Due Soon: Sculpture in Context 2023

Applications are now open for Sculpture in Context. This is an excellent opportunity to get your work seen by a large audience. The deadline for application is soon — the 9th of April.

You can find the online application HERE.

Some members of Feltmakers Ireland have exhibited in previous years. The images below are from Sculpture in Context 2022.

From the top left: Carmen Garcia, Ramona Farrelly

From bottom left: Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann, Fiona Leech, Annika Berglund, Juliane Gorman

(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 them with the members.)


Sculpture in Context 2022 – part 2

The weather is a bit miserable at the moment, but there should be lovely crisp days ahead as we head into early autumn.

The National Botanic Gardens are magnificent this time of year, and for the month of September you can combine visiting the gardens with a treasure hunt for exciting sculptures all over the place, indoors and outdoors.

About Sculpture in Context

Sculpture in Context was established in 1985 to raise the profile of sculpture in Ireland and provide a platform for artists outside the normal gallery context. It is a not-for-profit organisation run by sculptors. The exhibition has been staged in the National Botanic Gardens since 2002.

Sculpture in Context promotes artists and creates opportunities for practicing artists to exhibit their works in a wider public arena. The organisation has provided much needed opportunities for Irish and non-Irish sculptors in Ireland.


Exhibition: Sculpture in Context

Location: National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Dates: 1 September – 7 October 2022

Times: Mon-Fri 10:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00.

Admission: Free. Group tours of the Gardens and the Exhibitions will be available for booking through Eventbrite

Website: Botanic Gardens

This year even more feltmakers are exhibiting so congrats to all and make sure to go visit!

As there are quite a number of feltmakers included there are two blog posts covering the exhibiting artists. This is the second blog post. Artists are listed in the order we have received information. If you have not been asked for details but are exhibiting in Sculpture in Context, please contact us as there are so many artists involved that we may have missed someone. This second blog covers the work of Carmen Garcia, Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann, Juliane Gorman and Claire Merry. Claire is a long time member of Feltmakers Ireland so we have included her piece here even if it isn’t made of felt.

What does Home feel like? by Carmen Garcia

This piece was made in response to the stories coming to us from the war in Ukraine. I wanted it to represent the pain, to be visceral, to be felt.

I used the dissonance between the homely, earthy slipper, that resonates with “cosy” and “safe” and the intense red of the exposed arteries and veins which resonates with life, but also with blood and violence.

However, what I am really interested in, is the feeling people experience while looking at it. Either having read the title or not.

What does Home feel like – Carmen Garcia

The Glow Worms Nest by Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann

The materials, shapes, structures and colours of my native surroundings provide inspiration for my creation. Working with different raw wool types ( unwashed and uncarded fleece loosened by hand ) fascinates me. 

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

I love to explore working with silk, recycled materials, paper, rich colours and texture combinations . I employ a variety of techniques to create my work and find joy and share it! 

Felting for me is diving into a world of unlimited opportunities. The dialogue with the material wool and the interaction of art and craft, and thereby the implementation of a millennium old technique, captivates me.

The Glow Worms Nest by Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann

Perpetual Felt by Juliane Gorman

Usually, I create whimsical wet-felted hats. However, for Sculpture in Context, I wanted to explore installations.

As I wandered through the gardens in winter, the ancient, naked stems of the Wisteria Chain Tent caught my eye. I found it unbelievable that this organic structure was so large that it almost was a building! Did it feel embarrassed not to have leaves? And what about its cascading blossoms? They would only exist for a few weeks.

My twirling purple pods are an attempt to adorn this quirky location.

There are spiralling, felted cords on each pod made from locally-raised Romney wool. My supplier for this material is Natural Wool Ireland. (https://www.naturalwoolireland.ie/)  Although the bulk of the fibre used in the pods is Merino and sadly not Irish-raised. Nonetheless, this wool is also sustainable because all sheep are shorn annually. 

Perpetual Felt by Juliane Gorman

Fly Me To The Moon by Claire Merry

I refer to myself as an ‘Art Butterfly’, as I have had great fun and satisfaction in playing with different media. It gives me great pleasure to try out something new and working with proven techniques from previous works.

I have worked with textiles, clays and principally for the last fourteen years with handmade felt. This piece is based on a previous much smaller one, so resizing it was a nice challenge. I love steampunk style, so I have teamed up the hot air balloon with the penny-farthing bicycle, to deliver flowers to the moon on slow power

Fly Me To The Moon by Claire Merry

Wishing bowl workshop

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.

So in a way my wish has come true.


UPDATE: Feltmakers Ireland Workshop – Wishing Bowl- Astrid Thomson

This exciting workshop is coming up soon, so apply now to ensure you get a spot!

Date 11th Sep 10am -4pm

Venue: The Kitchen, The Courtyard, Marlay Park, Dublin

The materials list included with the application form has been updated so make sure you download the newest version of the form;

For those who do not have any Finn wool white, Mountain sheep or Tiroler Bergschaf wool listed in the materials list, Astrid will have Bergschaf wool available for sale at a nominal price.

This will be a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow feltmakers and a lovely day out!

For details and completed applications contact


Google location : https://goo.gl/maps/4WgETKJrvJ7SC9wEA

Beautiful location with artisan food market and free parking.

Astrid Thompson: https://bombyxmoriwearableart.com/

FB: (20+) Bombyx MORI – wearable art | Facebook

Feltmakers Ireland Workshop – Wishing Bowl- Astrid Thomson

We are delighted to re start our workshop program with

Wishing Bowl- Astrid Thomson

Make a felted bowl  with one of our most beloved artists.

Date 11th Sep 10am -4pm

Venue: The Kitchen, The Courtyard, Marlay Park, Dublin

For more information and application form click here:

For details and completed applications contact


Google location : https://goo.gl/maps/4WgETKJrvJ7SC9wEA

Beautiful location with artisan food market and free parking.

Astrid Thompson


FB: (20+) Bombyx MORI – wearable art | Facebook

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.

Meet the Maker- Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann

Feltmakers Ireland asked long time member Astrid about her inspiration for the Exhibition title ” Endangered”.

My Secret Garden- I was deeply impressed by my grandparents’ garden. The memory of colourful things and strange shapes, fascinated me!My inspiration of nature and textile are influenced from those sources. The materials are telling stories about life, people with their feelings, dreams, wishes, thoughts and sadness. I looked for a way to incorporate this memory into my felt making work.I chose wet felting technique with different materials who elaborated in this wall-piece. My intention is to invite the viewer to touch and investigate my piece of memory!

The second piece ” Light like a Feather, but can’t Fly ” , is supposed to inspire earth care and respect for the environment as well  as to create awareness and encourage taking responsibility for our environment ! This particular piece commemorates the oil disaster of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. 

What has it been like crafting through the current crisis?

In this challenging time, I try to get a different aspect to managing  my daily routine. Suddenly, I had more time, in one way, I was excited to have time working on pieces there laying in boxes waiting to be finished.Also to do some experimental work, exploring new ways and new materials.

How and when did you discover felt?

Through a friend I was introduced to felting in 2002. I learned how to work with different  types of wool, researget  new techniques and materials.I was overwhelmed, amazed and fascinated about using wool to shape my ideas. There a endless possibilities and I`m delighted to keep this exciting ancient craft alive. I aim to make unique hand-felted surfaces!  

Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann

Tel: +353909749467
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bombyx-MORI-Felt-Silk-Art/244852902244486
website: bombyxmorifeltsilk.weebly.com

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 week’s 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.