Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dyeing - The Natural Way!

we attended the  Landscape Partnership launch event for Mourne Heritage Trust today. This was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Silent Valley , some 20 miles from us deep in the Mournes.

For the event we put on a demonstration: 

Elaine: some 'live felting' and 

John: 'dyeing wool with natural dyes'

It's not every day that begins with a traipse round the garden looking for Dandelion Root!

The Venue - Stunning!

The Tors on Slieve Binnian
raw materials - all from the garden or the kitchen!

No... not soup! Onion skin and wool 'liquor'

Beetroot and wool

Result: dandelion root

Result: beetroot

Result: nettle

Result: onion skin

the dyer's table
felt making area

the beginnings of a butterfly

felting in progress

a lovely lily-like flower made by Elaine during the demonstration

a serious hat, made yesterday

Examples of Elaine's work

Two different style pots

Snapshot of the architecture - almost equal to the grandeur of the setting

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Year ago.

February 2012 saw us hard (very!) at work on the Gallery; much heavy lifting and block breaking done!

Elaine makes a breakthrough! Feb. 2012

the transformation today: Feb. 2013
Today we have done some rather more subtle re-modelling, by adding a 'comfy area' to the Gallery:

the new 'comfy area' by the window

looking towards the Mournes

extra seating for 4
what better way to spend the afternoon?

the view out the window

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Felting at the Turnip House

many thanks to Frances, Margaret, Betty and Anne  for a great day's felting. The sun shone throughout. making the work go cheerily by. 

Included at no extra charge, was a Red Kite flypast, fantastic!

Here are the beautiful outcomes:

samplers - out of this world!

in the flow

iPad pouch #1

iPad pouch #2

Bag with flap

small bag

bag with flap

Scrabo Quarries

Meanwhile, whilst Elaine and her group are working hard in Newtownards town Hall, Charlie and I went for a walk in Scrabo Country Park 

It was a stunning day, and the dramatic scenery was more than a match for the weather - fantastic place, go see it if you can, we'll be back!

Scrabo Tower peeps over the Quarry edge

The view out across Comber estuary and Strangford Lough

lingering fruits

from footpath to airstrip: Newtownards Airport

in the South Quarry

one man ....

into the North Quarry

details of funghi

along the old railway

the North Quarry - positively Alpine!

Newtownards. Elaine is in the Arts Centre, the tower on the right
(built out of Scrabo stone by the way)

Happy Boy!

North Quarry from the viewpoint

Charlie spots - friend.. or foe?

The south Quarry showing rock intrusions

The tower at the South Quarry

Monday, February 18, 2013

Felt Making at Ards Arts

 It is now week 6 of the 10 week Felting course at Ards Arts in Newtownards.

Elaine is guiding a group of intrepid would-be felters through the mystery and magic of the art, and results are looking good:

2 dimensional piece: wet felt with needle felt ornament

picture progression 1: wet felt

picture progression 2: initial needlefelt embellishment

picture progression 3 final picture

brooch: needlefelt on knitted felt

a selection of brooches

3 dimensional work: pots made from shetland fibres

pot with pebble adornment

pot with needlefelted wensleydale fibre and purple pre-felt