I would like to extend an invitation to all my fellow members of Feltmakers Ireland and anybody interested in felting to my upcoming exhibition. It is primarily felted works with a sprinkling of Joomchi (An ancient Korean paper technique similar to felting)
All the best
The Olivier Cornet Gallery would like to invite you to the opening of the show
Sunday 14 November 2021 between 2pm and 6pm, in the presence of the artist.
Please book a time that suits you.
Olivier Cornet Gallery
3 Great Denmark Street (beside Belvedere College, off Parnell Square) Dublin 1
Opening hours: Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays) Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm
All visits to the gallery have to be pre-booked until further notice Closed on Mondays
One week done but there are still 3 weeks to get to the Phoenix Park to to see our wonderful work in the flesh. All the exhibits look amazing against the rough stone walls of the Visitor’s Centre’s gallery space. Deirdre Crofts and her team did a fantastic job, meticulously spacing and hanging each piece, creating a top class exhibition. She’s probably still dreaming about measurements!
Here is the slideshow put together by Ramona Farrelly of everyone’s pieces. You might just fancy another wee look on a Monday morning.
In its 35th year, Sculpture in Context is held in the oasis of calm and peace that is the Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. Run by the OPW every year and according to them is the ‘longest-running, largest and most important sculpture exhibition in the country, this pivotal event in the Irish arts calendar attracts a large public and critical audience and is the cultural highlight of the National Botanic Gardens calendar’.
If you fancy a relaxing walk in this beautiful space with wonderful and inspiring art of over 140 artists around every corner, then this would be the place to visit and explore. The exhibition runs until the 15th of October so there is still time to see it in situ and it is free of charge to visit. A total of 164 pieces are being shown at the exhibition both outdoors and indoors. This year again there are several Feltmakers Ireland members taking part at. Annika Berglund, Fiona Leech and Ramona Farrelly all have pieces at the show. Most of the pieces are being shown outdoors but both Annika and Fiona have also have pieces in the gallery space. Fiona’s piece is a triptych made from sustainable merino wool fibre and is shaped into three different size pods. Her process involved wet felting the pods themselves and then needle felting the bright yellow spots and tendrils on once the pods had been shaped and dried. These additions to the pods are a nod to nature’s strength to find its way and take over. Fiona used colours and blends of wool to reflect the natural environment. Her beautiful piece can be seen at the gallery which can be booked here:
Annika has two separate pieces, a wall panel piece indoors at the gallery (fig.2) and another piece made of multiple-coloured butterflies hanging in one of the rhododendron trees along the outdoor sculpture route
Annika’s second piece consists of a set of nine butterflies, three of which have already sold through the exhibition. The butterflies are wet felted over a metal armature and have been waterproofed for outdoor hanging with stiffener material. They are of varying colours and would brighten up anyone’s outdoor space as can be seen from this picture.
Ramona’s piece is also located outdoors. Her piece Akashic hangs in amongst the ferns and sculptures in the Mill Field area by the river. It is a small structure composed of 11 felted wool tablets which have been stiffened with waterproofing medium and painted with various coloured pigments. The whole piece was then strung together with rope constructed of tree bark.
There is lots of interest for any visitor to this exhibition and it may require several visits to see all the work in detail, but even if only some of it is seen, it is a wonderful way to spend some time in the lap of nature whilst also experiencing the creative juices of the artists taking part.
Some of the other works that can be seen at the show include the following:
Last weekend we had the pleasure to restart the Feltmakers Ireland workshops with one of our most inspiring artists Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann from https://bombyxmoriwearableart.com
We made wishing bowls using a unique technique of laying and felting fibres.
It seemed like a historical moment- getting back together after long two years and pandemic challenges meant that everyone took a leap of fate.
Astrid burst into action full of colour and energy and was very attentive to everyone’s needs and ideas.
We started by making a very textured prefelt – it was a platter of found and saved textiles and fibres. This was going to be used to decorate our bowls, but there was plenty left from it for the future.
Then using the precision of a true perfectionist Astrid divided the wool into 20g and 10 g and laid it out to look like a colourful meringue with fibres laid as beams coming from the centre of the bowl. Then we put a thin layer of 10g going sideways. After we have done that we put the embellishments in whatever shape we wanted them to be and started felting and fulling.
Astrid, as the participants noticed, was very much hands on tutor and loved nothing more but to help out, demonstrate and show us how she does it.
In the intermission most of us let loose at the artisan food market and enjoyed the yummy food in the beautiful relaxed grounds of the Marlay Park.
The wonderful surprise came from Helene Dooley who knew that Astrid has birthday in a few days so she made her a delicious birthday cake. Astrid was in tears (and so was I).
It was lovely to see two new members joining us as a result of workshops.
The best part is always the smiles of the participants. This time I made sure that I heard from each participants in a quick chat after the workshop- great day, well organized, inspiring teacher were some of the comments. Astrid was delighted with the group and was very enthusiastic about their talent and dedication. Probably, most memorable to me would be the comment that we need more people like Astrid in our life. You see- I couldn’t agree more.
I joined Feltmakers Ireland 10 years ago as I found that our community nurtures talent and fosters wonderful connections. This year I found myself in a position to be able to serve this community. It is a great privilege and a testament to you all that I was able to give back to you
You know, sometimes your aspirations become reality. Just roll up your sleeves.
What was my wishing bowl about?
My wishing bowl was for good times with great people.
Element15 is a collective of 15 textile and mixed media artists. They have used the past year despite all the restrictions of Covid to allow nature to inspire them. They were fortunate to be welcomed into the wonderful gardens of Jimi Blake at Hunting Brook and June Blake’s Garden, to respond to the gardens over the seasons.
The culmination of their work is being shown in an open-air exhibition across the two public gardens. The artworks are integrated into the lush landscaping in the form of an art trail.
Opening Times: Hunting Brook: Weds – Saturday 11 am – 4 pm, entrance fee €8 June Blake’s Garden: Weds – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm, entrance fee €6
On Wednesday last I decided to go and view the art nature combination. It was amazing: the planting display showed off the art to wonderful advantage. A weather proofed catalogue was available on both sites with a map to guide you along the paths, as well as through meadow and woodland, to view each of the art works. Naturally it also included a short artist statement and a description of the work. A great visit for the combo plant/art enthusiast.
The deadline is approaching- 20th of August. We have many exciting entries already, but want to encourage as many of our members as possible to participate!
Remember: 1) There is no fee for submitting your piece.
2) This is a “members exhibition” with no adjudication or judging, we would like to show the range, breadth and depth of our talent as an organisation, with the primary purpose of promoting the craft of felt- be you a beginner or a professional.
3) Please read the application form carefully- for details of requirements, size, photograph etc…
SIZE REQUIREMENTS 30CM X30CM… THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR DIGITAL EXHIBITION AND THE IDEA IS TO HAVE A GIANT GRID OF ALL OUR MEMBERS WORK IN A PHYSICAL SPACE TOO!
4) Let the title “Colour our World” inspire you, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, show your skills, experiment… 1 piece from each member is guaranteed accepted…
5) Feel free to contact the committee for any assistance, advice, question or help.
Our Astrid was born in Germany, but lives and created in Ireland since 1979. She is a true pioneer at heart. We are all familiar that she was one of the first people to start the feltmaking movement in Ireland. Beyond that she has also been living off grid for decades- long before it was mainstream movement.
Since her childhood Astrid was surrounded by creativity, fashion and art. Her mother was a textile designer and her grandparents owned a beautiful garden, which inspired Astrid greatly. She was trained as a professional make-up artist at Film Studio Hamburg and Thalia Theater, and has been involved in art all her life. In 1986 Astrid started painting on silk and eventually committed to textiles as career. The rest is part of Feltmakers Ireland’s history. Astrid works with some of the most beautiful galleries in Ireland, exports internationally and exhibits in curated shows. The secret to it all? Talent and kindness.
We hope you are all doing well, staying safe and finding some time for crafting. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, there is one actual benefit from the pandemic, and that is that more felting workshops than ever are offered online. This means that you can learn from artists across the world and establish contact with other makers from many different countries. The best courses are quite pricey and fill up quite fast, but if you compare with the time and cost involved in doing in-person workshops they start to seem a bit more accessible. Also, remember, all renewing members will be placed into a draw for a bursary award to the value of €200 for an online international tutor workshop this year.
In this blog I want to present a list of artists whose courses I have done, or would like to do, in case any of you are looking for workshops to do in the coming year. Learning about new techniques and being encouraged to keep making has helped me retain a modicum of sanity in the last year and I am planning to keep it up in the new year as well. If any of you know of other courses and artists not mentioned here that you would like to recommend, please send us a line.
Fiona Duthie: Fiona Is well known for excellent online workshops. They one I took last year definitely improved the quality of my finished felt. She is also very generous with help and advice and added a number of extra tutorials to the course in response what students were interested in. Fiona is opening registration for her spring courses on January 4th.
Pam de Groot: Pam’s workshops focus on 3D felting, and allows you to explore how felt can go from 2D to 3D and the effects and structure you get by varying the thickness of wool in a felted piece. Pam has not posted dates for courses in 2021 but sign up to her newsletter if you are interested and be first in line when registration opens.
Eva Camacho-Sanchez: Eva is a Spanish artist living in the US. Her online classes are mostly 2D, incorporating, mark making, stitching and Joomchi. Joomchi is an old Korean technique where water and agitation fusing mulberry papers together to create a strong and interesting surface that can be used on its own or with felting and stitching. Eva has not yet put up dates for 2021, but join her newsletter if you are interested in her courses.
The Online felting Studio with Ruth Lane and Teri Berry have courses that are quite a bit cheaper, but much shorter that the ones I mentioned below. Ruth lane teaches 2D embellishments and mixed media approaches to felting and Teri berry ‘s courses include an interesting looking concertina hat. These would be good if you wish to dip a toe into online learning.
Mandy Nash: Based in Wales, Mandy did a few live zoom classes last year. I attended two of them (remotely) and learnt how to make two types of fabulously colourful felted fish. These are now available as a video down load. They are quite long as they include the recording of whole day workshops. They are very reasonably priced, but require a specific wool (bergschaus) for best results. This is a very interesting wool as different colours of a separate layers of wool migrate through the layers and give both vivid and subtle colour gradations when felted.
Patti Barker: Patti has a number of shorter tutorials and workshops. They are very reasonable and for the “Demystifying felt resist “ course she did Last year she even sent you all the materials needed. She does not have any dates up yet, buit her courses can be found here:
Molly Williams: Molly’s workshop teaches how to felt human figures in 3D around a metal armature. I am signed up to begin one of her courses in January, so will keep you posted. She has opened registration for courses beginning in March.
International Feltmakers CiFT: the International Feltmakers offers a course that gives a certificate in Feltmaking, CiFT. You receive course information online and send samples for feedback to a course coordinator. There is also a facebook group were students can interact abd support each other. I have not done this one, but would be curious to sign up some time in the new year. If you have experience of this course, please send some feedfback or information to Committee