Blog:

Annika Berglund- exhibition Oliver Cornet Gallery

Feltmakers Ireland are pleased to share that committee member Annika Berglund will be showing some new work in the winter group show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery (facebook.com) in Dublin. The title of the exhibition is “On Paper” and it is co-curated with Jackie Ryan. The show can be viewed virtually or you can make an appointment to go and see it in the gallery.

Annika’s pieces were made especially for this exhibition.

“A Year of Circles and Edges I and II:  made of Wool, silk, mulberry paper, cotton and jute thread and recycled wood.

A Year of Circles: made of Wood and Wool, but inspired by the ancient Korean paper technique called Joomchi.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Update of news

Here is brief summary of what happened at our GANS meeting on 7th December- by Breda Fay.

Any queries please let me know by email and I’ll try to find answers:

Rosemary Steen CEO – gave an overview of DCCI 5Oth anniversary plans (see proposed deadline attached )and a brief report on the Irish Business Design Challenge.

Susan Holland, Exhibition & Programme Curator gave an overview of upcoming exhibitions that will be of interest to the GANS

External Exhibition Fund 2021 – Deadline extended to 11 January 2021 – www.ndcg.ie/news/article/external-exhibitions-fund-2021.

MADE IN IRELAND – Open Call Exhibition – www.ndcg.ie/news/article/made-in-ireland-open-call 

50 Works | 50 Makers | 50 Years – Exhibition – Nomination forms will be available soon 

Liz Nolan, Project Manager gave an overview of the ‘Keep well campaign’ 

DCCI has received funding through ‘Healthy Ireland’ for the delivery of projects under the ‘switching off and being creative’ theme. DCCI is now seeking submissions from GANS members to provide a series of community and online activities.

https://www.cognitoforms.com/DesignCraftsCouncilOfIreland1/KEEPWELL  Closing Date 13th January – Projects must be completed by end of  March 

 The Headford Lace video of the ‘The Space Between’ exhibition curated by Fiona Harrington was shown

Link to video: https://vimeo.com/469722770

 Finally, I hope the new ‘Keep Well’ campaign and the other opportunities above will be of interest to the GANS members. 

Might see you Sunday for Fibre Sales in the Park- Sunday 20th 11am- 2pm ( masks must be worn, no access to inside studio, exact money required).

Dont forget membership and Gabi McGrath course in January – forms online

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas and all the very best in 2021.

Breda

Featured

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Felt in Arts Review Ireland? Woo Hoo

We are delighted to share that  our own Niki Collier ( link :https://www.facebook.com/nikicollierfelt/) solo exhibition has been reviewed in the portfolio section of Irish Arts review. winter edition. Her solo show Viruses runs from 5th Nov 20 – 22nd Jan 21 at University of Atypical (https://universityofatypical.org/gallery/)
Here is how Niki describes her fate as a virus veteran:

How did I get infatuated with the bugs?

The sculptures are the culmination of a conversation in wool which started for myself a decade ago and somehow to my overwhelming sadness brought the whole world to a standstill in 2020. The dichotomy between function and form in viruses is commonly our immediate response. How something so cute and small (in our eyes) could do so much damage to us. To Us?! To Humans?! Often when fear and darkness overwhelm us we ask the wrong questions, don’t we?

 My life experiences have made me ask a different question. 

Are we the measure to all? As humans we have the weakness to put ourselves in the centre of the universe. It is heart wrenching to try grasping the idea that more often than not we are part of the universe., an organism in nature, not the centre of it. So the bugs that are bugging us have brought me humility and their impact on my life- a constant reminder of this eye opening perspective to our self proclaimed hierarchy.

There were those who were unfamiliar with Niki’s life who expressed disgust in her practice. She hopes that this interview for RTE Culture File would make them hear her point of view (https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/lyric/21872327)You can see a virtual tour of the exhibition, created by Niki’s 11 year old daughter Tanya here ( https://www.artsteps.com/view/5face75aad03cf068775e86d ).Make sure to leave a comment in support of Tanya’s effort.
Niki knows that things are tough so  is having a craft kits give away for those who need a sparkle of joy for Christmas.You can claim yours here (link https://www.nikicollier.com/christmas-craft-gift/)
niki socialInsta : @nikicollierfeltFB: @nikicollierfeltwww.nikicollier.com

Three pebble necklace- a workshop with Baribon.

THREE-PEBBLE NECKLACE WORKSHOP – by Breda Fay


I’ve made many items at felting workshops. I loved the experience (and the chit chat) but rarely would I wear the product or even hang it on my walls. Most of them are in the far corner of cupboard. 

However the finished article from the course on Saturday is already being worn and quite proudly. So I would certainly suggest keeping an eye out for workshops from this source- Anikó Boros from Baribon. If I could do it, it would pose no difficulty for experienced felters. 

About 10 days before start  we received list of requirements and more importantly, a manual of the course so that we could be ready to start on time. With different time zones from Aus to CA. USA,  I  think the flexibility this gave was appreciated. Translater with really good English talked us through all the steps (Anikó was the tutor)… with regular breaks for questions and ‘catch-up’ time. Although it was so well paced everyone was pretty much together.

I think Tamzen’s video on making cords helped me- so some prior knowledge of making a cord would certainly help a beginner.

 We made all the individual components separately and just before lunch assembled them into one piece;We cut the windows quite early in the process and emphasis was on ‘a small hole’.

Lunch was for half an hour, this allowed participants to chat with each other and share felting stories;Work continued after break with the felting.

We rubbed with netting and hands/fingers going very gradually from gentle to stronger. It was really very late in process when we wrapped in towel for strongest rubbing. This may have been that there was a need to keep repositioning the stones while ‘their coat was still loose’.

So what did I learn:You can felt in a small space, no need for a 6 foot table ….after an hour , I cut my bubble wrap and netting into suitable size, making the procedure even easier;I used 16m fibre purchased from Feltmakers Ireland  …. hand dyed so lovely ombre of hues …. will be better appreciated  when dry;Need to read instruction very carefully as I missed the need for 2 small pebbles for end of cords… lucky I could run out for a dig in the garden;Used only hottish water initially, later  soap for the felting process (this seems to depend on tutor as I’ve been to classes which were like froth-fests);Such gentle rubbing initially … with a finger … but think this might also have been dictated by size of projectCutting off ‘fluff” at end with a small scizzors …. some of my admiration for you great smooth felters has disapated….fluffless felt is easier than I thought …. but in fairness think the quality of my fibre lent to a pretty fluff-free product;The five hours flew and I had a finished item at the end. Zoom was the platform used, with three cameras (I could only find 2,  one of them the close up which was brilliant;Tutor/translater very easy to listen to and humorous!

During the lunch break we had a tour of the studio and know that more workshops will follow with other techniques;There will be a follow up call in a week or so in case any questions;

Two of the participants had a major difficulty with their fibre not felting at all…. both had white and from same supplier-so it is advisable to know that the fibre you have bought is suitable;Everyone else delighted.

I’d give my first online course a full 5stars…

find out more about the tutors work here-https://baribon.hu/

Made in Ireland Exhibition. OPEN CALL

Breda Fay here…. just a reminder to all you talented felters that MADE IN IRELAND exhibition
The National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) have issued a nationwide open call for submissions of high-quality contemporary and traditional Irish craft for a new MADE IN IRELAND exhibition.
With standard of work many of you produce it would be a great way not only to get public recognition for your skills but also to put FELTMAKING into a more public space….
Please visit www.dcci.ie for more info.

Reviews of Felt Courses by Annika Berglund

It seems this pandemic is just rolling on, with no real end in sight. It can be hard to stay positive at the moment, especially with the days getting darker and less scope for being outdoors. There are many ways to try to cope and to keep looking for the positive, and I wanted to share something that has been very helpful for me in all this. I live alone with my 12-year-old daughter and felt I needed something to help me stay connected and hopeful in the face of a long time with limited direct social interactions.

Feltmakers Ireland and sister organisations across the world have had to cancel workshops and meet-ups across the world due to the pandemic, the knitting and stitching show in Dublin being an example in point. All these cancellations have been hard on artists and teachers as a significant revenue stream has been cut off for them. A small spark of light in these troubled times is that the number of craft courses offered online has increased a lot, allowing access to knowledge and inspiration from a wide range of artists across the world.

I am a great fan of courses and workshops and love soaking up knowledge and inspiration from whatever artist or teacher available. I was in the fortunate position to have the time and the means to sign up to a number of online courses since the early summer, and I am certain that it has contributed in large part to keeping me relative sane through this very trying year. I know I would not have been able to attend such a range of courses if I had had to travel to each of them to participate. I also made a lot of new acquaintances and contacts by interacting digitally with the other students which has helped me stay positive and feel connected.

I have been asked to introduce you to some of these courses and give some ideas of courses coming up and where to find additional information if you are interested in taking a look for yourselves. These courses do cost money, but I personally have found them well worth the investment. With Christmas coming up you might be able to hint that they would be welcome in your Christmas stocking. If you still find that you cannot justify this expense, I hope to send out some more links to free online tutorials in the near future.

If you are interested in any courses similar to the ones I mention below, the best way to get enrolled is to go to the web page of the artist whose course you find interesting and sign up for their newsletter, or to follow them. They will then tell you when they have courses coming up and how to enrol. Fiona Duthie, (https://www.fionaduthie.com/workshops/online-felting-workshops/) for example is very popular. Her courses book up very fast and I already have a reminder in my calendar for the 4th of January when she will open registration for her 2021 courses. I just managed to get a spot on one of her courses in 2020 and hope to do more in 2021.

The first course I did took place during the summer, a course focussed on 3D felting, by the Australian artist Pam de Groot. (http://pamdegroot.com/online-courses.html )

This course helped improve the quality of my finished felt no end, and showed me many examples of how to take a 2D piece of felt and work it till it became a very different 3D object, based on shrinkage and different qualities obtained from different levels of thickness of the laid down wool. It also put me in contact with people from many different locations in the world who all shared an interest in felt and we created a small community that felt very encouraging and friendly.

 Surfac... logoSurface Form and Space Mid 2020 Pam de Groot

Here are some of the samples I made during this course

After this course there was no stopping me.

I signed up for a course with an American artist called Patti Barker: Demystifying felt resists. (https://www.pattibarker.com/workshops)

This was a shorter course, and Patti sent us all the materials needed for the course. All other courses send you a list of materials that you had to get yourselves. Patti shared some skills on how to get tighter, smoother felt by finishing by rolling the felt in on itself, without the bubble wrap. I made two little vessels, one as usual and one rolling it in on itself, and I must admit the second vessel looked better (the one on the left)

These are the samples I made in this course:

Another course I participated in was a two day live zoom course with UK artist Mandy Nash, making two different kinds of fish using a wool called bergschaus:

After that I joined a course led by Ruth Lane, called Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination. It added in mixed media techniques into felting which I found very interesting. I am still working on finishing samples from this course, but here is one that I am working on. I plan to add some beads and stitching. (https://permutationsinfiber.wordpress.com/about/ )

I have two other courses going on at the moment.

I managed to get a spot on one of Fiona Duthie’s 2020 courses: Felting over the Edge.

As the title implies it looks at how to do more with the edges of felt pieces. I still have 3 weeks to go to create a finished piece, but these are some of the samples I have made so far:

Recently I also started another course by Pam de Groot:

Texture and Dimension October 2020

The first part of the course teaches how to make a splash bowl. Easier said than done. These are my two first attempts:

In the 4 upcoming weeks we will be learning how to make spiral shell shapes.

I also have two more courses coming up end of this year, starting the new year, by two exciting artists:

Eva Camacho-Sanchez

Official Beyond Felting: Wool + Paper + Silk

https://evacamacho.com/online-classes

And a figurative 3D course by Molly Williams called Contemporary Dancer

These courses do require a reasonable internet connection. Also, you will have to invest in materials for nearly all of them. Some of them are very specific in type of wool needed. Not all students in all the classes I have participated in have had the specified wool. Sometimes that worked fine, sometimes it made it harder to get the expected results. As I wanted to take so many different courses I had some problems with needing lots of different wools in a selection of colours. It would both be very costly and take up too much room in my house. This became obvious after the first course and I decided to only get white wool of the specified type and figure out how to dye it myself.  Some trial and error ensued, but I think I am getting the hang of it. That may be the subject of more blog entries in the new year.

Feel free to contact Feltmakers Ireland – Annika Berglund-if you have any questions about this blog entry or if there are subjects you would like us to look at or information you want to share.

Stay making! Stay in Touch and thanks for reading

Annika.

A video Interview with Sharon Wells

To all our lovely feltmakers out there here is a short film we made for you- members have already received an email and link to this video- now we wish to share it furtehr with our wider community through the blog post… we hope that you are inspired!

As we still can’t get together and the country is once again in level 5 lock down the committee have been busy trying to find new ways to inspire and promote the craft of felt making.

New 2020 committee member Deirdre Crofts undertook the latest task- filming a video with Sharon wells- textile Artist.

The committee wishes to thank Deirdre for her hard work ( made even harder by social distancing).  
We wish to thank Sharon for her participation again under difficult circumstances. We hope that you agree that this is a wonderful in depth look at how a felt maker artist works and their methods.

Sharon Wells is a fiber and textile artist working with wool and silk fibers born and bred in Co. Wicklow but her heart is in the Kerry hills.  Sharon will explain how she skirts, washes and dyes raw fleece and will show us her beautiful work.  You will find a link to her website below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gex4ELxwB5I&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=FeltmakersIreland
Enjoy and remember to subscribe to the Feltmakers ireland youtube channel too!

https://www.sharonwellsart.com/