Friday, 21 October 2016

Catching up...

Oh dear! I'm so behind, do not even know what to talk about... OK, what's gone is gone, I'd better tell you what's on and what is coming.
I'm in the third week of online course on Fantasy Fish. It's the final week so it's time for a brief summary:
- am I happy with the course - not exactly;
- do I know what should have been done differently - no;
- am I going to run another course, later - not sure.
Very positive, isn't it?

The second show of Crafts in the Pen is coming next month. I was quite happy how the last year it went and was looking forward for this one. Now it's close and we've got a brochure and I'm growing  more apprehensive as it nears. 
At first it's huge this year 176 participants instead of 105 last year, and many of them (myself included :( ) have double pens. It means vast space for visitors to cover and it's not indoor meaning a lot of customers will just give up before checking on the all stands.   
Then the selection of exhibitors is a little bit strange to my taste. I do admit that the last year show was a mixed bag, and the standards of this year is much higher but it's much closer to art show than to Xmas craft fair. I do agree that artistic quality of, say, paintings or prints, is much higher than, say again, of decorative candles, but we are there for Christmas! I'm sure people would prefer more festive staff which means - cheerful, cheaper, even slightly kitschy. I myself was exhibiting at art show earlier this year but at Crafts in the pen I'm to present very different stuff.
Anyway "happiness comes from having low expectations" and my expectations are really low!

To end on more optimistic note I'll show something cheerful! Sunflowers tea cosy, just finished:

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The first fish of the autumn

Summer - time for holiday, getting away, family time etc - is over. We are in September now, autumn is arrived. Back to work, and here is a new fish - the first fish of the autumn:

Silk laps on the top of the body and wool nepps with some silky staff on the bottom.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Art in the Pen -2016 Thirsk

It's been a while I wrote here in my blog... Holiday, family staying and most time and mind consuming event - my first Art in the Pen show. AITP is the well established art fair here in North. This year they expanded to a new venue in Thirsk.
It was my first exhibition as an fibre artist and I was very excited and a little bit scared. But it went well.
- I like the venue and the atmosphere. Despite being just a cattle auction market it has very light and airy feel. Some people with more experience than myself commented that it was one of the best venue of the kind. And the weather was a proper summer weather.
- Everyone was very friendly. The pen(stand) we've got at first was of a rather awkward shape not suitable to my kind of display and we were moved to another one with proper walls and corners, getting more light and located just in the centre of the action.
- I've met some people, textile artists, whom I knew by there work on Internet.
Public response was very good, I've got so many very complimentary comments from the visitors and professionals alike. I was thrilled to bits when Sheila Smith came to my stand and praised my work. We chatted with MarmaladeRose (Fiona Gill) about our professional "secrets" and she's bought my glasses case! I think I should put it in my CV :)
- What was very unexpected that some visitors (whom I've never seen in my life!) came to see my work, which were recommended by other felt artists. It was very nice to know!
 - I've sold two cushions to a lady who has already had my tea cosy. It's just great to have customers coming back.
- There were a lot of gallerists and markets organisers looking for new interesting exhibitors and I run out of my business cards by the end of the show. I've been already invited to a designer market next year!
 - And finally - I sold well.

Overall it was very good and exciting weekend and I hope to repeat it next year.
Here are some pictures to illustrate:
How everything started:

         My husband dealing with the fish display:

This side of the pen is finished:

"Panoramic view":

And myself in the middle:
My family came to support me at the end of the first day. Some fish and cushions have gone and a picture...
Some pictures of the other exhibitors' stands:


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

New Delivery

This scarf was made without a wool layer, just pre-yarn and silk fibre on the top. No good, too many holes and the holes are too large!
I tried to rescue it and added a very thin layer of carded merino on one side. Not the tops but carded one because I thought it would catch better with already felted pre-yarn. Here is a result:

It's more solid now which may be a disadvantage but adding another layer of dyed wool created more interesting play of colours.

 Anyway, I like it better now!

And see what I've got just delivered:

 There is nothing to stop me now!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Experiments with crazy wool technique

I continue my experiments with thin rovings and crazy wool technique. This time I used rainbow coloured ball (at the bottom of picture):
The roving/pre-yarn I work with is much thinner than standard pencil roving:

 The technique is the same as earlier: the layer of roving, very thin layer of matching merino, another layer of roving and generous layers of silk/viscose fibres in matching colours on both sides.
The result:

I'm quite happy with colours and the sheen:

This is how thin and holey the scarf is:

I'm still struggling to find a thickness I'm happy with, so you are to see more experiments!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Crazy Wool Scarf

I've seen a lot of scarves made in the "crazy wool" technique recently - on Facebook and forums. I've made one myself, using pencil roving, some yarn, a bit of viscose and silk fibres and VERY thin layer of fine merino. The weight is 64g, it's 165cm long and 38 cm wide.

It looked underfelted to me and I worked with it some more. I wanted it to become narrow as a scarf not as a wrap. Now it's 162 cm long and 32 cm wide.
In both pairs of pictures the top one is original and the bottom one is after additional felting. Not much difference on the pictures but the feel of the scarf changed - it become more substantial, like proper scarf and extra delicacy's gone. Do I like it more now - there is a question... 


Friday, 13 May 2016

Back from FELTROSA!

I'm back from Italy where I spent a week  - three days in Verona and four days in small town Mel where the annual felting festival Feltrosa was held this year.
How was it? It was good even if I've heard some opinion that previous events had more interesting programme and were better organized. I couldn't compare because it was my first time and I couldn't complain - beautiful scenery, glorious weather and Italian food made up for all the shortcomings many times over.
I'm a felter still so the main reason (or excuse?) to go there was to see felt, workshops and take part in one of them. There were three workshops I've seen:
 - small jacket, 2-days workshop run by Natalia Shvets. As expected the "small" jacket became "full size" jacket and it took much longer and I've not seen the finished result unfortunately. Natalia wrote her own report on Feltrosa, it's in Russian but with many informative pictures - HERE 
- two one-day workshops on toques and fascinators run by Italian feltmaker Karin Monica. Small hats were presented in such a variety and made with such taste and fantasy that it was the best course in my opinion! See some pictures below. These hats were made by tutor but students' works were of the same high quality!

I attended the short  half day workshop on technique when you make digital print on silk fabric and could felt it in to create fully felted piece. Unfortunately it was a disappointment - both digital images I worked with disappeared completely by the end of felting process and I was left with blank piece of prefelt. The other participants got very mixed results as well... I was rather upset at first, then considered it as a new experience!
To finish it on more optimistic note there is a picture of lovely green heart one of Mel's resident created to his mother by carefully planting and pruning large ivy plant!
UPD: I've found the picture of a good result achieved by one of students, the image of daisies is a digital print:
 Unfortunately, I can't show mine because it was completely blank, no slightest image left...