Finally a little tip for everyone - Jane brought along a roll of wire which had been covered in wool, a product which florists use, but which could have all sorts of interesting applications for felters, so watch this space!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Workshop with Dagmar Binder

Councillor Brian Bloomflield, MBE Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council with Mayoress Rosalind Bloomfield, Dagmar Binder, visiting tutor and Ann McCullough, Chair of FN

What a lovely surprise it was for the girls on Saturday when Lisburn and Castlereagh Mayor and Mayoress Brian and Rosalind Bloomfield dropped in to see our workshop with Dagmar Binder.  This was the second day of a very intensive three-day event held at Ardnavalley Scout Centre and the girls welcomed the opportunity of a break and a chat with our visitors.

Time for a wee break in the sunshine with our very welcome visitors

It was soon time to get back to work everyone was designing their own garment inspired by Dagmar's creations.  Everyone made their own specific patterns and were guided by Dagmar through her unique process to create wonderful jackets made with fine silk and wool.

Elaine looks happy at her work!

 It was only on day three that the garments began to take their final shape and indeed everyone was rolling and rubbing hard close to the end of the last day! 

Gorgeous samples from Dagmar to inspire!

Sarah models her garment still at the prefelt stage

Sharon's prefelted jacket -  a lovely colour choice!

While no one had their garments totally finished, the girls went home very tired but happy at the end of a challenging and very creative three day workshop having learned lots of new techniques.  It'll be wonderful to see the completed pieces in due time.

Dagmar modelling her beautiful jacket

Well, we didn't have to wait too long to see a finished garment!  This is Sarah's lovely jacket completed and adorning her garden today!  Isn't it amazing?  Well done Sarah!

Thought I'd finish with this wee picture of some Easter chicks created by Dagmar on Sunday, aren't they lovely?

Dagmar's lovely little chicks (still drying!)    

A very Happy Easter to all our readers and hope that the lovely spring sunshine inspires us all to get cracking on our creations!!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Lumps and Bumps with Dorothy!!

It is always such a treat for us at Feltmakers North when Dorothy leads the Felt-in and today was no exception.  She brought a huge array of samples with her to get us all inspired. 

Of course we had our usual Show n Tell before we all got felting and Fiona who's hiding behind her hanging, shared her felted image of mountain sheep which everyone loved


Flo has been doing a course on embellishing and shared these little fish which she's been experimenting with and Norma is  understandably very proud of her scarf which she made from mohair yarn.

'Old Homer' the Holm oak in Warrenpoint which was nominated for European Tree of the Year was the inspiration for this hanging which Flo is working on.

It is so good when we share our work as it provides a great opportunity for receiving feedback and support in developing ideas and also gives us all a kick towards getting creative ourselves!!

Dorothy whose own creations are a great source of inspiration, talked us through some of the myriad of samples which she had brought along explaining about using up to nine layers of prefelt as in the hood of this little jacket to pinching and stitching to create ridges and to adding nepps to make uneven lumpy surfaces.

She demonstrated how to create little raised bumps by adding resists, in this case small marbles,  in the middle of the lay.


Most felters decided to try this technique on its own but Helen really experimented by incorporating quite a number of different shapes into her sample; it'll be great to see the final results. 

Maria and Patricia having fun

Leah and Bronwen concentrating hard!

Cate works hard with those marbles with lots of support from Norma

Alwyn, Jane and Helen enjoying themselves!

Jayne and Dorothy happily concentrating

Our morning went by very quickly and only a few very hardworking felters managed to get to the cutting stage but as the little samples below show there are already some very interesting results!

We all had a lot of fun, learnt from a real expert, enjoyed ourselves and are already
looking forward to next month when Ann will be demonstrating shibori techniques in feltmaking.

I'll sign off with this close up of one of Dorothy's samples where she has used prefelt, nepps, silk chiffon and stitching to create this little gem. 

Happy Felting Everyone!