Just a heads up that there is a wool event taking place in Newbridge tomorrow, in case you can make it.
Feltmakers Ireland will be there talking about our wool project and the upcoming book. Juliane Gorman will be demonstrating hat making.
Celebration of Sheep, Shepherds and wool learnings from the age of Brigid to now.
Meet exciting wool experts Exhibition of wool and International Natural art creations from Newfoundland to Newbridge with work by Susaun Furneaux
Information hubs & live Panel of experts sharing their wool journey
11am- 2.45pm Exhibition and meet the makers 12pm -1pm Discover spinning with Séamus Kirwan 1pm – 2.30pm Wool innovation Panel
Fergal Byrne local sheep farmer shares Organic wool innovation his role in a fleece to fashion range Liam Donoghue will introduce the role of wool in energy saving and RetroFitting Rachel Tuffy presents the latest wool, 3d innovations and new fashion and industrial applications of wool Ériu Lionel Mackey and Zoë Daly share their Farm to Yarn story
Crafting Fun hat making with Juliane Gorman
Try out crochet with our fun crafters
International and regional wool craft with Susan Stephens-Barimo
News updates from Felt Makers in Ireland
Wool garments crafters together with repair station with our Ukrainian friends as we weave a Circular Economy community
All welcome to explore wool and its role in the world
Newbridge Town Hall Main Street Newbridge Co. Kildare W12 C652
Applications are now open for Sculpture in Context. This is a great opportunity to get your work seen by a large audience. Deadline for applications is 9th of May.
If you have questions around how to apply, come to one of our Sunday sessions with your questions. Somebody there will have participated before and should be able to help or know where to get more information.
(FI likes to keep you updated on upcoming opportunities. If you know of other upcoming events, please send them to us and we will share with the members.)
Some work by members from last year’s Sculpture in Context (2022):
From left top: Fiona Leech, Carmen Garcia, Annika Berglund
From bottom left: Ramona Farrelly, Juliane Gorman
Sculpture in Context 2023
We are delighted to announce that submissions are now open for the annual Sculpture in Context exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens.
Sculpture in Context is a pivotal event in the Irish arts calendar and the most important sculpture exhibition in the country. The annual exhibition attracts a large public and critical audience and is the highlight of the National Botanic Gardens calendar.
Sculpture in Context is a key event for both public and private buyers of all levels.
Open to all artists working in three dimensions in any medium. Proposals may be durable or time-based artworks, including performance or video.
As many of you know, we have been working on a project around using wool from local sheep. We are nearly finished and are currently putting the finishing touches on the book where we will share all our results as well as information about how to source, wash and dye your own wool. As part of this theme, our upcoming Sunday session will let you have a look at raw fleece and how to skirt and pick it to prepare for washing.
We will also be exploring different Irish fleeces that Annika and her Wool Project team have been trialling. We will work on a 2D or 3D sample using a range of breeds and discuss and swap our results. It should be a hugely informative session especially for those ( like me) who tend to stick to what we know!
We would need to bring our usual felt making equipment, soap, sprayer, roller, bubble wrap, plastic bag and perhaps 2 towels, big and small (some fleeces can require a lot of water) We will have some extras in case there are any beginners or you forget something. So don’t worry.
Hope some of you can make it.
March 5th is the date for our Basic and Beyond workshop at the same venue. It is a full day. This is just an initial heads up with basic information to whet your appetite. More details will follow soon.
Annika will be the leader for this course but there will also be plenty of assistants on hand. We will be making a double walled vessel with lace effect and Tencel fibre decoration. It is suitable for beginners and improvers. The skills are…. Basic wet felting…. Felting around a resist….. Shading using black and white layers…. Lace technique…. Double walled vessel with decoration on inside…. and shaping while wet. There will be lots of help so feeling a little intimated shouldn’t stop you from having a go if you are a beginner. Materials will be provided.
That’s it for now. Hope to see some of you soon. I will have membership forms on the 12th for those who’d like to sign up.
And just for your information, here are the news from Showcase in the DCCI GANS newsletter:
I hope this newsletter finds you well. January was a busy month with Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo® returning to the RDS, Dublin on Sunday 22nd to Tuesday 24th of January. Showcase offered 385 exhibitors an opportunity to exhibit their collections to approx 4000 visitors from 27 countries.
We were delighted to see the much anticipated Showcase Awards taking place on the opening day of the fair. We were excited to see that the winner of the overall best product award was metal artist, Tom King from An Gobha, whose iron cross was created in celebration of St. Brigid.
The St. Brigid’s Cross was created as a work of metal art based around the traditional cross, with depth and with colour, to mark Ireland’s new national holiday celebrating the country’s first female patron St. Brigid.
Other crafts people at Showcase celebrating St. Brigid’s were Patricia O’Flaherty, Naomh Padraig Handcrafts, from Roscommon, you can see her beautiful St. Brigid’s rush work crosses on www.naomhpadraighandcrafts.com. Jennifer Rothwell Designs also had a beautiful collection of fashion items inspired by St. Brigid www.jenniferrothwell.com
As the first Irish public holiday named after a woman, St. Brigid’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the role that women have played in Irish history, culture, creativity and society.
The Design & Crafts Council Ireland Academy (DCCIA) was launched as part of the Talk Stage programme at Showcase. DCCIA is an international specialised academy for education and training to the craft sector and will offer a series of apprenticeships. DCCIA welcomes everyone from design and craft beginners to established professionals. The launch was delivered by MaryJo Hoyne, Head of Craft & Education at DCCI and Maria Couchman, Senior Craft & Education Manager at DCCI. www.dcci.ie/academy
Showcase 2023 saw a continuation of the popular Talks Stage that hosted a variety of industry talks and expert panel discussions, you can view some of the events that took place over the three days of Showcase here.
The Dancehall (Fashion & Design) – was a new and exciting fusion of Showcase fashion and design with music and dance. To view the performance of The Dancehall event from the opening day of Showcase 2023 click here.
Dear members. Nationwide last night featured Feltmakers Ireland’s November Sunday Session and maker Leiko Uchiyama. We are sorry we could not tell you in advance as we had not been told it would be on last night.
A big thanks, especially to Clare Brophy, who had a special treat in store for us for at this December’s Sunday Session, with Romanian felt artist Carmen Draghici, and her lovely daughter Corinna. You can find samples of her work online at FELT JOY. She has an Etsy shop. She was only able to bring 2 beautiful pieces with her, due to Ryanair’s weight restrictions.
Clare had discovered Carmen’s fabulous felt work online, purchased a piece, and was bowled over by the quality and design of the jacket that she had bought. She invited Carmen to come to Ireland from Constanza, southern Romania, to lead a Sunday Session with us.
Carmen, luckily, was very happy to come to Ireland to meet all of us. Although Hungary has a very rich Feltmaking tradition, its neighbour Romania does not, as yet anyway, and she was delighted to be in the company of other feltmakers. She envied us our regular opportunities to felt together, and is going to investigate if she can bring us to Romania next year!
Carmen had planned a project with us, wet-felting a small Christmas Cushion, using some special lace brought with her from Romania. However, as 4 of the group were new feltmakers, it proved too ambitious for the 2 hours. She suggested finishing it at home or turning it into a table runner instead. There was much to learn from Carmen, an engineer by profession, from laying viscose fibre down cleanly to achieve sharp shapes, to using different unfamiliar fibre layouts, like herringbone, and diagonal, depending on what you were making, and using, for the most part just one layer of fine merino tops. It was also new to some people to to have an upside-down layout, and use a resist.
Personally speaking, I would love to have her back again to learn more of her tips and knowledge as she seemed to be a mine of information as well as having a great personality and we did not have enough time with her. She herself was frustrated by the short time involved and the differing levels of experience within this group, and wanted especially to give the new people good standards of finish.
I arrived at the Sunday Session with my friend Nara Fritch, from Seattle, US, but now long time resident in Ireland, living near me in Skerries. Nara keeps Alpacas and was totally entranced by an invited guest of Committee member, Annike Berglund, leader of the Feltmakers Ireland Wool Project Her Guest, Grant Bartholomew had requested to be an observer at the Sunday Session. Grant is an Alpaca farmer, from South Africa and living in Ireland for 3 years. He arrived with his family. After our session with Carmen, he briefly explained the different types of Alpaca fibre he had brought with him.
by Clodagh McDonagh
The committee has decided to devote another Sunday session later to the picking and washing of a raw fleece and give everybody a chance to felt a small sample using one of a variety of Irish local wools.
Sunday Session November 6th 2022 in the CIE Social Club Inchicore!
On Sunday 6th November Feltmakers Ireland Committee and 25 members took part in a `hands-on` practical Feltmaking session. There was great excitement, as a Nationwide film team was coming to film our efforts and interview some key members of our Feltmakers Ireland community.
The session was led by Tamzen Lundy, a former Committee member. She had designed a really charming Christmas project for us, a felted Nordic style Santa Claus in 3D. You can use the Santa Claus as a tree decoration, as a bottle topper, or as a stand alone ornament.
Feltmaking is a craft that allows you to easily produce items in 3D without any sewing at all. The committee had prepared a kit bag for each participant, containing all we required for this session.
Tamzen then took us all very clearly through the process, which involved laying merino wool in 3 alternate layers on a triangular shaped resist.
For Santa’s face, Tamzen showed us 2 ways of making and attaching a felt nose,(a felt bead, cut in two) by fluffing it up with a wire (or pet) brush, then had an ingenious method of using a small piece of prefelt (sometimes called Needlepunch) to create the face, and then cutting a teeny hole in the prefelt to reveal the nose. Later we would use needle felting to add eyes and beard.
The main learning points I took from Tamzen`s were:
To use no soap in your wetting down process, (and generally very little soap overall) a bit controversial for me as soap tends to be my `comfort blanket`.
No rolling, (not a roller in sight! ), use bubblewrap as a rubbing tool , and generally keep on rubbing, and massaging with your bare hands, or bubblewrap, on the surface of your piece until any sign of `cellulite` is gone! (Of course that meant that a big discussion on what cellulite was, ensued!)
At the end of the very happy and enjoyable session, it was really interesting how all the Santas looked very individual, taking on their own personalities!
While we participants were concentrating on our project, RTE`S Nationwide crew were filming a wonderful and varied display of members’ work at the end of the room. They interviewed Deirdre Crofts from our Committee, who spoke of the different pieces on display and explained the different felting skills.
Founding member of Feltmakers Ireland, Elizabeth Bonnar was interviewed about our Guild’s history in Ireland. Also interviewed was Astrid Tomrop-Hofman another important person who helped bring felt making to Ireland.
Our current research project on Irish breeds of sheep and their fleeces, was explained to Nationwide interviewer Zainab, by the leader of the research group, our Treasurer, Annika Berglund. The group hopes to publish a book in the near future with their findings.
Fiona Leech and Deirdre Croft told of our monthly Sunday Sessions, and of our Annual Art Felt Exhibition.
Zainab, interviewer, had her first go at Feltmaking!
For me, a member for many years, and formerly on committee, it was lovely to see old felting friends, like Helene Dooley, who has been working with the IFA , (the International Feltmakers Association, with which we are affiliated .)
Session leader, Tamzen, was interviewed, as she has turned her feltimaking into a successful business, and has an Etsy shop, Tamzenlundydesigns.
A very big thank you to Breda Fay, our Guild Chairperson, who was the person RTE contacted, and who made the film crew so welcome. Thanks to Lorna Cady, Committee member, who secured our venue, and to all our Committee members who baked tasty goodies, and made tea and coffee for us all, and made us all so welcome.
Clodagh Mac Donagh.
Our Feltmakers Ireland Annual Exhibition will open on Dec3rd in the Ashtown visitor Centre, in the Phoenix Park and will run for the whole of December
From 12th November until 23rd of December, Tamzen Lundy has an exhibition of her work at the Newbridge Arts Theatre Centre, Riverbank, Co. Kildare.
NEXT SUNDAY SESSION
venue: CIE sports hall, Inchicore
time : 10.15-12.30
Leader: Carmen Draghici, coming specially from Constanza in southern Romania for the weekend. Her work can be viewed online at FELT JOY and on Facebook & You Tube. She has an ETSY shop and she will bring some of her work to show us.
She will demonstrate some of her unique skills, making a small Christmas Cushion (as time is so limited )
It will be practical session. Some kits may be available to purchase (€4) for those who have materials (old towel, soap, bubble wrap etc) needed to felt with Carmen.
Materials needed: (exactly as last session)
Old towel, bubble wrap, resist, soap, and water bottle, needed.
70 grams red roving, embellishments (including, if you have any, old lace or finest crochet)
Hi All. We have heard that some of our members are nearly there with their entries for our Building Bridges exhibition but that they would like a little bit more time. We want to show as much of our members work as possible, so we have extended the deadline. Happy making!!!
Made Local 2022 will launch on the 11th October with a national campaign and pop-up exhibition in Dublin.
To join the campaign, which already has over 1,700 makers and retailers involved, click here. If you’ve already joined, check your listing on the MadeLocal.ie directory. To request any changes, click here.
Submissions are now open for the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2023. The international prize recognises those whose artistic vision will set a new standard for the future of craft. The prize is €50,000 and the winning work will feature in an exhibition in New York in 2023. Apply by 25th October 2022.
‘Designers in Residence’ is an international scholarship program for young design artists in the fields of jewellery, fashion, accessory, industrial and graphic and other areas of design. Three designers are invited to work on their projects from April to June 2023 at the EMMA Creative Center in Pforzheim, Germany. Apply by 15th November 2022.
This is a opportunity for all members of the DCCI who wish to book an individual stand at Showcase 2023.
(It is possible that Feltmakers Ireland gets invited to participate as a Guild as we did last year. At the moment we do not know if that is going ahead, if and when we know for sure, we will go out to the members and look for volunteers.)
From the Crafts Council:
Dear DCCI Member,
We are delighted to announce the return of Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® to the RDS, Dublin from the 22–24 January 2023. Showcase is presented by Design & Crafts Council Ireland with support from Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.
Once again, we will have the area at the front of the Main Hall, exclusively for ‘Design & Crafts Council Ireland’ members.
The details are as follows:
This area is open to all DCCI registered clients
There is no selection process, and you are welcome to send us in your application.
A special subsidy is included in the prices for DCCI clients to make taking part easier, financially.
How to secure your space
Please fill out this online FORM which has a strict deadline of 4pm onFriday 30th September 2022.
Showcase will acknowledge receipt of your email on submission of your form and we will get back to you by mid-October to let you know if you have been successful.