On the 11th of March, several members of Feltmakers Ireland went to the Newmarket Town Hall in Co Kildare to participate in Wool – The Legacy of St Brigid. The event was organised by Deirdre Lane of Shamrock Spring, with assistance from the AONTAS Adult Learners Festival.
The Irish Wool Book
Member, Annika Berglund, showed felted samples of Irish-grown wool, which will be featured in the upcoming book, Exploring Irish Wool for Feltmaking. The book covers the best Irish wool breeds for feltmaking. Includes sections on sourcing, preparing, and dyeing wool at home using simple ingredients.
Additionally, Annika was part of the afternoon speakers’ panel at Wool: Legacy of St Brigid.
Further members’ contributions came from Feltmakers Ireland members Fiona Leech and Deirdre Crofts, who demonstrated feltmaking, while Juliane Gorman demonstrated felting hats with Irish-grown wool.
During the event in Newbridge, there was a professional crew filming the day’s happenings. A short excellent video of Wool: The Legacy of St Brigid can be seen at the EWE Foundation‘s European Wool Day, which was on the 9th of April. This year it happened in Serbia.
The entire day’s event of EWE can be watched HERE. Note: there are initial technical difficulties with the audio. However, our section from Newbridge, Wool: The Legacy of St Brigid, happens HERE and is EXCELLENT!
We asked artist Deirdre Crofts the same 3 questions that we asked all the “Endangered” applicants…
The title of the exhibition is “Endangered” how does your submission relate to that concept?
My piece was inspired by the wonderful Irish Bee. 30% of the Irish Bee species are threatened with extinction, this is because of intensive farming practices, monocropping and excessive use of agricultural chemicals. I wanted to show the bees disorientated over the Irish countryside. I used a wet felted resist background. The bees I needle felted with galvanised wire support with free motion embroidery voile wings. I enjoyed making this piece.
How did you first come upon felting?
I was first introduced to felt work by the genius Sharon Wells and then I met the very welcoming feltmakers Ireland group. They were so friendly and helpful, the magic of being able to take colourful raw wool and with warm water and soap you could make such wonderful things.
The coronovirus lockdown, did it help or hinder your craft?
The covid pandemic, tho terrible it was, gave me time to breathe and spend time with my family, we walked and worked in the garden. We had time to enjoy what we had.
I am lucky I live on three quarters of an acre on the foothills of the Dublin mountains where I have a studio. I love sculpture and I had some ceramic exhibitions that I had to prepare pieces for. They took place in August and September.
Ceramics Ireland, Dublin Castle, Montenotte Cork and Birr Castle Co Offaly.