Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mad Hatter's Tea Party?

I attended a three day workshop with Pam McGregor last month and made a felt teapot. I have been asked by the group to share the experience.

                                                                                                    Felt Teapot, Kay McKenna

Pam supplied a variety of patterns and I choose one which would need a separate handle, attached from a loop on the spout and on the handle extension piece. Finnish wool was used as it gives a good structure. It comes in natural white, grey, black and browns. I decided not to dye the wool in advance as I was afraid it might begin to felt. I found working with the natural colours for the first layers very difficult as the whole structure looked so dull. The layers were done with great precision, making sure to keep them even. The spout and extension for the handle got fewer layers.

Finally to colour - I decided to leave the base in the natural shade. I put a band of multi coloured roving around the centre to give a focal point. My original idea was to use earth browns and rusts but the greens turned out to be a better choice.  The purple at the top seemed to lift the whole design.  At this stage it was hard to visualise the exact shape and dimensions of the handle and spout and how the placing of colours would suit.

Much rubbing and rolling followed. A balloon was blown up inside for shaping and we used a variety of tools to add friction.  I still had made no decision about a handle but using cane or wood didn’t really appeal. So I made a long roll and attached it to the handle piece, thinking I would attach it to the loop on the spout.  But the final design evolved and the needle felted stopper is now at the end of the handle.

Pam taught us how to make fitted stoppers so I did make one for the learning experience. It now awaits its own teapot! 
Kay McKenna

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Naas Felt and Fibre @ Las Rada

'Las Rada' Wine and Tapas Bar has moved to new premises on Newbridge Road, Naas (across the road from their old location).  

We are delighted that Joanne and Jules have asked us to display our work in their lovely new premises. They have created a gallery area on the stairs and landing where some of our pieces now reside.

We also have pieces displayed in the main bar area.  The newly renovated building is very atmospheric - beautiful Moroccan tiles on the floor, subdued lighting and rough stone walls, painted white.

Of course, the food is always good so drop in and have a look and a bite to eat.  


Sunday, November 16, 2014

More snapshots from our Autumn Exhibition

Here are a few more images of work from our current exhibition in McAuley Place, Naas which runs until the 19th November

'The Deep Blue Sea' by Kathrina Hughes has been machine embroidered using metallic threads on to hand dyed and printed cotton.

'Autumn Gold' by Dee Kelly was inspired by the glowing colours of autumn. It was created by layering fabric, paper, bondaweb, chiffon and hand stitch.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snapshots from 'Natural Phenomena' Exhibition

Hi Felting and Stitching fans,

We are half way through our autumn exhibition at McAuley Place, Naas and we are very pleased with the interest in our work.  There are 15 pieces on display and in the catalogue and a few more made their entrance after the catalogue had gone to print!

There is great variety in the techniques used such as mono printing, applique, hand stitch, wet felting, machine embroidery and painting on fabric.

Here are a few snapshots:

A close up of 'Astral Storm' by Colleen Prendiville - applique and hand stitch on mono printed cotton.
A segment of 'Harmony' by Maria Dunne which consists of merino wool and silk fibres, hand dyed and wet felted.

'In Flight' by Elaine Peden is a hand felted necklace consisting of up-cycled fabric, mixed fibres, Japanese seed beads, faceted stones and antique buttons.

'Lightening Strikes' by Helen McLoughlin is ice dyed raw silk embellished with silver-coated copper wire.

More images to come in our next post!  Call into McAuley House to see the exhibition in the flesh - open until 19th November, 9am to 5.30pm, Mon to Sat.