An Interview with Wendy Bailye.

In August of this year Felt makers Ireland had the pleasure of hosting award winning Australian felt maker Wendy Bailye for a 3 day workshop, entitled “Fiffty shades of Grey”. This was a sampling workshop, the prime objective of which was to play with fibre and fabrics in a layering style to discover new ways of making felted textile.

We looked at surface textures and discovered the differences in speciality fibres such as hemp, silks, neps and proteins. We used silk chiffons and lightweight cottons in layering techniques, always in an experimental fashion, learning through our own exploration.

Wendy showed us a large section of samples from her vast portfolio. Many of her samples looked at surface design and stitch. Many of the class then went on to experiment with free- motion stitch on their own samples.

It was a very enjoyable and relaxed workshop in, held in Portmarnock. Three days of experimentation that resulted in each student producing a small library of samples.

 

I reached out to Wendy, now that she is back in her native Australia to ask her about her own work. I hope you enjoy her responses:

Tell us a little about you as a person? 

I have always been a maker. My mum was a very creative soul and I have many happy memories doing classes and working creatively from a very young age. It was a very “1970’s upbringing” with experiments in, copper enamelling, Ikebana, macramé, drawing to name a few.

I trained as a Secondary Home Economics Teacher, doing a lot of textile work, and then I went on to train in Special Education with Art as a major. I have also worked as a restauranteur, a caterer and gallery owner as well as opening an organics store. A very varied career! I have been a full time, professional felt maker for 12 years.

 

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

I started felting 25 years ago. A friend and I made hats for our children and then felted together for a while. I became addicted to the medium immediately.

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

My main interest is in surface design and technique innovation, I like to play with a “big canvas” so I make a lot of large wraps.My artwork originates from the heart and my hands often do their work without thought.

 

A miraculous dance of sorts, moving in unison and independently of the conscious mind. The shaping and fulling of wool is so dependent on this connection of heart and hands. There is something very special about wool, it has such unique properties.

What currently inspires you?

I am inspired from within, my inner landscape in combination with the never- ending inspiration of colours, textures and patterns in the outer world.

I am planning a trip back to the UK in 2020 this travelling and connecting with people and places deeply informs my work. Especially the connections made with other artists working thoughtfully in their chosen careers.

 

I am fortunate to be able to assist others to develop their creativity- a vocation like no other and very necessary in today’s complex world.

You can learn more about Wendy Bailye on her www.wendybailye.com/ Facebook: The Felt Studio and Wendy Bailye and Instagram is #wendybailye and also #wildthingstextileart

Thank you so much to Wendy, both for the wonderful workshop earlier in the year and for taking the time to share these unique insights with us, perhaps we will meet again on your next international tour.

 

 

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Have you felt my fleece?

So this year we have had the Sloth and the ubiquitous Unicorn on seemingly every piece of kids clothing, decoration and even in the shape of doughnuts and milkshakes!

Summer 2018 brought us the flamingo, a happy go lucky fellow but fleeting as the Irish summer… Now here comes the Llama as the trendiest animal of the year!

If you have kids who play “fortnight” on xbox or playstation you may over hear them referring to the fellow- as one of the quests is to search for the purple llamas, to claim a high score.

Slogans have begun appearing everywhere- don’t be a drama llama, what’s your prob llama?  And this cute and cuddly if a little ugly beast is having a “moment” in fashion.

What has all this got to do with the price of wool? Well… exactly that- Llama wool can be used in felting… and its smaller eared cousin is the Alpaca!

Alpaca V Llama

I overheard Gladys Paulus at the March- Seed Pod Workshop- say that Alpaca was one of her favourite fibres. I’ve since bought some on world of wool- alpaca

I see that world of wool also have baby llama fibre world of wool -llama I would love to hear your experiences. How do they compare? In wet and needle felt.

The drama Llama definitely has my vote as the trendiest animal of 2018; Why? Its simple- have you ever tried to felt with the fleece of unicorn!

Felters, Your Guild Needs You – October 3rd EGM

Dear Felters,

An emergency general meeting will take place this week. We are looking for members to fill much needed roles in the guild.

The roles on the Committee involve the Chair, treasurer, membership, secretary and other roles in relation to the ongoing activities.

We hope as many members as possible can attend this important meeting to ensure the continuation of the Guild into 2019 and beyond.

The meeting will take place at 8.15pm on the 3rd October 2018 at Parish Centre Beechpark Ave, Castleknock Dublin 15

Please come along, you can make a difference.

 

Emergency General Meeting – 8.15pm 3 rd October 2018

Dear Members

It is with regret that the Committee would like to invite you to a meeting to decide the future of our Guild. This decision was taken due to the ongoing challenge whereby we do not have sufficient numbers on the Committee to organise Feltmakers events and activities.

In order to function properly the Committee needs at least 8 people who are available to attend monthly meetings, help organise; workshops; assist in the preparation and running of the Feltmakers stand and workshops at the Knitting and Stitching Show; Sunday Sessions; Exhibitions; fibre sales and social media.

The roles on the Committee involve the Chair, treasurer, membership, secretary and other roles in relation to the ongoing activities.

We hope as many members as possible can attend this important meeting to ensure the continuation of the Guild into 2019 and beyond.

The meeting will take place at 8.15pm on the 3rd October 2018 at Parish Centre Beechpark Ave, Castleknock Dublin 15

UPDATE: 50 Shades of Grey – 3 Day Workshop with Wendy Bailye

50 shades

50 Shades of Grey 3 Day Workshop with Wendy Bailye

This class is a process/sample -oriented workshop designed to develop your felt making skills in a playful, experimental manner. You will learn about mixing and matching fibres and fabrics and learn a multitude of techniques that extend your textural skills.

UPDATE: Venue is as follows: Portmarnock Parish Centre, Strand Road, Portmarnock
Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2018

Application Form