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Thursday, 3 December 2015

To my Students: THANK YOU VERY MUCH! And I hope to see you again soon!

My Dear Students, thank you very much for great comments about my classes.
From my part... You are the most wonderful inspiration. Meeting you and working with you is something what brightens every week. And made me coming out of my lonely hiding in tangled fibres... with the greatest benefit of meeting fantastic people, who speak the same language of fibre art!

I am looking forward to working further with those who decided already or will decide to return.

Have a wonderful Christmas, filled with love, warmth and... the best New Year with plenty of new inspirations and creativity!
See you soon!

Uisce

Students' comments* :

Uisce is an incredible teacher, patient, knowledgeable & inspiring. The atmosphere in the class was welcoming and encouraging, and with Uisce's support & help, I've learned the basics of several new crafts I know I'll enjoy for a lifetime.
Nem Kearns

Very much enjoyed versatility of crafts. Also concentration on particular subject. Look forward to continuing on selected craft. Many thanks.
Hilary

This was a lovely course that gives you a great intro to new crafts you would otherwise never have done or tried. I have a new love of felting + weaving now I never had before!
Niamh C

Uisce is a fantastic patient teacher who is giving with her time + expertise. The course provides an opportunity to try lots of crafts & to extend your abilities.
Katie Hayes

A wonderful class. I learnt so much. It was the most relaxing, friendly class.
Maria Fitzgerald


Great class to discover different craft in a really friendly atmosphere and a really nice and patient teacher. I loved it and would like to do it again if I can. And wish I can keep in touch with you :-)
Emy Peyret


Really enjoyed classes, lovely atmosphere & excellent tutoring - gave a great introduction to new yarn crafts I hadn't tried before... Thanks Uisce.
Anne Marie Walsh

I enjoyed the course. We learned a lot about different crafts. It was a good introduction into weaving, crochet and embroidery. Now I would like to learn more.
M O'C

Brilliant introduction to several crafts. Lots of personal attention. Great atmosphere. Very inspiring.
Wendy Bartlett

Very enjoyable class, great teacher with excellent knowledge and patience. Would highly recommend.
Mandy Berkeley

Thanks so much Uisce. Thoroughly enjoyed the course + learned so much. Really appreciated the present of the thread - I have no excuse now I'll have to get stitching.
Mella Cusack

This was a really lovely class. Enjoyed it enormously. Uisce is a great teacher, very interested in everything we were all doing.
 JM

Great variety of crafts and very pleasant atmosphere at every class.
U.L.

I really enjoyed my time in this class. I learned loads. I was hesitant to enroll but now I'm really glad I did.
AK

A thoroughly enjoyable class - the time flew and I just wish the term was longer. Uisce was fantastic, so encouraging & so enthusiastic.
SOC



*The comments are quoted, not edited in any way: I kept all symbols and abbreviations as they were written by my Students' hands.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Those little fabric yo-yos (Part 1)...


Pic.1: www.ebay.com/itm/100-2-inch-Fabric-Yo-Yo-in-Shades-of-Civil-War-Museum-reproduction-fabrics-/281858097454







A yo-yo, called also a Suffolk puff, is a small simple project in manipulating fabric. It is extremely easy to make: it can be created out of fabric leftovers, doesn't require more tools than scissors, a sewing needle and a thread.
Yo-yos come out great made of medium Muslin or cotton, but if you are tempted to try more difficult materials, like silk, velvet... go for it!
Any thread which doesn't snap easily will do.


How to make a yo-yo? It only takes minutes...
Pic.2, from: Colette Wolff,
The Art of  Manipulating Fabric, p.23



Cut a circle out of fabric. It has to be twice as large as the intended form
a) turning the edge of circle inside, tack with even stitches. Remember: large stitches make small center opening; small stitches make it larger,
b) gather tightly and flatten.






What can we do with yo-yos? 

1. VARIOUS ACCESSORIES

Shawls, scarves...


Pic.3: www.flickr.com/photos/the_sampler/3926841838/in/photostream/

Pic.4: makezine.com/2009/09/13/craft_flickr_pool_weekly_round_58/?CMP=OTC-5JF307375954


Pic.5: www.etsy.com/listing/124475421


Bags, purses, key fobs...



Pic.6: takakowatari.jp/gallery/index_4.html
Pic.7: zakkalife.com




Pic.8: harujiondesign.blogspot.ie





Necklaces, bracelets, brooches...


Pic.9: www.etsy.com/listing/104523793/adria-special-sale-price-teal-yellow?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Pic.10: www.etsy.com/shop/SoSamShop?ref=si_shop


Pic.11: www.etsy.com/listing/62864493

Pic.12: alwaysexpectmoore.com/2011/07/yo-yo-bangle-bracelet.html

Pic.13: www.etsy.com/listing/90896841

Pic.14: www.etsy.com/listing/112976623

Pic.15: marielesbasbleus.blogs.marieclaireidees.com/archives/category/bijoux/index-5.html



Hair stuff...


Pic.16: www.etsy.com/listing/69159753/waiting-to-bloom-n1

Pic.17: www.etsy.com/listing/154363196/minnie-mouse-yoyo-hair-clips

Pic.18: www.etsy.com/listing/99468568

Pic.19: www.livemaster.ru/topic/649415-tekstilnye-ukrasheniya-ot-nadi-darfi



Something for Bride and Groom!



Pic.20: www.pinterest.com/pin/568438784196643851

Pic.21: www.etsy.com/listing/79724084/yoyo-boutonniere-made-to-order



2. UNUSUAL CLOTHING AND THEIR EMBELLISHMENT...



Pic.22: www.popsugar.com/fashion/Chanel-Spring-2010-Haute-Couture-7177050#photo-7177050

Pic.23: mantua-maker.blogspot.ie/2012/04/coat-of-many-circles.html

Pic.24: www.pinterest.com/pin/568438784196644058/

Pic.25: www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/suffolk-puff-collars

Pic.26: www.pinterest.com/pin/568438784196643753



Pic.27: fuxique.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/a-historia-do-fuxico

As you can see there is plenty of possibilities for using the form of yo-yo...

In my next post: yo-yos in home decor and seasonal ornaments! 


Friday, 4 September 2015

UPCOMING CLASSES - AUTUMN SEMESTER 2015

Photo by Mike Prendergast

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN WEAVING, FELTING, EMBROIDERY, CROCHETING OR HANDSEWING 3D FORMS OUT OF FABRIC?
JOIN ME FOR FIBRE ARTS & CRAFTS EVENING CLASSES THIS AUTUMN SEMESTER!



Learn fibre arts and crafts in an easy, relaxed and fun environment. I am an experienced, passionate embroiderer, weaver and needleworker and together we will unravel some secrets of felting, weaving, crochet, embroidery and manipulating fabric.



Whether you are a novice or if you already have some experience in fibre arts, you are welcomed. You can learn at your own pace and try a bit of each craft or focus on your favourite ones – you choose!


You can attend evening classes this autumn semester at Rathmines College (10 week course on Mondays), Ballsbridge College (10 week course on Tuesdays) or Bray Institute of Further Education (10 week course on Wednesday).



These Arts and Crafts Classes are for people who are interested in learning different ways of embellishment using fabric, felt, thread and yarn. Over the weeks, you will have the opportunity to learn how to make decorative motifs using a range of crafts. You can bring to class a piece of fabric or any item you would like to embellish (e.g. a canvas bag, a scarf, a cushion): you can make your own unique project.



The tools will be provided for the duration of the each class. A €10 fee applies for materials for the beginners. The improvers should bring their own materials for the craft they have chosen to work on.


Would you like to know what the students have to say about my classes? Go to "Students' comments" page on this blog.






TO SIGN UP:

·         RATHMINES COLLEGE - THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL!  Arts & Crafts (Embroidery, Weaving, Felting, Fabric Manipulating, Crocheting)- 6.00-8.00pm on Mondays, 10 weeks starting 21st of September. 




·         BALLSBRIDGE COLLEGEFibre Arts & Crafts (Felting, Crocheting, Embroidery, Weaving, Fabric Manipulating) - 6.30-8.30pm on Tuesdays, 10 weeks starting 29th of September

Enrolment:  you can sign up at the College from Monday to Friday between 9am - 5pm. From Monday to Wednesday you will be able to sign up until 7.30pm, as some evening classes are commencing 21st, 22nd, 23rd of September and the evening school will be open those days. Just drop in and ask.

Brochure:



·           BRAY INSTITUTE OF FURTHER EDUCATION - Fibre Arts & Crafts - Course No. 314 (Weaving, Felting, Embroidery, Fabric Manipulating, Crocheting) - 7.30-9.30 on Wednesdays, 10 weeks starting 23rd of September.

Enrolment: 
- you can sign up by calling 01-2866111 (BIFE evening school enrolment) and pay by credit card.
OR
-you can got to the link below to sign up and pay through the BIFE easy pay website (my course is under number 314)



All my classes are limited to 12 places per class.




Friday, 5 June 2015

Hand embroidery: How the Griffin came to life.


The medieval world is full of monsters, imaginable and unimaginable mysterious creatures. One can find them especially in illuminated books and architectural decor.

Since I started taking an interest in Middle Ages culture and art, I was fascinated with the great imagination and creativity of the artists who were designing, drawing, painting and sculpting forms of animals which they have never seen, and some of them... which existed only in their thoughts.

From this fascination came to me an idea of embroidering a series of monsters.

Here is my first work: a Griffin.


*  *  *


An inspiration for the Griffin was a sculpture of a capital from the ambulatory of the 12th century church of Saint - Pierre de Chavigny in Vienne - southeastern France.

A griffin usually is depicted as a creature with a body of a lion, with head, wings and talons of an eagle. But this one is unusual: it has a human face, with diamond-shaped mouth, a mane, a mustache and a strange beard - quite unique !

Pic. 1: Samuel Sadaune: "Le fantastique au Moyen Âge. Créatures imaginaires et mondes merveilleux", Edition Ouest-France, 2012, page 123.


*  *  *

Materials: 
  • Fabric - silk and wool blend, very dark navy blue.
  • Threads - various silver metallic threads (vintage silver thread with dark core, bright matt Czech silver thread, Japanese Kreinik silver thread), vintage Corticelli silk embroidery thread - 8 colours.


*  *  *


Step 1 - Drawing and transferring the design onto fabric.
I usually copy the image I want to work on onto printing paper, with a pencil. You can do it by printing an image (in this case I scanned a photo from a book), then sticking the image on a window with sellotape and placing blank printing paper over it. Then you can follow more easily the contours of the image, drawing with a pencil.
After - I work on the image contours by drawing until I am happy with the design; with the Griffin the main thing was to transform a 3D sculpture into a flat form. I wanted the Griffin to have a Byzantine-like form with its head 'en face'. And I wanted it to look at me!

When the design was ready I transferred it onto fabric using carbon paper.


*  *  *


Step 2 - Face

Pic. 2. Embroidering the face of the Griffin.
If I have a project of a human figure or a creature, I always start with working on its face first: it is usually the most difficult part of a project, so it requires special attention and focus. And... I like my embroidery to look back at me

The face of the Griffin is embroidered with very fine silk thread. The eyes, brows and cheeks are done in split stitch; the forehead and the nose - in satin stitch. The lips and mouth opening are worked in perpendicularly laid satin stitch.



Step 3 - Mustache, beard and mane.

Pic. 3: Hand stitching hairy parts 

The hairy parts of the Griffin are done by placing lines in couching stitch (with vintage silver embroidery thread) alternately with lines in split stitch (done with a very dark brown silk thread). 
A very important thing: I followed the picture of the sculpture to place stitches in particular directions, so the mane, the mustache, head hair and beard are a bit separated from each other.
The two ends of the beard are done in satin stitch, in bright silver thread, which gradually blends with the vintage one. How did I manage to make it smooth? I was couching them alternately.

The ears are done in silk thread, in satin and split stitch.



Step 4 - Wings and tail with a hand.

Pic. 4: Embroidering wings and tail.
The wings were a bit tricky: they have three distinctive pieces, The colourful end is done in satin stitch (5 different colours, 8 segments), and the segments are divided with bright silver thread - in couching stitch. The middle part of the wing has four segments made of bright silver thread - satin stitch. The smaller end of the wing is embroidered with vintage silver thread - couching stitch, and on the top of it is placed Japanese silver thread in form of zig-zag (couching stitch). 

The tail with hand-end I embroidered with silk thread, which gradually changes into bright mat silver thread - all in satin stitch. There is as well a contour made in bright silver thread - couching stitch.




Step 5 - Body and talons.
Pic. 5: body and talons
The body of the Griffin is embroidered with amazingly lustrous Japanese Kreinik thread - in couching stitch. The talons are done in satin stitch using both bright and vintage darker silver thread. The contour - as usual - in couching stitch.


*  *  *


For those who are curious, how the project looks on the other side. As my excellent student, Clara, calls it..."the dark side"...

Pic.6: The dark side...


*  *  *


It is very difficult to take a good picture of the Griffin with showing how it reflects light. By using mainly silver thread I made him very lustrous and shiny and by applying three different types of thread I managed to get a various quality of luster in different parts of the Griffin.

Pic. 7 The Griffin is done.


Here is the picture I have managed to take, which shows the Griffin closest to its real look (in a sharp angle to show reflection the best)... But still it doesn't give it a justice!

Pic. 8: the Griffin in artificial light, from an angle.



*  *  *

More monsters to come!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Needle Felting Inspiration


I have just finished two sessions of introduction to needle felting with my students at Rathmines College.

There was a question asked frequently during my Fibre Arts & Crafts courses: what kind of projects can we use needle felting for?


Here you have some wonderful examples....




1) Needle Felted LANDSCAPES

Pic.1: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Felt-Stitch-Creating-Beautiful/dp/1844485633/?ref=wl_mb_hu_m_5_dp

Pic.2: https://www.etsy.com/listing/10118314/no186-blues-field-needlefelt-art

Pic.3: http://lilfishstudios.blogspot.ie/2014/02/quadrant-piece-completed.html


Pic.4: https://www.etsy.com/listing/122331953/miniature-landscape-desk-decor-or-pin?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share



2) UNUSUAL BAGS


Pic.5: http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.ie/2009/05/needle-felted-bag.html

Pic.6: http://tryhandmade.com/felt-circle-goodness/#.VMqKltKsXX8



Pic.7: http://eka.gorod.tomsk.ru/index-1351335753.php




3) NECKLACES and BROOCHES

Pic.8: https://www.flickr.com/photos/woolly_fabulous/favorites/page3/?view=lg

Pic.9: https://www.etsy.com/listing/66068883/tiny-chicken-necklace-needle-felted

Pic.10: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prittens/8109477511/in/photostream


Pic.11: http://www.steviewalker.com/page5.htm

Pic12: https://www.etsy.com/listing/164717183/animal-brooch-grumpy-cat-meme-needle?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Pic.13: http://dogdaisychains.blogspot.ie/search/label/textiles?updated-max=2010-04-29T16:42:00%2B01:00&max-results=20



4) BOOTS and HATS

Pic.14: http://mobifilz.blogspot.ie/search?updated-max=2012-02-18T19:19:00%2B01:00&max-results=7 

Pic.15: https://www.etsy.com/listing/103282276/needle-felted-shoe-house-natural-toys?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share



Pic.16: https://www.etsy.com/listing/100726385/ooak-artisan-needle-felted-blythe-deer?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Pic. 17: https://www.etsy.com/listing/180188278/whale-hat-needle-felted-ocean-hat-with?ref=related-2





5) CREATURES, MONSTERS, ZOMBIES....


Pic.18:http://ego-alterego.com/2014/05/katerina-kozunenko-dolls-toys/#.VMqXktKsXX8


Pic.19: https://www.etsy.com/listing/170505373/fairy-tale-little-monster-wool-felt?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share 

Pic. 20: https://www.etsy.com/listing/217225048/new-little-hopeless-dreamer-mouse?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=hopeless+dreamer+mouse&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery




Pic. 21: https://www.etsy.com/listing/107887100/needle-felting-cactus-monster-kit?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share


Pic. 22: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165327187/the-garlic-collector-ooak-art-doll


Pic. 23: https://www.etsy.com/listing/88856735/needle-felted-zombie-snowman-made-to



5) and REALLY CRAZY STUFF


Pic. 24: https://www.etsy.com/listing/116505929/santa-elves-ornament-or-wine-bottle?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share


Pic. 25: https://www.etsy.com/listing/180885656/tiny-houses-and-gardens-fairy-garden-in?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share


Pi. 26: http://martinacelerin.blogspot.ca/2011/04/summertime-tomatoes-sliced-and-ready.html
Pic. 27: https://www.etsy.com/listing/91058115/heartfelt-xl-anatomical-heart-needle



Pic. 28:http://www.designsoak.com/felting-art-inspired-nature/



* * * * * * * 



... There is a whole World of needle felting...

Pic.29: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48711889@N04/5181779523/




... and it is not a small one! Go exploring!!!





* * * * *