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Launch of Heritage Week 2019

HERITAGE DAYAs your GANS representative Breda Fay attended the launch of Heritage Week 2019. (https://www.heritageweek.ie/) The launch was held at 14 Henrietta Street on Thursday 18th July.

A tour of the house for those who arrived early preceded the launch and I would certainly recommend this insight into life in these grand Georgian houses of the 18th Century to the squalor of the tenements they became in the 20th century. Full marks go to the guide who brought the house to life for us by way of a tour!

Wine and canapés were served while Virginia Teehan, CEO of Heritage Council congratulated the heritage officers on their 20th Anniversary. After many years of official indifference, she was glad that Heritage 2030 would recognize the value of both natural and built heritage and the wealth of culture preserved by guilds and organizations throughout the country.

heritage week launch

She praised the information and suggestions in the 2000 submissions that were received.

We at Feltmakers Ireland have made a submission highlighting the value of craft as a vital part of our national heritage.

Heritage Week is the flagship of Heritage Ireland and last year 95% of participants commented that they had “something new”.

Roger Warburton of the Ballymun Regeneration Project spoke about how they “rescued” a Boiler House of the now demolished Ballymun towers. It is now a focus for the preservation of heritage of the area as well the development of recycling through education.

Finally Minister Josepha Madigan talked about the theme of this year’s Heritage Week PAST TIMES PASTIMES. She particularly focused on playgrounds of the past – where fields and streets, ruins and streams provided a canvas for imagination. She paid tribute to the many voluntary 2019 organizers who would again give children from 9 months to 90 years the freedom to play and be involved in preservation and conservation in our built and natural environments.

This year Heritage week begins on August 17th.

Feltmakers Ireland will hold an event on the Sunday 18th 11am-3pm at Knockmarroon gate studio. We hope to see many of our valued members there. We also hope we will meet new people and help them to enjoy perhaps their first steps in felt making. We will continue our bunting project- to help decorate the studio and in preparation for the knit and stitch show.  We will also be having an extended tea party.

All members are invited to come along on the day- make felt, be experimental, playful (make your own pieces- whatever you like, and if stuck for ideas, help make playful, fun bunting).

heritage day 2

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3 Irish Artists exhibit in Finland

3 more Artists for you today, Elaine Peden, Mauren Cromer & Tamzen Lundy. All exhibiting currently in Finland, then onward to Portumna 8th-22nd Sept as part of the Shorelines Arts Festival.

 

Artist – Elaine Peden

Red in a world of black and white 

The tiny coccus beetle found in Mexico huddles on the sunny side of a prickly cactus leaf, transforming into Red. Introducing white and red elements on a black background, this is  my interpretation of white noise , fake news. Red gives  clarity to the art of thinking clearly .

Sale price. €100.00

Materials used – dyed and I dyed Kap merino wool fibres with 3D elements and layering

Land of the Dawn lit Mountain 

Notes – A wall hanging.

An evening walk in the Dublin mountains watching the movement of light through the evergreens , the magnificent Red glow of the sunset marking the close of another day 

Sale price. €250.00

Maureen Cromer at Finnish exhibition
Maureen Cromer at Finnish exhibition

Artist – Maureen Cromer

Mending the Soul

The soul here stands for the “self” – who we are. We are constantly learning, growing, blooming But, of course, sometimes we need to heal from injuries, to mend, physically. But more importantly, to mend both mentally and spiritually.

The white body of the work represents this soul, while the red threads show the mending underway. The needles have been left attached, because self care is an ongoing process.

Sale price. €325.00

Materials – Native Perendale and Southdown fibres, Wensleydale locks, Irish linen, cotton mesh, silk fibre, silk hankies, rayon, silk and polyester threads for free motion machine embroidery, cotton and vintage red silk threads for hand embroidery, sashiko needles.

Artist – Tamzen Lundy

The Red Thread of Fate – Ballymurphy Precedent

Inspired by the ancient Chinese belief that those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance, are bound by an invisible red thread which may tangle but never break.

I took this idea of connection and applied it to a little known story from Northern Ireland, where I grew up. A story of brutal bloodshed. The shootings happened in Ballymurphy, a Catholic housing estate in Belfast, in 1971. These shootings, carried out by British soldiers on civilians, killed 11 people over 3 days. The relatives continue to fight for the truth. The same parachute regiment were involved in the Bloody Sunday events in Londonderry, 5 months later.

I have used red Irish linen as the red thread, knotted according to the number of bullet wounds per person. The thread is broken to indicate the different days of the massacre, however there is the illusion of connection to represent those individuals bound by their fate. The colour red representing bloodshed. The flax of the linen is an Irish grown product – on home soil.

Sale price. €150.00

Materials – merino wool, silk chiffon, Irish linen threads

Migraine Days

Inspired by my own experience of living with migraine disease.

Migraine is more than just a headache. There is a saying ” it rarely kills you, but living with it is murder”.

The piece of art is meant to illustrate in some way the feeling I have inside my head on migraine days. Throbbing, piercing and pulsating.

Using a combination of techniques – stitch and beadwork on wet felt. Red silk with wool nepps represent the throbbing area, embellished with glass beads that pierce the site.

Sale price. €75.00

Materials – merino wool fibre and wool nepps, red silk and glass beads.

This exhibition was part funded by DCCoI

crafts-council

 

Interview with Elaine Peden

IMG_0022 (1)Elaine has been a member of Feltmakers ireland for 10 years now. She also exhibits her work with the Element 15 group. Elaine was kind enough to hold a Sunday session on her beading work earlier in the year at the Knockmaroon gate studio. She continues to be active with FI in a voluntary capacity- helping out at workshops etc.

We decided to ask Elaine a few questions about how she became involved in Felt and textiles.

Tell us a little about you as a person?

I work Three days a week as a nurse in TU Dublin the rest of my time is divided up with family friends and my work as a fibre Artist.

Using a needle and thread and stitching with beads comes naturally to me as I embroidered as a child; my mother made our cloths as small children, my grandmother knitted, sewed and in her 80’s started to paint.

My Gran started painting in her 80’s she was self-taught. She painted every day and watching her paint, her ‘oneness‘ immersed in her world of brush and paint, absorbed and content ,  influenced  my work as an artist. She went on to exhibit into her 90’s.

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How and when did you start Felting… what is your experience, tell us a little about your journey?

Fifteen years ago while holidaying in the Jersey shore with my family I happened upon Manasquan bead gallery, l signed up for a series of classes with exceptional Bead artists, after emptying my wallet and stuffing my suitcase with glorious vintage and Japanese glass beads in various sizes and shapes I started my journey designing and beading neck pieces, choosing colours and designing patterns in my sleep.

As l don’t have a studio l mainly work from home , for larger projects l have used my dear friend Coleen’s studio and FMI studio .

I mostly work with strong felt making 3D sculptures.

My pieces take between 5- 6 hrs to make.  I have exhibited and sold my work at various craft fairs and taken private commissions.

My work is mainly process led l try not to control the process, I let it lead me. While l sometimes sketch and draw plans l mainly work intuitively.

10 yrs ago l spotted a friend packing her car with strange objects, bubble wrap, noodles, towels, intrigued about this l joined her on a trip to Lucan parish hall.

There l saw Maureen Cromer making a white cobweb scarf, the process immediately grabbed me. I was hooked. l filled my bag with fibre.

I became slightly obsessed with learning many felt making techniques. I started using fine merino wool from DHG. My 1st w/shop was with Lyda Rump, an amazing textile Artist making a complex felt bag with multiple resists using Icelandic wool which is one of the fastest and easiest fibres to felt.

I fell in love with strong felt, using multiple resists mounding and shaping the fibres after the fulling stage.

As my creative circle of friends grew my need to experiment with other mediums followed.

Fibre artist, Colleen Prendiville introduced me to stitch various mediums and processes. I joined Element 15 Fibre Arts group.

“Element 15” was originally Naas felt and fibre. The group explored and expanded over the years. We have exhibited in many venues including Carlow arts festival, the Blue Egg gallery, and last year a site specific exhibition at Castletown house.

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Tell us about your process from conception to creation and what is your motivation?

My career as a nurse plays a role in my work. After doing a post grad in NUIM (‘Art in a health care setting’). I have worked with Alzheimer’s patients in  Brook lodge nursing home and other community projects. I have facilitated felt workshops in a health care setting and my work is about concentrating on the process rather than finished product, this enables creativity to blossom for participants.

I would like to expand on the therapeutic aspect of play, connection to self and others both in my personal work and working in groups.

FMI has organized incredible overseas tutors over the years , sharing ideas with exceptionally talented felting friends and colleagues sharing  methods, ‘mishaps’ and working through play in the studio, has been a very rich and creative experience which continues to shape my work.

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What currently inspires you? What are you working on now?

I am currently researching poetry and text in preparation for Element 15’s next exhibition in Inniscara Gallery in Rathcoole. I will put  this work on hold for a few weeks as l am travelling to Finland in Jamsa to see my piece which was selected as part of the joint exhibition between “Filtti” and Feltmakers Ireland, for our international exhibition … exciting times ahead.

On behalf of Feltmakers Ireland, thank you Elaine for sharing your inspirational story of your life and work, we look forward to seeing your new artworks in your next exhibition.

cof

 

3 Irish Artists: Something Red

As the “Something Red” exhibition continues to run in Jamsa, Finland and we get ever closer to the Shoreline Arts Festival in Co. Galway in September… This weeks 3 featured artists are Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann, Pippa Sweeney & Asta Gauronskyte.

Artist – Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann

The Glow worms Nest

The materials , shapes, structures and colors of my native surroundings provide inspiration for my creations . 

Working with different raw-wool types (unwashed and uncarded fleece loosened by hand ) fascinates me.

This piece embodies warmth , softness and protection .  The upright rods radiate decisiveness and togetherness , all the while surrounded by organic matter.

I like the challenge of working with different materials. It is so fascinating. Under the hands of the designer or maker the fibres enter into communication and transform into a new structure and design.

 Sale price. €600.00

 Materials – Finnwool, Mongolish – Karakul used as the base. Wool locks from white Romney, white Mohair, Blueface Leicester brown and white. Silk bark, and hand dyed linen- cotton yarn and silk fibres.

The Mermaid visiting at Fenora Beach

The inspiration for this piece are different materials and techniques , which have been employed in felt production for thousands of years. 

 I envisioned merging the textures of the Pongee – Silk with fine Merino wool to create a fish-skin effect . This is further embellished  by adding Silk Fibre and a Kap-wool fin .

The piece is finished with free motion hand embroidery . Overall the Mermaid is an expression of emotion and consequentiality.

The piece itself represents the motion ~ ebb and flow of the tides ,waves of the ocean .Felting generates concentration ,punctuality, excitement and surprises ! My work always tell a story of their own 

Sale price – €680.00

 Materials – pongee silk, 16-19 micron merino wool, Kap merino, hand dyed silk fibre, cotton – nylon fabric, silk chiffon, mohair locks, free motion machine embroidery.

The Beauty and the Beast
Pippa Sweeney

Artist – Pippa Sweeney

The Beauties and the Beast

The beauty of beach stones, their origins, journeys and destinations has been the inspiration for Pippa’s shibori felt work over the past few years.  In 2018 she held a solo exhibition in Ireland entitled ‘Between a Rock and a Soft Place” which explored the metaphor of stones as people, where human population can be represented by jostling stones of diverse origins, with all their differences, imperfections and beauty – each with their own story.

This piece ‘The Beauties and The Beast” in which a red knotted rope emerges from between stones represents the very real threat of plastics and rubbish on our beaches, a strangling, destructive danger emerging from between us all.

Sale price – €450.00

Materials – merino wool using the shibori method. 

Artist – Asta Gauronskyte

Scarlet & Black Boots

 My life has been about designing and making both clothing and accessories. While crafting these pieces they managed to weave themselves into the fabric of my self, making them a special creation. This was in part due to the ballad “Lady in Red” continually playing in my subconscious. The themes of love, passion and drawing attention show themselves in the design . A touch of black in the red  both calms down the power at the same time as hinting seduction. ”

Sale price. €350.00

If sold along with the matching Bag the set is €500.00

Materials –  24 mc Tirol wool , 21mc Merino wool , black silk chiffon fabric with sequins.

Metal shoe zip, natural leather heel box and innersole all sewn by hand.

High heel rubber pads firstly glued with special shoe glues and then sewn by hand.

 Notes – The boots are a UK size 6, EUsize 39.

Scarlet &Black Bag

My life has been about designing and making both clothing and accessories. While crafting these pieces they managed to weave themselves into the fabric of my self, making them a special creation. This was in part due to the ballad “Lady in Red” continually playing in my subconscious. The themes of love, passion and drawing attention show themselves in the design . A touch of black in the red  both calms down the power at the same time as hinting seduction. ”

 Sale price. €180.00

If sold along with the matching boots the cost for the set is €500.00

Materials – 24 mc Tirol wool , 21mc Merino wool , black silk chiffon fabric with sequins, Metal kisslock bag frame, lining made from 100% linen fabric.

With thanks to DCCoI for part funding this exhibition.

crafts-council

 

 

3 Irish Artists: Something Red

For you today we feature the works of 3 Irish Artists whose pieces are featuring in the “Something Red” exhibition in Finland this summer

Today we look at the works of Claire Merry, Maria Mc Givern & Elizabeth Bonnar.

Aflame
Claire Merry

Artist – Claire Merry

Aflame

 I wished to portray the competing human emotions of the cool head masking the hot passion and turmoil in the heart…….. fire and ice.

Sale price €850.00

Materials – merino wool on silk chiffon, backed with synthetic felt for hanging.

Maria Mc Givern

 Artist – Maria McGivern

Woven Fibres of Ireland

Inspired by the changing colours of Ireland and our forty shades of green with a little touch of red. The red wool used is cut from Donegal tweed.

Her green fields a myriad of shades of green- Ireland.

The woven threads of Donegal tweed represent the wild hedgerows that are bursting with dark red wild fuchsia flowers when in bloom.

The floating mounting representative of our status as an island nation with the uneven tassels reaching out to unite us with our fellow Irish spread across the countries of the world.

Sale price – €125.00

Materials – merino wool overlaid with pale green silk strips. The red is wool strip cut-offs from Donegal tweed.

something red- berry
Elizabeth Bonnar

Artist – Elizabeth Bonnar

Berry

My inspiration for this piece came from the silk yarn threaded with tiny glass beads. The materials filled my mind with the wonder of colour – the colour red in all its different tints and shades. The  beads in the grid pattern peep out like berries in tiny gardens with walls of silk and wool.

Sale price  €175.00

Materials – red silk georgette felted with a grid of wool and silk, trapping silk yarn with glass beads.

This exhibition has been part funded by DCCoI, with thanks to them for their continued support in heritage arts and crafts.

crafts-council

Interview: Pam de Groot

 

Fully ChargedThis spring I decided to take my first on line course with a textile artist. I enrolled with Pam de Groot on her- “Surface form and Space- April 2019” course.

Pam de Groot is an Australian textile artist who teaches at home and internationally.

The quality of Pam’s online tutorials, her teaching methods, videos and her clear instruction has all helped. The course was easy to follow and I have learnt so much. It was also really beneficial to be able to be part of a workshop in my own time and on my terms. Never feeling exhausted because I could choose when it suited me to work -and I still have access to the tutorials for the next 6 months, so I hope that I will have a chance to re-watch and really solidify the learning.

At first I was concerned that I wouldn’t feel “part of a group” but in fact all fears have been alleviated by Pam’s swift and direct response to questions and queries. As well as that, the community atmosphere generated by fellow felters regularly posting photos of their work and process helped to motivate me.

I have looked forward to my Friday mailbox when I would have my treat of “the next lesson”. Now that this course has finished, I am a little sad, but eagerly looking forward to my next opportunity to take a workshop. My biggest learning in fact has been to discover a new found discipline. Keep up the working habit, felt weekly, and felt better.

Pam has very kindly agreed to take part in an interview for Felt makers Ireland. We will also stay in touch and I hope that with a European Tour on the horizon for 2021 that Pam might plan a visit to Ireland, when maybe I ( and we) will be lucky enough to meet her in a face to face in a workshop scenario!

Tell us a little about you as a person? Upbringing/ where you work/ work other than felt etc

I come from a background in Studio Ceramics and also Primary Infants teaching. I moved to textiles when my children were small as it was more forgiving. Children need you right then and there and I could drop and pick up the work when time allowed.
OPEN HEART

How and when did you start Felting… tell us a little about your journey with felt?

I was introduced to a textile group by a friend and we experimented with many different media. Felting being just one. I loved the felt and how its transformational qualities reminded me of the clay.  I slowly had a couple of very beginner classes and then worked on my own for some years occasionally taking a class with those I really respected and admired. I particularly think my work took a new turn after a class with Marjolein Dallinga. Her approach in walking into the unknown really resonated. I haven’t looked back. From beginning this around 18 years ago I have changed my methods and built a wealth of knowledge around wool.

What is your felting process from conception to creation and what is your motivation?

I have really tried most things felt over the years, but more recently I am drawn to work in sculptural felt. I am using the felt as my medium for self expression. Each year the work becomes less about the techniques (though they are there too) and more about the concepts. The flexibility of the wool never disappoints me. It teaches me so much every time I venture somewhere new. I am always its student.

I have been teaching locally here in Australia and abroad for many years now and have in the last couple of years begun teaching online also. I am really enjoying this new way to share and develop the interest of so many the world over.

What currently inspires you?

I am currently creating work which is delving into my own world of personal feelings and emotions around family, friends and relationships. I feel these are topics that we all share and relate to. A common thread, a connection. I have a couple of works that will be part of a travelling exhibition next year, and I am quite proud of the work and the story they tell. Sorry!! no images of those pieces yet but they will be released later in this year.

Pam signs her email with the following quote, which I think gives all of us who are not quite at her stage of mastering this fine art of felt making, a little hope…

“Every artist was first an amateur”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can get more information on Pam de Groot on her social media platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/pamdegroot.fibreandtextileart

https://www.instagram.com

http://pamdegroot.blogspot.com/

You will also find regular updates on her website of upcoming on-line workshops- and these I can now personally recommend!

http://www.pamdegroot.com/

Thank you Pam for taking the time to answer our questions and supply your highly inspirational photographs. Looking forward to your travelling exhibition and your European tour in 2021- watch this space fellow members!

pollen 1

 

3 Irish Artists: Something Red

If you are regular follower of our blog and Feltmakers Ireland you will know that we have spent the past year preparing together with Filtti- Finnish feltmakers association, for a joint exhibition running this summer 01.07-04.08.2019 called “Something Red”.

Many of our valued members submitted excellent pieces of work. All of a very high standard making the job of the two independent adjudicators very hard indeed. The entrants were evaluated both in digital photo submissions and then as actual pieces and a final selection was made. The Judges remarked that Feltmakers Ireland can be very proud of the standards of its members and congratulated everyone on their efforts in taking part and helping to promote the art and craft of feltmaking.

Over the next few weeks we will feature the work of the successful submissions, In blocks of  3.

I hope you enjoy this detailed look at the Irish works.

Today we look at the works of Anne Walsh, Vicky Blomfield and Marie Dunne.

This exhibition has been part funded by DCCoI, with thanks to them for their continued support in heritage arts and crafts.

 

Artist – Anne Walsh

Red Sky at Night

Red Sky at Night is a study in optimism and our search for signs and assurances that all will be well in our world. The world depicted is one of tranquility but expectant of adventure and exploration. It is the way I like to approach everything  in my life. 

Sale Price €325.00

Materials – Nuno felted with hand painted silk, embroidery and needle felting.

I Won’t be Cold

 I Won’t be Cold is a study in colour and the feelings I associate with each colour. It seeks to embrace as much colour – and feelings – as possible that I may wrap all of those around myself and wear them with an ease that reflects my inner self. But critically each has to work together in just the right way to ensure harmony and integrity. 

 Not for sale

 Materials – Nuno felted with hand dyed silk and silk handkerchiefs, finished with knitted sleeves.

Artist – Vicky Blomfield 

The Red Rocks

On the Hill of Howth, north of Dublin, there are red rocks down by the sea.

Sale price €75.00

Materials – merino wool and tussah silk

 The Red Button

This is about resisting temptation, with a nod to Father Dougal

Sale price €75.00

Materials – natural piku and merino wool, tussah silk, Wensleydale locks, cotton muslin, free motion machine embroidery.

Notes – can you please have a note that says “please DO touch” .

Artist – Marie Dunne

Masquerade 

Having felted for over 10 years I decided to step out of my comfort zone and design and felt a blouse. I was not quite sure how it would turn out, or whether it would be successful or not. I called it Masquerade. 

Sale price. €185.00

Materials – felted with merino wool and silk fibre. Silk chiffon sleeves and trim, with felted cuffs.

Fire

Fire. A contemporary Wrap or an Evening stole, based on the Galway shawl. Inspiration was a photograph of a young girl wearing a fiery red shawl wrap taken in 1913 in an area of Galway called the Claddagh. This is an area where women wore the Galway shawl. Materials: Merino wool, silk fabric, silk fibres. Technique:: Nuno Felted, Resist frill, hand dyed and Raised Applique. My Great Grandmother wore the Galway shawl. The shawls were hand woven and edged with a fringe. It was a very precious piece of clothing and was often handed down from  mother to daughter. I chose the heart shape to represent this. The double frill represents the fringe. 

Not for sale

Something Red- Grand Opening

FLYER ANOUNCEMENTIf you are regular follower of our blog and Feltmakers Ireland you will know that we have spent the past year preparing together with Filtti- Finnish feltmakers association, for a joint exhibition running this summer 01.07-04.08.2019 called “Something Red”.

www.filtti.fi/association.

FINLAND EXHIBITORS

Many of our valued members submitted excellent pieces of work. All of a very high standard making the job of the two independent adjudicators very hard indeed. The entrants were evaluated both in digital photo submissions and then as actual pieces and a final selection was made. The Judges remarked that Feltmakers Ireland can be very proud of the standards of its members and congratulated everyone on their efforts in taking part and helping to promote the art and craft of feltmaking.

This exhibition has been part funded by DCCoI, with thanks to them for their continued support in heritage arts and crafts.

Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

SOMETHING RED

A selection was made and 26 individual pieces of art were selected.

The grand opening is today the 30th of June and the exhibition will run for the month of July. We hope to have lots of great feedback and endeavour to take part in more international exhibitions in the future.

We are very lucky to have secured an excellent exhibition space in Portumna Castle, Co. Galway and will be exhibiting as part of the Shoreline Arts festival which runs from 8th Sept- 22nd 2019.

http://www.shorelinesartsfestival.com/

We encourage all our members to take a trip west to see the pieces for themselves. We will also be looking for volunteers to assist in the invigilation of the exhibition for the fortnight.

With inspiration for each piece ranging from the political to the personal this is a wonderful collection of textile work.

We hope to bring many of the pieces back from Galway in the autumn, to Dublin, to be exhibited in the Phoenix Park studio from Oct-December. This will truly have been “Something Red” on tour, and thank you to all who have helped to organise and deliver the events.

Congratulations to those successful in “Something Red”, well done to all the Feltmakers for their efforts.

Sunday Session…

Hi Everyone,

10.30am, usual place… knockmarroon gate studio. We really hope you’ll join us to listen to Mary Hoy talk about her own journey in textiles as well as review her recent participation in the wonderful ‘pine needle’ workshop with Leiko.

JOB OPPORTUNITY, Co Louth

Hi folks,

An Grianan ICA Educational College in Termonfeckin, Co.Louth has been in touch…

They are wondering if any of our members would be interested in doing a felt needlework class for the weekend of Friday 14th – Sunday 16thJune’19. They have a group of 9 members from Donegal who are looking to do Felt Needlework. They provide all tutors with accommodation and meals and have an hourly rate and also pay mileage costs. Please get in touch if you are interested or able to help.