FI had a very interesting October Sunday Session in Killester yesterday. Fiona Leech talked us through her journey into felt. Probably known to many of you social media users, Fiona is the face of FeltAtHomeDesigns and also Membership Secretary and Workshop Organiser for Feltmakers
Fiona gave us an inspiring insight into her early career with lots of samples for us to touch and feel as well as notebooks where she developed ideas. We viewed an early hand-knitted wall panel of a Henri Matisse lady – all done with scraps of wool and NO PATTERN.
Everyone fell in love with her Aardvark crochet family and will be searching for Toft amigurumi crochet patterns of the ‘many animal in the world’.
Her 100 Days project was picked up by an Australian Magazine that extolled her talents as a textile artist.
We were all very appreciative of Fiona’s generosity in her willingness to share how she achieved the clean cut circles that identify much of her current art.
Thanks to Fiona and Dee who managed to have coffee and cake for our break although the Coffee Dock was closed.
Finally an image of Fiona’s piece in Sculpture in Context 2022 in the Botanic Gardens.
After a wonderful AGM last month we are back for one more Sunday Session before the summer break.
SUNDAY 12th JUNE
KILLESTER RESOURCE CENTRE
ST. Brigid’s Church
This month we thought we would show and discuss the results of the Nancy Ballesteros stripes workshop which took place over zoom last weekend.
It was really successful, so it might be interesting to show some of the results and to pass on a few of the techniques. Most of our pieces are far from perfect and we still have lots of observations and questions so should make a very informative session.
Another hugely successful Sunday Session was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Juliane Gorman who recently moved to Dublin from America delighted us with her hat demonstration. Juliane makes hats, lots of them. Every colour and whimsical shape under the sun. The word whimsical certainly sums up her creative array of samples she brought for us to see and try on.
Juliane described to us how the different methods of laying out the fibres affected the final shape of each hat and doesn’t even use hat blocks! There’s grid laying, bullseye laying and circular clockwise and anti clockwise laying. Each hat generally has four layers with each layer a different colour. Though she admitted that is purely for her to keep track with which layer she’s working on in case she gets distracted. You know the usual – collecting kids, putting on a wash, collecting kids, putting on a wash, collecting ……
Juliane brought 2 unfinished berets to show the various stages of her process. One was half laid out the other pre felted and ready for final felting. Both were huge, approx 45-50 cm diameter
The kettle was boiled, the water sprayed and the rolling began. We, at the back of the room were amazed at how gently she was rolling and still it shrank beautifully.
The second piece needed another layer of fibre and the “ icing “ layer as Juliane calls it. That’s the decorating part. The nice bit! But we ran out of time to see it completed.
To conclude, everyone was so inspired that it was agreed that we’d love to do a hands on workshop. So whether Juliane knows it or not we’ll be booking her in for the autumn!
Last Sunday was our second get together at Killester and what a great morning it was. Marie Dunne, a natural teacher and born entertainer wowed us with her beautiful merino and viscose cowls made using a novel Russian technique. She found it on YouTube during the lockdown.
It is not translated to English, but gives a great idea of the process anyway.
The process began with her laying out eight even horizontal strips of merino onto flat plastic (no bubble wrap was used at all!). Followed by prizing apart the viscose (dark green in photo) and laying it on top in small cut pieces.
It was a slow process to lay out with a delicate touch, though Breda and Clodagh were on hand to help speed up.
Water next. Lots of water, thoroughly wetting it and flipping over to repeat the laying out to produce a continuous circular seamless cowl.
A quick coffee break in the very capable hands of Rita and her now infamous homemade fruit cake while Marie continued to lay out the fibres.
After coffee Marie surprised us all with the shrinking technique. Just gentle shaking and flapping.That’s it. It actually felted really well. There wasn’t enough time to completely finish the cowl but we learnt enough and could be confident to try it ourselves.
To finish, Marie was fantastic to give up her time to teach and entertain us with her knowledge and stories. She even told us about the naked felting couple! Who knew!! Worth getting out of bed on a Sunday morning? Sadly there’s no photo!
We would love more of our members to come forward and join our Sunday Session team to demonstrate any aspect of felting whether advanced or not. So if you feel so inclined you can email Deirdre Crofts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Place: Killester Resource centre. Howth Road, Killester, D5
Join feltmaker, Juliane Gorman, as she demonstrates how the direction of wool layout can impact the shape of three-dimensional felt.
Juliane Gorman creates colorful and whimsical hats for grownups inspired by nature, fairytales, and fine art. Each of her pieces is wet felted from Merino wool using soapy water and her hands. Her work can be found on her website, https://felthappiness.com, and in private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America. Recently she and her family moved to the Dundrum neighborhood of Dublin (from Pittsburgh, USA).