Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pattern and Print

By Barbara Seery

Isn’t it great to be back in action after the summer break?  Colleen gave a wonderful workshop on Saturday, 13th September for those interested in creating printing blocks and printing onto paper and fabric.

We spent an enjoyable morning drawing a motif and learning to see the positive and negative elements in the image.  We then traced the motif and transferred it onto two small foam board pieces, one for the positive section of the motif and one for the negative.   After some intricate work with a blade, cutting mat and double sided tape we all had two printing blocks with which to play.

By numbering each corner of the printing blocks (1,2,3,4) we could then set about experimenting with the shapes and patterns created by turning the printing block in alternative directions and noting those patterns at the top of each piece of work for future reference.    

Print with negative and positive blocks onto pages of an old cookery book

We created a paint pad by putting a piece of wet felt into a flat plastic food tray and putting acrylic paint onto it.   We spent a very pleasant afternoon printing patterns onto brown paper, old book pages, the back of old envelopes and then progressed to printing onto plain and pre-dyed fabric pieces, bondaweb, muslin and scrim.   

We went home with lots of base pieces with which to layer and work by machine and hand stitch into future works of art! 

Print with negative and positive blocks onto Bondaweb and ironed onto white cotton

Print block onto Bondaweb and ironed onto cotton

Print with negative and positive blocks and overlaid with bird stencil

Print with negative and positive blocks separately (row 1 & 2) then overlaid on bottom row

Friday, September 19, 2014

Resources for Feltmaking Materials

Welcome back after the summer break.  We had a very successful exhibition in Carlow as part of the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival.  One of the highlights was introducing people to the wonders of felt and stitching. Read the exhibition review here

Now that there is a chill in the air and the evenings are drawing in its time to drag out the wool and find the sewing needles again.  This post will highlight some useful resources for people starting to learn about wet felting.  The following video link is an introduction to wet felting and shows the making of a simple square piece of felt,  video link here 

One of the big questions people new to felting ask is where to get wool and equipment.  Below are some useful shops and websites:

Craftspun Yarns, Crafstpun Yarns Ltd, The Mill, Johnstown, Naas, Co. Kildare  LINK

The Constant Knitter, 88 Francis St., Dublin 8. link here

Wingham Wools in Yorkshire.   LINK

DHG in Italy.   LINK 

Woodies DIY stores are great for getting some of the hardware for felting such as bubble wrap and pipe insulation (grey hollow tubes used for rolling felt).  A pool noodle can also be used.

Your local health food shop will usually have a supply of olive oil soap which is used to mix with hot water to start felting.

You will also need a supply of old towels, old net curtains or synthetic tulle.

A flower mister for spreading water on wool or recycle bottles which have a spray nozzle.

Another useful piece of equipment is a bamboo mat for rolling pieces of felt.  IKEA did have some last year.  Buy a few as wider pieces of felt will need 2 or more.

Feltmakers Ireland ( LINK run many workshops and tutorials on making felt and are a great source of advice on all things felt. 


Many thanks to Catherine Dowling for writing the above post. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Works in progress: September

This months work in progress shows a close up of a work by Dee Kelly. From "Indian summer" felted wool wrap. 
Indian cotton with sequins felted with merino wool fibre.