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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Painting with wool - dry and wet

the journey has begun....
Today we tried our hands on the delicate dry painting with wool layering technique. It is an unusual journey for most even experienced felters to find their ways with the fine fibre making transparent in the fairytale style technique. We took some of Laryna's paintings of fairies, angels and gnomes, all of which play with the wholeness of the rainbow circle and let people choose their rainbow circle, and then started with laying fine amounts of fibre overlapping and building up from fine to strong.

An hour or two is far too short for to build up a really in depth picture like this one here

Sleeping Beauty ~ from http://www.märchenwollbilder.de/

and it does need grown-up patience - like with so much of real craft - to create the delicate depth that takes one's breath away when working pictures with wool. One can use the needle also very gently to invite the fibres as it were to stay in places, especially when it comes to finer features. And one does need an indepth frame like Caroline used last year when doing her finely shaped reconstruction of a cell dividing

Today we did not have a frame to display and mainly cotton thermo lining as fluffy backing for the pictures - so some homework was required afterwards for some makers.
Here is a good example how one art card (top right) of gnomies round a fire inspired both a dry felt (the one with the white background)  and a wet felt picture (the one on the blue felt)

And the action of wetfelting is certainly most versatile and quickly rewarding for children - so today we used table as well as the firm stage floor to get going!

And Andrew's dragon made a journey from preparing on the white background (cotton, that means it can not be wet felted through), to being transferred to the blue wool prefelt

and then getting worked hard in rolling and rinsing to this

as the basis for a picture, or bag?

More images of today on our album from this picture onward.

The ways and stages of transformation a wool picture can go through are pretty amazing and very heartily satisfying!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dinosaurs and much more on show in library now

It is now about 5 months ago that Making Space Penicuik had its first exhibition in the Penicuik Library titled 'From Fibre to Fabric'. It was an educational display showing raw and processed natural fibres, and different possibilities of fabrics hand-crafted from them, be it wearables like knitted jumpers, or decorations and toys.

Since September 2010 we, a varying bunch of local craft enthusiasts of all ages and stages, have been coming along on Saturdays between 11.30 and 13.30 in the town hall to skill share, have fun and make new friends, and form a small and steadfast core of people commited to skill share crafting on a donation basis in the community at a time when we all need some recession busting sparks.

2 of our core and your crafting companions: Vicen and Andrea
For the next 3 or so weeks we are now having a new display in the Penicuik library cabinet, showing, amongst other things, some of our most popular - and actually spectacular - beasties: Sarah S's dinosaurs.
here is one of them - and you can see some of the making stages, too
We just started the exhibition today, and it is work in progress, -> so watch this space here via http://picasaweb.google.com/the.weaver.here/MakingSpacePenicuikDisplayAtTheLibraryJanFeb2011#
and in the library as you pass by....

Painting with wool tomorrow noonish at town hall

Tomorrow we'll try our hands now again on "Painting with wool":  basic wet felting

"Winter Trees"
 or dry laying of wool upon felt
little Dillon discovered that last year all by himself!

or one can try to develop one's skills along the lines of this: a detailed and shimmering fairy tale image...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On stage now!

Today we were spreading ourselves out on stage in the townhall. Kind of strange being up here, looking down on everyone
Sarah M and Marian in crafting conversations inspired  by great felt-art books
Main reason was to create safe play space for the wee ones:

So, Sarah M. created that lovely play area with soft toys, books and all that - but, sadly no wee kids came today! Sigh - it is all a bit of gamble and dance with preparing our sessions, never knowing who can and will come !
But her play-dough table was in demand, though:

It was also nice on the other hand to have fewer folks for once, so Andrea at long last got her chance to have Sarah S all to herself and get started on that longed for dinosaur:
sceleton stage one of dino-friend: the thick pipecleaners intertwined and then comes the wool...
Marianna watches fascinated...
time's up - but the new friend needs still quite a bit more work!
How exciting! Well done, Andrea, and especially hat off to Sarah S!

Meanwhile a couple of adults trying their first hand on some needle felting basics, 3D felt (a penguin) and flat felt (a flower):

It is always such a joy to witness people overcome their shyness and discover for themselves the simplicity and magic of fibre craft, esp felting. It is so quick to achieve results!
At the same time - nothing is at it seems here either, and it does pay off to be patient when building up a body from a ball or an oblong structure of varying degrees of compacted fibres - as Marian (not pictures here) found out when her bunny went pearshaped of the dissolving kind! So we are looking forward to see what she brings back when she comes back next ...:-) Maybe even her grand children?

It is exciting to see what people bring back to our crafting in the community sessions, having found new skills and unendng fibre fun. Such as Vicen's felt purse and glasses case pictured below - made out of prefelt, decorated with needle felting, and now waiting to be wetfelted. In the background the instructions for her next big project, taken from a book from our present favourite wool pet author Laurie Sharp!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

3D basics unleashed the march of the penguins

True to the nature of arctic Penicuik (or Penguinqwik, as one friend from Mallorca calls it!), our first Saturday session of the NewYear this winter birthed a merry parade of felt penguins!

Gwen getting instruction from wool pet book

It started all with Sarah having found by sheer chance the book Wool Pets by Laurie Sharp in Waterstones this week which shows in precise and perfect manner what we wanted our first session this year to focus on: to impart and practise the basic 3D techniques for felting figures, namely how to needle felt rounds and oblongs, and how to attach them to each other and how to add further flat needle felted bits; such as wings and feet and beak, as a first advancement.

Ladybirds are a good starter project too, for the oblong shape.

It was great especially for some adults to finally catch up with their kids who had mastered those 3D basic long ago and who, being actually already quite advanced makers, got soon bored because they were for so long waiting to have a go at making one of those endearing dinosaurs...!

Sorry, no pic of Sarah's newest creation here. We will make a special post for just them, with their proper names and age and all that! And who knows, next week one or two kids will have brow beaten us into getting Sarah to show them how to make on of these big fellas! Not something maybe that can be finished in 1 or 2 hours?

one of the tables in penguin action

Having been a busy session, there are not that many photos this time again (see a few more of them here), also not of the table for the wee ones to play with play dough. Thank you, Sarah M. for making it and bringing it along.

Next week we will start to use the stage end of the townhall with a wee corner as the regular play area for the  very young ones, and hope to be able to allocate one adult to encourage safe play for the wee ones.

Sarah brought some of her soft wool play things along to show what she uses at home for her cosy safe play zone for the wee ones:

little people from sewn felt with woolball head
woollen bowls with wollen balls: all ever so soft

Friday, January 14, 2011

A fab felt hat

One proud owner and maker of one very beautiful felted hat out of marine coloured merino wool!
(and of course one very beautiful woman, who worked VERY hard!)

One of the outcomes of our fab felt day last week!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

today's sessions cancelled due to snow

Sorry to have to say, but today's session had to be cancelled due to the freshly fallen snow which makes it too difficult for the makers to get to town.
We are re-scheduling the planned session therefore to next week, and hope for better weather!

Enjoy the snow again, everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

first Saturday session of the year

Between Christmas and New Year five (four women and a child) went to Twistfibre craftshop to stock up our stash and to introduce 3 of the 5 to this great crafty place in Newburgh, Fife. Wee Andrea lined up the above creatures on the counter so we could make a photo and be inspired for our first single focus Saturday session tomorrow in the Townhall: to make little creatures our of egg or round shapped needlefelted wool!

Like this one Melissa made the other day:
There might not be very many folks able to come tomorrow, but our Sarah with the Dinosaurs will make a start to work with whoever would like to have fresh go at simple 3D project to perfect their skills.

Maybe next week she'll teach how to make Dinosaurs?

Fabulous Felting Workshop

hat in good progress, plus several little bags
Yesterday at Vicen's house in Penicuik we had a great fullday and full-on felting workshop with 6 women and one child facilitated by Laryna from Glasgow. It was an advanced/intermediate wet felting course, but most participants had not done much or even any wet felting at all. Anneruth organised the workshop because proper wet-felting, esp of strong wearebles, is not on offer in the Saturday sessions at the townhall, but as people really wanted to have both the experience of the fullness of felt craft for a change, plus because they wanted to wear something proper made of felt, such as hat or a bag.
Vicen's hat also in good progress: second colour coming on!
Everybody was so very grateful for Vicen's hospitality which made the session both affordable and a homely fun.
Katie's bag ready for taking home and maing felt bead closure
It is quite hard work to get it all right - the even layering of the fibres, to make the seamless smooth and firm, and full (rolling hard) the fabric until desired wearable firmness is achieved.
Sarah's big shoulderbag ready to be cut open...
Craft instructor and maker Laryna was very impressed with the outcomes: really beautifully and strongly worked seamless felt fabric items! And the new makers were also very appreciative of her supportive enthusism and good instructions.

Plans are being hatched to no more buy Christmas presents but to make them oneself!

More pictures of the feats of this day and the 'fabulous way of removing air' (= another name for 'felt making') to follow - so watch this space!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

May the Rose of (y)our New Year unfold beautifully!

A Happy New Year to you all! 
May it unfold for you and all of us beautifully!

Why not try out to felt this white rose yourself,  by visiting http://www.owning-alpaca.com/felting-project.html and download the free instructions and use up some of your wool, white or otherwise? :-)
It is a lovely website, presenting very well all aspects of rearing and nurturing wool bearers (alpacas in this case) and woolcrafty makers, especially felters!

Which brings us to our first event if 2011, a whole day course in wet-felting (skill-level: intermediate - advanced) this coming Thursday. It is already almost fully booked, but one half day space from 10 - 1pm is still available to date, for a £20 (£15 concession) course fee. Anyone interested and free to seize the day?

We will there also plan ahead for the year to come, having already decided that our free Saturday sessions in the town hall will slightly change:
From now on we will offer only one very specific craft project every sessions, such as picture felting, or felting a specific animal, or felting flowers, or weaving, etc etc.

What will be offered when will be decided by who is available to instruct and to support.
That will also determine which age groups can be catered for. If possible we will have one different kind of activity for very small children (such as making cards with glue, or doing basic wetfleting) who can not do the needlefelting. 

We particularily would like it if you can let us know if you are planning to come, and what age groups you are bringing. That way we can plan ahead better to avoid dissappointment for kids and mums especially. The vision and purpose of the Saturday noon Making Space sessions are skill sharing, and that means that we need to make sure that everybody gets a fair chance, too, to learn a skill so to enjoy it themselves as well as get empowered to pass it on :-)

So, watch this space for updates as to what happens when,maybe make sure you have either Anneruth's or Vicen's mobile phone numbers, too? And thank you for always letting us know your feedback and your wishes, too!

See you soon!

a handwoven baby blanket from handspun alpaca, fulled and needle felted with plantdyed alpaca,