Tag Archives: workshop

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 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 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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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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The Stitched Figure

 

During the spring term the Paper, Fabric & Stitch group have been exploring the formal elements using the figure as our theme. I am loving the stitched interpretations created as stitch samplers to explore mark making with line, shape and pattern.

As the term has progressed we have worked with laminated paper, hand and mono screenprints using dyes. Stitched collages have been worked up using appliqué with hand and machine stitch; see below for some work in progress.

Pop down to mac, birmingham to see ‘Made @mac’ which is currently exhibiting work created by students who have attended the Paper, Fabric & Stitch course and runs until the beginning of May 2015.

 

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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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