So this was a little task I set myself last year; to incorporate Nuno Felting into my weaving and create a combination of textures which would be both tactile and visually pleasing. The plan - to fuse the weight and heft of a chunky hand spun weave (alpaca of course) with the delicate wisp of alpaca fibre felted into silk.
The inspiration for this piece were the beautiful reeds that swathe the Norfolk broads like a curtain, whilst subtly filtering sunlight across the water. This stunning photograph of Burnt Fen Broad, taken by Two Rivers Artist, James Arthur, completely catches this feeling.
The weave would be the reeds, filtered and diffused by a fine covering of alpaca fibre embedded into translucent silk gauze.
Attaching this gossamer fabric to the weave proved interesting, I needed to keep the woven part of the piece dry, as I only wanted the silk and alpaca fibre to felt - not the woven piece. As you can see, some of the weft strands have been left loose to portray the reeds, whilst also helping to catch the wisps of raw alpaca fibre as they embed into the silk gauze.
Nuno felting alpaca fibre with silk creates the most wonderful light, translucent material, The fabric is surprisingly strong for something that looks and feels so delicate and looks fantastic worn as a scarf or as with this project made to hang on a wall or in front of a window to decorate a room.
The beautiful shawls below are made by some of my students last year. If you are interested in learning how to Nuno felt find out more here.
Spring seems a long time ago now but I’ve finally had time to weave using the white and fawn alpaca I dyed with Queen Anne’s lace in May! The lovely frothy white flowers yielded some beautiful yellows and I will definitely re visit the leafy lanes in search of flowers again next spring. Below are some of the results.
The beautiful flower heads of Queen Anne’s Lace combined with the alpaca fibre from the lovely Khal...
...create an amazing array of yellows.
And so, on to the loom...
...and eventually, a lovely soft yellow alpaca shawl.
It must be Spring! Blackthorn is out all along the hedgerows. Click, click with my trusty camera...
And this is how I turn it into a print. First ideas, drawings and notes.
Now tracing and reversing with carbon paper onto lino.
If I turn and look through my studio window, this is the view. Any minute now the ducks will splash land in the pond!
Now to cutting lino and mixing ink.
Experimenting with colour, blocks and outcomes.
…… and now time for a cup of tea and a giggle with Fan, who kindly took the pictures of me at work.
I have has been working with the ABCD Project team in South Norfolk. The project has been about asking people "What keeps you well?' and connecting them to the resources available. ABCD is Asset Based Community Development and maps what is in our communities. From the answers collected by the team I have created this Wellbeing map...
For more information about the ABCD project visit www.abcdproject.org.uk.'
Part of Makers Month at the Forum Norwich
The aim is to make a piece of felt - in this case a sort of carpet runner - by enough people walking over pre laid out fibres so that they become felted due to the friction and pressures caused by the walking. Thus hoping to prove the theory that felt was first made by shepherds putting fleece into their shoes for comfort and ending up with felt due to the combination of sweaty feet, oils in the fleece and the friction caused by walking - as we don't really want the sweaty feet bit the fibre will need a bit of help! The help comes in the form of soapy water to add moisture and bubble wrap to aid the friction. The project will be encased in very strong clear plastic which will allow people to see what they are walking on without them getting soggy feet – we hope!
The project is part of the Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers contribution to Makers Month, an educational exhibition at the Forum in Norwich celebrating the creative talent and skills that abound in the county.
The exhibition will run for the whole of February with the first two weeks devoted to textiles.
We decided it would be interesting to have lots of different types of fleece so the Guild have been brilliant turning up with all sorts of fleeces belonging to breeds of sheep that I had never heard of! – Also the wonderful Norfolk Smalholders Training Group have come up trumps providing fleeces for the project.
Yes, I know – Sheep fleece, moi! With all those lovely alpacas running about outside - don’t tell them they will be very put out! However there will of course be alpaca fibre in the process and I decided it was best to have a mini dummy run in my kitchen for which the alpacas donated some lovely fleece.
Oz thought it was fab – it makes a great dog bed! I should probably call it dog felting…
It was very exciting unwrapping the felt parcel after we had all duly stomped about on it and …...
A lovely alpaca fleece rug made by - Felt Walking!
Ann Nickerson - Burnt Fen Alpacas
It's nearly that time of year, you know, when we don't want to mention the 'C' word. There's not getting away from it though, so if you want to stock up with some beautiful unique hand crafted gifts, decorations or cards put the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair on your calendar.
The fair is on Saturday 21st November from 10:00am to 3:00 pm at the New Victory Hall in Neatishead - NR12 8AD if you want to put it on your sat nav. Tea, coffee, cakes and mince pies will be sold in aid of the Friends of Neatishead School, and if you want to make a day of it The White Horse Inn is just a step over the road serving delicious food and drink.
There will be amazingly diverse selection of items for sale from several members of the Two Rivers Trail:
Silver Jewellery - Fiona Johnson
Hand-crafted wood - Paul Williams - Woods World Wide
Alpaca textiles and yarn - Ann Nickerson - Burnt Fen Alpacas
The 'Norfolk Map' graphic designs - Allison Bradnock
Textiles, yarn, felt - Penny Graham-Jones - Planet Penny
Watercolours and drawings - Alex Egan
Printmaking and Textiles - Kit Calladine
and also from our guests, Photography - Fan Tubbs-Arthur and James Arthur
Ceramics - Ros Arrowsmith
As always we will be supporting the Nancy Oldfield Trust, based in Neatishead, who do so much to enable the disabled and disadvantage to enjoy a day out on the water, try new activities, improve their self confidence and increase their environmental awareness.
Follow our Facebook Page to get up to date information of what will be on offer at the Fair and tell your friends, we look forward to seeing you there!
'My recent body of work has become an obsession with depicting trees.
Winter finds me parked up in my little car in a spot on some remote Norfolk lane, where I'm able to study and draw a tree in its denuded glory. Trees in leaf are a completely different story and one I'm not ready to tackle just yet.'
If you are not able to get to the Country Living Fair in Islington where Paul will be from 12th - 16th November, never fear, just come along to the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair 22nd November. Paul will have a great selection of his beautifully handcrafted boards, bowls pens and more for sale at the Victory Hall, Neatishead, NR12 8AD.
We would like to invite you to the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair on Saturday 22nd November at the New Victory Hall, Neatishead, NR12 8XG. This year we are delighted to have the well known author, TV presenter and explorer,
Nick Crane opening the fair.
Our group embraces a diverse and imaginative collective working in graphic design, textiles, print making, wood turning, silver jewellery, photography, and art. We are open from 10.30am to 4pm to allow more time for browsing, chatting to the artists and crafts makers and of course, lunch! We are again helping to raise funds for The Nancy Oldfield Trust and Neatishead Primary School; the latter will be providing light lunches and delicious homemade cakes.
We look forward to seeing you at the fair, where you will find unique, unusual and inspiring gifts.
I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Greece where I spent many hours wandering along the shore line, looking at beautiful old fishing boats and battered wooden jetties - all in aid of inspiration for making my jewellery. I have picked up many shells to cast in to my shell necklaces and charm bracelets. I had a whole team of friends on one beach ( during a birthday party whilst listening to guitars being played) searching for shells, but they didn't all grasp just how small I need them and had to explain that a shell that was 2 inches across was just too big to cast in silver,too expensive and very heavy to wear!
I love snorkelling in Greece. This year I found a very scary Moray eel which made me gasp and swim very fast in the opposite direction! It appeared to me to be at least 5 foot long with a girth of about 4 -5 inches and had been hiding under a large rock. I then decided to be very brave and fetch my waterproof camera and take a picture as I loved the patterns on its back. I am sure one day they will be part of a piece of decoration on a piece of jewellery.
Another of my favourites is the textures found in pieces of olive wood. They bend and twist with holes and knots all over with an amazing mix of colours. I have even found one piece which had grown round a stone. They do fit in suitcases but my husband has a limit on the size which I can bring home - which is a good job or we wouldn't be able to open the door of our small cottage!
The cold weather is approaching and nights drawing in so I must now start making new designs. I have just transferred 5,000 photos from my dying laptop, and have noticed that half of them are of reflections in water, pieces of concrete or piles of pipes, all waiting to inspire me. Just need to turn the heating up and get on with it!!
Eleven diverse artists living and working between the rivers Ant and Bure.