Friday, 27 January 2012

Flying start to 2012

Our first meeting of the year got off to a flying start, with a tremendous turnout of familar faces and also some new faces, which was great to see. Denise Phipps was kindly taking the felt in and showed us how to make a flower using a polystyrene egg! Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the felt in so here is an overview from Maria, who joined in the fun!

Our intention was to make a flower. previously we had made a flower with a flat piece of felt, on this occasion we used a polystyrene egg along with our basic felting kit, wool tops and silk fibres. The importance of planning for the finished item was brought home to us during the felt in, we had to think which colour for the outside and which colour for the inside of the flower.
We began by laying down the fibre;
Tip; a fine lay is best.
The fibre was laid extending over the ends of the egg, this would create the stems.
We rolled the egg and wetted the wool inside the bubble wrap. then we were off in our individual directions- squeezing and rolling the flower stem between our hands and gently rubbing the fibres over the egg to shrink the wool.
Tip: when rolling the stems, work from the outside inwards to prevent the egg from moving.
An odd hole appeared as we rubbed the egg. our choice was to add some fibres or not and far from a felting disaster, the holes produced some lovely filigree type work in the felt.

                                                   Happy Felters having fun!
After shrinking the wool, we snipped and cut around the middle of our egg- whether in half or two thirds and one third- to give two flowers. As we reflected on the technique we had just used, the possibilities for future work began to flow. we could cut petal shapes, create passion flowers, seed pods, colombian cup fungi-even!! We could embroider, bead, add spikes- soo many ideas, so little time.... the felting devils were unleashed. We're making our plans. Thanks Denise.
Maria Geoghegan-White

That certainly sounds like a very inspiring felt in and tremendous fun!
Gail Cooke and myself are looking forward to taking the hat workshop on the 4th February, Gail has ordered in fabulous colour combinations of wool and looking out the window now I think its the definitely the weather for a hat!!
Fiona Harvey

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Happy New Year!!

I just thought I would give you an update on Feltmakers North plans for 2012, which I think will prove to be an exciting year!! We are kicking off with a felt in on Saturday 21st when Denise Phipps will be showing us how to make felt flowers.
On the 4th February Gail Cooke and myself Fiona Harvey are taking a workshop where we will be making a hat. This is a great opportunity to extend your felting knowledge and thanks to Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee who has given us a helping hand finicially, the workshop is an amazing £20 for members and £35 for non members this includes all materials required to make a hat,(wool and silk fibres) all you need to bring is your felting kit, pack lunch and may be  hat block. For more details contact Ann at
                                                   Just had to add this cute little lamb!!
In March 24th we have another workshop Elizabeth Bonnar is teaching the art of Nuno felting, anyone that knows Elizabeth knows she is a first class tutor with immense knowledge on nuno felting. The application forms for this will be out soon and again contact Ann for details. This is also sponsored by Lisburn Arts Advisory Council, so I have point out that this makes it such good value and again so handy in Hillsborough Village Centre.
The felt ins continue in February, March and April, then in May we have our Agm, where members will be in for a treat, we have invited Elizabeth Bonnar, from Dublin to come and talk on the versatility of silk in felt making, the meeting will be all day (with only the shortest time possible for AGM business) and we hope to experiment with some of Elizabeth's silk techniques in the afternoon, but more details will follow shortly!!

In the Autumn we are planning to hold an exhibition at The Island Arts Centre, in Lisburn, this will the members work that they have made since the founding of Feltmakers North. The Exhibition will be entitled " Stepping Stones" we hope all members will submitt up to 5 pieces for the exhibition the date has to be confirmed.
                                                   Charity van der Meer is coming to FN!!!

This is such a prestigious tutor for Feltmakers North to have come to teach us. She is an amazing designer and felt maker, and an excellant tutor. A couple of us were on a workshop with her recently and we both learnt such a lot, it was terrific, so we decided we would love to have her come to FN. Now I can hear you all say I wouldnt be good enough to go on that workshop, well you are wrong! Charity is a very great tutor who will teach each partiscipant individually all you need is the desire to learn and a love of felting and you will be grand. We are still in the planning stage, but we hope it will be a 2 and half day residential workshop. What fun!! The dates are Friday 2nd Nov Saturday 3rd Nov and Sunday 4th Nov, so now you have no excuse get those written in the diary and get them booked off work!! It is definately a workshop not to be missed.
Another one of Charity's beautiful dresses, made of silk fabric, merino wool,and wensleydale curls.
We have now a Rolling membership, so if you would like to join this can be done at anytime of the year, this will enable you to get the workshops at the reduced price and also members are drawn first for the workshop, so this increases your chance of getting a place!!

Well all that remains for me to say is I hope you all have a peaceful and healthy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you all at the Felt ins.
Fiona Harvey

O yes and please email me some photos of your work the gallery on the blog needs updated.