Sunday, 21 May 2017

Claire's Merry Go Round of Amazing Felt!

What a wonderful treat we had today when renowned Irish felt artist Claire Merry joined us as our special guest at the 7th AGM of Feltmakers North.  Claire had brought a dizzying array of pieces to share with us.

Eat your heart out Pippa!

Simply Stunning!

The resist for the wedding dress
Claire explained about the resist she had created for the wedding dress.  It covered two tables and on to the floor as you can see!  And she had to lay out all the fibres on the floor as it was so huge but my goodness what a fabulous result.

Felted silk roses at the neck and carried through to the train

Claire chatted about her work and explained lots of the techniques she has experimented with - I imagine everyone will be trying out the technique for her roses.  The garments wowed us all with the attention to shape and surface detail and her use of colour was inspirational. 

Claire often felts in natural colours and then dyes her pieces which gives her great control over the final outcome.

Fine cobweb

She clearly loves her poppies as they featured in a number of her pieces both painted and felted.  Claire answered everyone's questions and very generously explained about particular processes that she used for individual pieces.  Before she created the wedding dress she had worked on another piece incorporating fabrics which she had salvaged from a family member - old lace, dollies and silk.

Garment using recycled fabrics

Everyone was pretty much bowled over by the extent of Claire's talents particularly when she talked about some of her hangings.

This piece was inspired by a tale by Hans Christian Andersen 'The Wild Swans'

This piece incorporates the most intricate of stitching and is so evocative.

Oscar Wilde's story about the nightingale and the rose

Claire clearly draws her inspiration from many things and her interpretation is utterly unique.  She exhibits in many galleries and is a regular at the RDS.  Her work is featured in the book 'Worldwide Colours of Felt'  by Ellen Bakker and in lots of magazines.

Of course it was our AGM and we had to get down to a bit of business before we gave the floor to Claire, but even before that some members had brought along their blouses from the Dagmar Binder workshop.

Mandy happily models Deirdre's blouse

Leah's blouse from the inside out!

Beautiful colours and intricate design

Helen's lovely blouse

Our 7th AGM went very smoothly as all the committee are remaining for another year and members were very happy to vote  Mandy Jackson and Helen O'Grady Browne on to the committee.  Other news to note is that Jayne our treasurer has stepped down from that role and Ann as Chair for the past two years has also stepped down.   Tribute was paid to both ladies for their hard work and dedication to Feltmakers North. 

Just before we got started

Claire's carrot backpack!

I think this a great way to say that we had enjoyed some very good grub provided by the members, but what an amazingly clever way to design a little bag.  You can see some of the publications that Claire has featured in in the background.

I think this picture says it all!  Happy munching faces.

We thoroughly enjoyed Claire's talk and her very generous sharing of ideas and techniques and ending with all these gorgeous cakes.  Great Day!!

I'm going to finish with sharing some more photos of Claire's work and don't forget there's another Felt-in in June and August Craft Month to look forward to.  Check out the Events Section above for all the details.

Thanks to everyone who made the 7th AGM a really good day and I'm looking forward to another great year and lots more new faces.  Don't forget if you haven't come to one of our sessions yet, you would be very welcome, just come along and enjoy the craic and friendship, never mind the felting!

This was possibly my favourite of all Claire's masterpieces (although it's hard to choose).  It's called 'Footsteps in the Sand' and this photo really doesn't do it any justice.  The images of feet and shoes and even the sea have been carved into the felt - fantastic!!

Bye and Happy felting!