Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crafts Exhibition at Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

I'm off to Castlebar on Saturday 27th November, with a whole new batch of embroidered journals, textile wall-art and other goodies for the annual craft fair at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. This is always a great event organised by Alex and Brendan. The Arts Centre has a nice coffee-shop and it's a busy venue on the main street. I enjoy meeting customers who come to visit year after year and it's great to catch up with other craftspeople and see what they are working on. I often come home with a few Christmas purchases of my own as there is a great selection of ceramics, woodwork, jewellery, textiles and lots more on offer. If you are in the area, pop in and say hello as we get ready to enter into the Christmas season!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Printing Photos onto Fabric Workshop on Inisheer

An invitation to the Aran Islands is not one to refuse! So, when Mary McCarthy of "Mna le Cheile" asked me to come to Inisheer to demonstrate printing photos onto fabric, I didn't have to think twice.

But being November, with storms and rough seas forecast during the week, I was afraid that Winter was going to put a stop to my excitement.

However, although Saturday was was calm enough at sea and the ferry was running.

The workshop went very quickly as we wanted to try a good few techniques including:
  • Miracle Fabric Sheets from CJenkins }
  • EQ Printables from the Electric Quilt Company } both recommended for inkjet printers
  • Tshirt transfer paper from Tesco ironed onto fabric
  • Image Maker solution painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Acrylic Medium painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Printing directly onto our own fabric cut to A4 and ironed onto Freezer Paper to stabilise it before printing with laser/inkjet.
This photo shows the paper being removed from the Imagemaker print.

This photo shows the result of a tshirt transfer print.

Jenny and Cormac seem pleased with the result of the Imagemaker transfer.

Images of Inisheer hanging up to dry!
Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages. Results can vary depending on the printer, the brand of product used, the fabric used, etc. Colour and light-fastness will depend on the number of washes, the detergent used, etc.
But this workshop was a 'hands-on' introduction to the possibilities of incorporating printed photographs, drawings, documents, etc. into your own work to personalise it further.

Those attending the workshop came from different backgrounds in weaving, felting, patchwork, photography, costume design, etc. So hopefully everyone went away having learned something new to apply to their own work in the future.
As for me......
  • I learned a lot, as usual when I teach a workshop.
  • I received a warm welcome on a rainy night with delicious homemade soup and brown-bread.
  • I slept cosily under Mary and Pat's thatched roof in their lovely home.
  • I woke to a beautiful November morning on Inisheer looking out at the Atlantic.
  • I reminded myself of how magical Inisheer is at any time of year.

A big thanks to Mary for inviting me and to everyone at the class for such a lovely welcome. Go raibh mile maith agaibh!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Open Days at Groundworks Studios every Thursday until 16th December

Here are some photos of my embroidered journals and 'Mo Ghra Thu' blocks on display at the Open Day at Groundworks Studios on Thursday 11th November from 12-6pm (and every Thursday until December 16th). In the photo you can also see ceramics by Roisin Gregory and embroidered brooches by Caroline Moran.
These are just some of the textile, ceramic, fashion, interior and jewellery products made for sale by members of Groundworks Studios. If you are in Galway on Thursdays make your way to Lyrr Building 3, Mervue Business Park (entrance on Monivea Road if you are driving or through the pedestrian access opposite Renault Garage on the Tuam Road). This is a chance to meet the makers and see a selection of work being produced.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creative Jounalling Class at Mohill Family Resource Centre, Leitrim

These are just some of the pages created by those attending the workshops on 'Creative Journalling' at Mohill Family Resource Centre. In our first class we looked at simple tricks to overcome the fear of starting to write, draw, collage or paint onto a brand-new white page. Then we used a variety of sources to try to find 'jump-off' or 'starting' points to express something on paper. The journals are meant to be a safe place to learn to explore ideas. Refining those ideas will come later.....for now it's all about learning to have fun and lose yourself in the process without worrying about the outcome. The course runs for 3 weeks, so hopefully we'll see some more pages from this group soon.