Friday, April 22, 2011

No Holidays This Easter!!

Life is zooming along lately, with me as a mostly willing participant.  I am tired, though.  I am cramming a lot into my days, but once we get past Holy Communion and into summer, things will slow down--roll on the end of June!

Fiona Crinnion's beautiful bracelet
Not that all my activities are drudgery.  I am really looking forward to Craft in Kerry's first Craft Fair that is coming up next Friday, April 29th from 10-6pm at An Díseart in Dingle, Co Kerry.  More of a showcase that just a run-of-the-mill craft fair, it will feature some of the fantastic diversity that Kerry's artisans have to offer.  In our dodgy economic times, it's important to remember that supporting handmade artisans means jobs to Ireland.  You can own quality, beautiful items that will last and make sure that Irish people stay employed.

Beyond our stallholders, there will be craft demonstrations featuring our Handmade Sessions, the boy's of Scoil Ioghnad Rís selling handmade bird boxes/houses, face painting for the kids, and a lot more.  Nationwide will be there filming us, so there should be something for everyone.  All on the grounds of the former convent.

We are *hoping* for a fine day and so the convent gardens should be spectacular.  They are going to be redesigning them into the Tree of Life garden which can be seen here  I am sure the Monsignor would appreciate all interest!

So, lots of events in our short week next week:

  • Wednesday, April 27th Felting Workshop 1-4pm @ An Díseart in Dingle, Co Kerry.  Email or 087-9111793 for details.  Limited spaces.
  • Friday, April 29th Craft in Kerry Craft Fair 10-6pm @ An Díseart in Dingle, Co Kerry

Bluebell Eco Candles

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Felting Workshop

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books. --bell hooks

Learn the easy and transformative process of felting, one of the oldest textiles in the world.  With wool, warm water, and a little soap and energy, you can create all kinds of wonderful items.  We will focus on the process of making felt and then felt book covers that can be used as journals, sketchbooks, or photo albums.  Materials provided on the day, but space is limited so please book in advance.  All abilities welcome, but preferably age 14 and up. 087-9111793.
Time:         Wednesday, April 27th 1-4pm, at An Díseart (next to St Mary’s Church)
Price:          €25, plus materials fee €5

Sharon Crandall is a textile artist based in West Kerry.  She enjoys making things with her hands and crochets, embroiders, quilts, and makes jewellery.  Four years ago she discovered felting and Zing! wool and natural fibres became a passion.

Sharon Crandall, Chiarraí Creations; chairperson, Craft in Kerry; member, Craft Council of Ireland; member, Feltmakers Ireland.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back from the Big Smoke

I do love Dublin for a break from rural life, but I find I have to rush, rush, rush and then I am back home again.  Hardly any time for relaxing or rummaging around for supplies I might need or just getting to know the city.  We went up to Dublin for a Failte Ireland gig called Meitheal that was on at Mansion House.  Garry Marcham and I were there to promote craft making for Craft in Kerry's new project called the Handmade Sessions.  Meitheal put us in touch with almost 300 international tour operators to talk up the sessions that will begin in Dingle in June.  In the picture there you can see Garry using his lathe to shave wood and I am the nut in the red felted hat in the background next to my friend the bald eagle!  I felted flat pieces and gave tour operators a chance to learn felting and see the kind of work we are doing.  The Handmade Sessions are important to us for two reasons: 1.  They provide much-needed work for highly skilled craft artisans. Many artisans are not able to work full-time at their craft and this needs to change; and 2.  We want to preserve these skills and educate people in handmade traditions.  So, we are all go to get things ready.

In the meantime, I finished two more textile collages.  This one is wool/silk/paper with a quote attached.  It will be heading to the framer soon.  The other one is a piece of wool I dyed dark inky colours of night sky and then machine pieced in hand-dyed wool stalks and stars and my favourite passage from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare.  I am pleased enough with it so far, but can't quite make up my mind on whether it is finished or if it needs more hand stitching around the reeds.  Opinions?

Now, I must get writing as I have lots of details for the Craft in Kerry Craft Fair that is on April 29th in Dingle.  It's part of the Feile na Bealtaine/Pan Celtic Festival celebrations and it's proving to be a cracker event. We have more than 30 exhibitors, craft demonstrations, face painting and nibbles for the kiddies, a Craft in Kerry lucky dip, and a handmade bargain table that is not to be missed!  Did I mention the masseuse???