Tag Archives: Felt

Foundation Degree Show

It was a delight to be invited to the Bournville College / Staffordshire University Foundation Degree students end of year show preview night on Thursday 12th May. This was especially so as one of my mentees, Rachel Faulkner, was exhibiting her wildlife inspired needle felted work.

Rachel’s textile work “The garden, a keepsake in a jar”, explores the idea of collections and keepsakes, and examines our ongoing [sic] ” need as humans to keep mementos of the past and preserve them for future generations“. Her work investigates the Victorian obsession with collections, moments mori and the impact of collecting, cataloguing and displaying taxidermy collections.  This contrasts with a desire to preserve and encourage species and ecosystems today, and I think, asks; what and whose idea of the garden & nature is it, a real or imagined one, ours or one of the past, that we wish to preserve?

Rachel piece is a keepsake of memories of her garden; featuring two terrariums, a tree and specimen plants. One terrarium contains a rose – representing the idea of the quintessential English rose garden, and the other houses a frog and insects on a log pile – purposefully placed and designed to attract wildlife. The tree at the centre of the two terrariums has an ecosystem of its own, in which a bird resides alongside a human’s treehouse with a window box of flowers!

 

Rachels’ work and more can be seen at Cohesion, the Bournville College / Staffordshire University Foundation degree Contemporary Art Practice show.  

Cohesion: 9am – 5pm 12th – 26th May Prirory Square, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7LJ

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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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Felt Clock

I recently had the pleasure of making one of my Felt Clocks for the consulting rooms of Jane Arden Pschology Services, and thought I’d share a few images with you here. The clock is made with merino wool and machine stitched using free motion embroidery to create the circular textures around each raised dial numerical point.

Felted Clock

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Felt Pod Vessels Worksop

Lesley Stewart – Sea inspired pod

The Seamless Felt Pod Vessel making workshop which ran on Saturday 18th February was a great morning. It was rewarding to be working with new and returning students who created these pods, all so unique and beautiful.

Group laying out their designs

 

 

 

The pods were made using a combination of grey Norwegian and coloured Merino wool tops with hints of additional silk and dyed Teeswater locks.

 

 

 

 

Everyone used the same process, but varied how they designed their Pod vessels. This was achieved by working with the wool to create different shapes, deciding where to place the openings and the selection and combinations of colours and fibres.

If you are interested in future Pod Vessel workshops with Emma you can visit the www.silversoles.co.uk / www.craftcourses.co.uk or call 07753366795.

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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 with ‘Sense’

Over the last four months I have had the pleasure of working with Sense Jessica Evans (Sense Art Tutor). Sense is a natioanl voluntary organization that works with and supports people of all ages who are deafblind and / or have sensory impairments.

In August I delivered a drop-in activity at the annual Sense (West Midlands) summer gathering, held at Rowheath Pavillion, Bournville. This year’s theme was a 1950s Summer Rock ‘n’ Roll Tea Party,  a celebration event bringing together all the regions’ Sense clients, their carers, friends and family. The atmosphere was fantastic, music, dancing, and reuniting friends along with a display of home made cakes, biscuits and treats that was truly amazing and very delicious! Our drop-in activity involved making ’50s vinyl record inspired brooches and summer bunting.

In November I was invited to design a project to give Sense clients the opportunity to develop new skills, produce a wall piece to decorate The Garden Room, (Smethwick), and provide a future income generator to help fund the centers’ activities. Health & Social Care students from Stourbridge College joined us, combining their learning about working with people who have multi sensory restrictions and to experience occupational interactive sensory art activities.

A Tree of Life became our theme for a hand felted wall hanging. The tree was made as a bare trunk and branches so the wall hanging can be an ongoing interactive art work; decorated with additional work attached at later dates. The finished wall hanging is to be hung up, but also shared as an interactive multi-sensory table peice, to be handled by visitors to the centre who can enjoy it’s tactile nature. To achieve this is was important to include contrasting colours and highly tactile surface relief.

We did this by including shining glittery threads, Angelina fibres, differing textured yearns, varying depths of wool and smooth silk fibres. The group worked together to prepare and lay out the the wool and mixed the yarns and fibres, before wetting and felting the whole peice together.

As it was close to Senses’ Garden Room Christmas Fair, we also made textured felt pieces to be made into festive baubles for Christmas tree decorations. Future projects are planned using the new skills learnt, these will include making leaves and flowers, to decorate the wall hanging and to sell for fund raising as book marks and brooches.

I would like to thank everyone who participated during the project; Jessica, all the Sense clients & Stourbridge students, carers, friends and family – it wouldn’t have been possible with out you. You can find out more about Sense and donate towards their services by visiting www.sense.org.uk

 

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Matisse Inspired Feltmaking

One of Year 3's laid out Les Velours compositions

One of Year 3’s laid out Les Velours Compositions.

Peterbrook Primary School, Solihull invited me to work with them, using a C20th artist as the theme, during their 2015 Summer Arts Week. With Years 5, 3, 2 and 1 we choose Matisse’s cut out period as the inspiration to create collaborative group felt wall hangings.

Each year group worked to recreate one of the following Matisse work; The Snail, The Composition Les Velours, Les Figures and Polinesa The Sky. In each group individuals worked on different sections of their wall hanging, emulating Matisse’s cut out method of working, using pre-felt instead of paper. The elements of leaves, shapes, figures and birds were cut out of the pre-felted wool by the children, with the aid of templates, and then arranged on colour blocks of prefelt.

Once the groups agreed about the layout of their wall hanging, the fun began, spraying warm soapy water over their work, much to everyone’s surprise! All hands went on deck, rubbing their work to adhere the cut out felt to the background. Team work was then needed, as each class group divided into smaller teams to start rolling the wet prefelt, and begin the fulling process.

Throughout the sessions each group learnt about the artist Henri Matisse, his work, the processes he used and discussed the period in which he lived comparing it to today. Everyone also learnt about the materials they were using and how the process worked to create a fully felted finished piece.

Matisse Felt Wall Hangings

Year 1, 2 & 5 Matisse Inspired Wall Hangings drying in the sun.

I would like to express a heart felt thanks to all the students and teachers at Peterbrook Primary School, who made me feel so welcome and for working so hard to create their wonderful wall hangings. Thank you also to Adele Deane of Workshops for Schools for making this event happen and giving me the opportunity to work together.

After the Arts Week I was delighted to hear such positive feedback from the school about the event.  “I started work yesterday afternoon and can’t tell you the amount of positive feedback and praise I received about Emma and the felt workshops as soon as I got in! All year groups absolutely loved it and thought she was fantastic at organizing the children and explaining the process so clearly and all in an interesting manner.” Liz Thorne (Headteacher)

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Christmas Events 2014

Silversoles will be exhibiting at a number of events in the run up to Christmas 2014, it would be great to see you…

Arts & Craft Fair at Coustis – 16th November

Celebrating 30 years in business and supporting All Saints Youth Project, Coustis Salon are hosting an arts & craft event with Kings Heath Artists. Coustis Salon, 57 Alcester Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham; 10am – 6pm Sunday 16th Noember 2014

MADE in Kings Heath

Artist Open Studio / Christmas Fair Event showcasing the work of four artists with a Kings Heath connection; Melanie Keevil Ceramics, Fiona Humphry –  Inky Print Originals, Andy Millicheap Jewellery & Emma Jackson – Silversoles Felted Textiles. Venue: Silversoles Studio, 129 Hazelhurst Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, Saturday 29th November 11am – 5pm and Sunday 30th November 11am – 4pm

mac Christmas Contempoary Fair

Silversoles will be showing at the Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th December. 11am – 6pm. Check out link for a full list of artists exhibiting at the mac fairs. http://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/christmas-craft-markets/

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Ceramic Sheep

Ceramic Sheep

Riverside Mill - home of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen

Riverside Mill – home of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen

We popped into the fabulous home of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, in Bovey Tracey and were lucky enough to catch the members summer exhibition, Materials Matter. The exhibition’s theme centres on celebrating the diversity of contemporary craft materials used by the Guild Members.

I’ve included a few of my favourite pieces from the exhibition  – including the pieces I voted for in the People’s Choice Award, (can you guess which one it is?)

Isabella Whitworth scarves

Isabella Whitworth scarves

Yuli Somme, Crufts Tea Cosy

Yuli Somme, Crufts Tea Cosy

 

Isabella Whitworth’s beautiful shibori scarves made with natural dyes including her own grown indigo. Photo doesn’t do justice to her colours.

 

 

 

I loved  Yuli Somme’s felted Crufts Tea Cosy. 

 

 

Detail of Liz Clay's peice

Detail of Liz Clay’s piece

 

Liz Clay’s felted and pleated work showed a very Japanese influence in its use of dyeing and pleating techniques.

 

 

Peter Lane’s porcelain bowls had such stunning iridescent colours combined with an incredible delicate sense of lightness to them.

Riverside Mill Terrace cafe, check out the sedum roof!

Riverside Mill Terrace cafe, check out the sedum roof!

To top off our visit we had a delicious brunch of salmon & scrambled eggs on homemade wholemeal toast and a pot of Earl grey tea in the  cafe on the roof top terrace.

Devon Guild of Craftsmen at Riverside Mill is a great venue with a programme of fantastic exhibition and events throughout the year – a must visit if you’re in the area. You can check it out at www.crafts.org.uk  Material Matters runs until 7th September 2014.

 

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