Category Archives: Workshops & Courses

A Birthday Treat!

I was approached a couple of months ago by a group from Devon wishing to organise a Feltmaking day for a friends’ special birthday.  The aim of the day was to have fun together, experimenting with a range of techniques to make samples and a couple of small projects. These included trying Cobweb felting and Nuno resists, making a flower brooch and learning how to make a Felt purse fitted with a glue in metal kiss lock frame.

We met up at my home studio workshop in Birmingham on the morning of 25th January, with the group having had a very early start driving up from Devon! We began the day after teas & coffees, with the sampling of the Cobweb and Nuno resist processes.

In the afternoon we created three dimensional felt flowers with stamen to make a brooch with. Then using the felt pieces the group had made and dried prior to the workshop, everyone learnt how to sew a felt coin purse with a lining before seeing how a glue in frame was added.

Sandy sent me these photos of the cushion she made on her return home, using the Cobweb felt process learnt during the workshop and her completed flower brooch – love the colours!

Two projects and two samples in one day was ambitious, so I was delighted the group, who had some felt making experience, were able to achieve all their goals. This was especially important to me with the knowledge they had travelled such a distance for a birthday treat, so it was great to receive their feedback – thank you!

“Just wanted to thank you for the fantastic day you did for us on Wednesday. We all enjoyed it and appreciated your relaxed but through teaching style. I was particularly pleased that Sandy had a lovely birthday treat.” Angie

“An excellent day. Well prepared, with materials and notes to hand. There was a good balance of demonstration and clear instructions which enabled us to make 4 samples during the day. Emma’s willingness to share her knowledge and help us along the way, in a relaxed atmosphere, was refreshing. Brilliant – well worth travelling from Devon!” Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspire Group Felt Shibori Sampling Day

Cracked Mud sample

It was lovely to spend the day with the Inspire Group members in the old rectory of St. Swithin’s church situated south of Solihull in the beautiful village of Barston, Warwickshire at the beginning of February. The day workshop was focused on sharing how to adapt shibori techniques to felt making. We began the day looking at the samples I brought along, illustrating a selection of felted surface reliefs and textures that can be achieved by using stitch, clamping and binding.

The mornings sample making started with the group members choosing to create either a Ripple effect or the Coral Wave peice. The Ripple is similar to smocking, as they are stitched and gathered. It was great to see these samples being made with varying stitch lengths and patterns worked into them before they were gathered. The Coral Wave samples, adapted from the Ori-Nui shibori of stitched and gathered pleats, looked wonderful on both sides.

Next the group members opted to try sampling either the Spikes (Kuno stitch, gathered and bound) or the Pebbles (Kanako, resist bound objects) effect.

Following a well earned lunch rest, in the afternoon we moved on to creating Cracked Mud samples. This involved working with a resist to build layers of wool and then cut back through the layers. This process creates textured edged shapes rising out from the base layer of felt, sometimes revealing contrasting colours beneath.

Finally , those still with some energy left, began to make a Nuno resist sample combining wool, cotton fabric and resist shapes to form a contrasting texture relief surface. it was a highly productive day and everyone came away with new ideas to develop from their samples.

Cracked mud contrasting colours

The Inspire Group are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year with an exhibition to display some of the work members have created over the decade. Exhibition details  to follow, it should be a good one to visit.

If you or your group would be intrested in participating in a Felt Manipulated Sampling Day or a different Felt making course, please email me at info@silversoles.co.uk or call 07753366795.

 

 

 

Cracked mud contrasting colours

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Cobweb Bag Making Course

Cutting out

Cutting out

 

 

I recently worked with three wonderful students sharing how to make cobweb felt and transforming it into framed bags.

 

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Stitching the felt and fabric

 

 

 

 

We worked over two days, initally laying out the wool and making it into cobweb felt. The group then learnt how to measure, draw up and create their chosen bag patterns.

 

Securing the glued in bag frames

Securing the glued in bag frames

 

On the second day, once the felt had been washed and dried, we backed the felt by stitching it with velvet. The felt fabric and gorgeous linings were cut and then stitched to make up the bags. Once the bodies of the bags were sewn they were glued in to their metal frames.

 

These are the wonderful finished bags made by Janet, Pam and Jane. If you would like to take part in a bag making workshop or an alternative feltmaking course please contact me on 07753366795 or email via info@silversoles.co.uk

 

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Felting in Sutton Coldfield

I had a wonderful fun filled evening with a group of Sutton Coldfield ladies at Sutton Coldfield Sailing Clubhouse, sharing how to make felt. We worked with a monochrome scheme using only white with shades of black to grey. This limited colour palette helped everyone to focus on pattern making, texture and design.

The white base layer of merino wool was complimented with a range of cotton fabrics and fibres including knitting yarns, linen, nepps, recycled plastic bottles and silk. The felting was helped along with a glass (or two) of wine & some treats to eat!  Plans for some of the finished peices include hand and matching stitching into the work and simply framing on a float mount. Congratulations everyone on your first try of Feltmaking and a big thank you for inviting me; you all created some beautiful felt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mixed Media Collage

I want to share with you some stunning work created last term with a group of wonderful people attending the Mixed Media Textiles at mac, birmingham.

Last term we were experimenting with fused plastic, wax resist paper & fabric (batik) and stitch to create textured surfaces. Following exercises using kantha stitch the group created these stunning mixed media collages.

The Mixed Media Textiles course at mac, birmingham restarts on Wednesday 22nd April  (1 – 3pm) and 23rd Thursday April (7.30 – 9.30pm).

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Clifton Primary School’s Super Heros

Clifton Primary School Super Hero Logo

Clifton Primary School – Super Hero Logo

Over a week in February, children from Clifton Primary School visited myself and Sarah Leigh at mac, Birmingham. Together we made Super Hero badges and coordinating masks using their logos designed earlier at school.  Once the felted wool was dry, the children sewed their logo badges to t-shirts and cut out their masks in preparation for their school fashion show. Congratulation Year 3  for your super human effort doing all that rubbing and rolling – especially after walking to mac from Balsall Heath and then walking back again afterwards – Well Done!

www.macart.co.uk @mac_birmingham

www.cliftonprimary   @CliftonSch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Screenprinting at Guthrie & Ghani

Last Sunday I held a Screenprinting workshop at Lauren Guthrie’s beautiful shop & workshop Guthrie & Ghani  in Moseley, Birmingham. It was a pleasure to spend the day with Grace, Heather and Linda and show them how to prepare and print their designs onto a length of fabric. I’m sure you’ll agree they produced some fantastic prints.

If you would like to hear about future workshops  you can visit my website www.silversoles.co.uk, subscribe to my blog or visit Lauren’s website at www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk

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Dabble with Devore

November sees the return of this very popular weekend workshop at the Midlands Arts Centre, and gives a fantastic opportunity to learn how to work with this technique to produce gifts for friends and family in time for Christmas!

Devore workshopThe two day workshop gives an introduction to the basic principles of devoré, allowing you to produce technique samples and test designs on day one and moving on to creating a silk velvet scarf, cushion or fabric lengths on day two. During the weekend you’ll learn how to translate your design onto cloth, explore different methods of applying devoré paste (block, hand and stencil application), how to burn out your designs and dye your fabric.

Bring along your design ideas and any printing blocks, rubber stamps or stencils you may have.

Workshop date: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th November 2014, 10am – 4pm in 1 hr for a lunch break at Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham. Booking via: www.macarts.co.uk or call (0121) 4463232

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Nuno Felting Weekend

An exciting opportunity to learn how to combine fabric with wool to create unique ruched and textured nuno felted textiles.

During the weekend workshop you will be

  • Creating a range of samples by experimenting with a variety of fabrics
  • Dyeing your chosen fabric in preparation to create a finished piece on the second day.
  • Use the techniques learnt on day one to create a final piece: a decorative piece or a scarf or continue experimenting to create further samples.

MAC will provide cotton muslin and silk chiffon and a light weight habotai  to experiment with, whilst longer lengths can be purchased to create a finished piece. Alternatively you may like to bring your own open weave fabric to work with.

Bring along;

  • nuno felt 5a sketch/notebook to write down your smapling results,
  • your camera to record your work in progress
  • a couple of old towels,
  • any open weave fabrics you would like to experiment with and work with to create a finished piece (cotton muslins, scrim, silk chiffon, silk georgette work well, you might want to bring some synthetic fibre fabrics too) and any fibres you would like to incorporate in you work too.

Venue: Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham
Date: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th October 2014
Time: 10 – 4pm
tickets available from: mac (0121) 4403838

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Screen Printing – Design and Print your own Fabric

On Sunday 5th October 2014 I’m running a Screenprinting workshop at Lauren Guthrie’s fabulous shop and studio workshop Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley, Birmingham. You’ll learn how to screenprint your unique designs onto a length of fabric ready for future use on your own projects.

Scrrenprint imageDuring the screenprinting workshop you will learn how to

  • translate your design into a stencil,
  • apply simple 2 way colour separation techniques,
  • how to create repeat patterns and
  • the process of screen printing onto fabric.

You will need to bring along;

  • a few of your chosen designs
  • a length of your own fabric to print on;~ this can be natural or synthetic fabrics, woven or stretch fabrics. Choose a fabric with a smooth surface as this will take your print easily.

Think about what you may want to use the fabric for in the future (creating cushions, bags, a skirt etc), as this will help deciding what type and how much fabric you will need. For practical reasons, I anticipate you will need no more than 2 to 2.5m of fabric – any more and you are unlikely to print it all in the workshop time.

Booking & Tickets available via www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/workshop/screen-print-your-own-fabric  or call (0121) 4498419. 

screenprinting in action

Class runs from 10am-4pm (1 hour lunch break – please bring a packed lunch, alternatively there are lots of cafes, pubs & bistros nearby to get something delicious).
Venue: Guthrie & Ghani, Moseley, Birmingham
Date: Sunday 5th October 2014
Time: 10 – 4pm Tickets: £60

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