Sunday, 20 March 2011

Meet our Makers: Sue Clow, Zalingai Textiles, Rag Rug Making Workshop on 20th June

On 20th June our workshop "Rag rug making" will be presented by Sue Clow. During this workshop you will learn the traditional rag rug making techniques of hooking and prodding using recycled materials. Sue will show you many exciting variations on the traditional rug and give you ideas for small pieces you can complete on the day. From rag rug flower badges to pictures and frames you will be able to take away a few finished peices and lots of ideas to inspire larger rugs and add to your repetoir of textile techniques.

Based in Ceredigion Sue started rag rug making in 1994 as the result of her patchwork and quilting. Rag rug making is a fantastic way of using left over fabric and of recycling old garments that really aren't good enough fabric to be used for anything else. Her hobby turned into the business Zalingai: The Art of Recycling in 1999 creating and selling recycled textiles in galleries and shops around Wales. She makes hats, bags, rag rugs and wallhangings, sells tools and kits and teaches workshops at many varied venues. Zalingai products can be bought at the Centre for Alterative Technology in Machynlleth and Sue teaches at the Welsh Quilt Museum in Lampeter.

The emphasis of Sue's work is recycling and rag rug making is such a brilliant technique for recycling rags that it has become the focus of Sues teaching. Zalingai sells rag rug kits, base fabrics and tools and Sue has experience of many different techniques which she is happy to discuss and share at the workshop.
Zalingai items for sale can be seen at and you can email Sue or phone her on 01974 282530 for further information.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

About our Makers: Maria Lalic, Textiles to Treasure Workshop: Making folk style cloth dolls

Our workshop on June 10th is Making Cloth Style Folk Dolls, presented by Maria Lalić. During this class you will learn how to make one of Maria's Welsh Lady dolls, or a Mumma doll, using vintage and recycled textiles and Maria's exclusive patterns. A sewing machine will be available though you are welcome to bring your own.
This year’s Wool and Willow Festival will coincide with the launch of Maria's range of folk art inspired dolls, teddy bears and gifts which will be marketed and exhibited under the banner ‘Textiles to Treasure’.

Maria studied at The School of Home Economics, University College, Cardiff in the late 1970s and specialised in Textiles and Psychology. Her interest in both subjects continued and by 2000, she had gained qualifications in Counselling and completed courses in Creative Textiles with the Open College of Arts, specialising in making Worry Dolls which could be used as stress management aids and to prompt therapeutic disclosures during Counselling encounters. In 2004, Maria enrolled at The University of Glamorgan and in 2007 gained a first class Honours degree in Combined Studies (Creative Writing, Textiles and Welsh). By this time, two of her books had been published (A History of Llansantffraid and Paper Dolls and Coconut Mushrooms) as well as several articles in The Bevan Foundation Review.

Before 2006, Maria created wall hangings from her own naturally dyed, hand-mad felt which was then embroidered using a range of stitchery techniques and found objects. An accident (yes, it was her own fault – she was running too fast, downhill and on tarmac) resulted in injuries to both arms and meant that her career as a feltmaker was over.

A fervent believer in every cloud having a silver lining, Maria decided to start her own business in the Autumn of 2007 and became a freelance Writer, Tutor and Textile Artist. Having learnt how to Needlefelt, she is back to producing wall hangings and still makes the art dolls which combine a range of stitchery techniques with needlesculpture. Maria lives as simply and self-reliantly as possible on a croft with her family, dog (Miss Myfanwy Price), cat (Lily Smalls the Treasure), 2 goats and a varying number of chickens. She hopes this philosophy shows in both Textiles to Treasure (which uses reclaimed and natural fabrics) and in her work as a Textile Artist and Dollmaker (where she draws her inspiration from the landscape and legend of her native Glamorgan).

Lily's Wood

To reserve a place on Maria Lalić's workshop, or find out more about the workshops at Wool and Willow 2011, please follow this link: Wool and Willow Workshops.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

About our Makers: Greenweeds Contemporary Feltwork, From Fleece to Felt workshop

On 7th June, our workshop is "From Fleece to Felt", an introduction to wet felting presented by Lorraine Pocklington of Greenweeds Contemporary Feltwork.
During this workshop, and starting with professionally washed, combed and dyed British wool tops, you will be taught how to make a flat piece of felt using a wet felting technique (wool, soap, water and rubbing). Progressing from this first achievement, you proceed to making a 3-D object felting around a resist to create a pocket. Ultimately you'll be taking home a finished item - a purse, glasses case, mobile phone cover, passport holder - and lots of ideas of how to proceed.
Although you won't be working with raw fleece straight off the back of the sheep, if there is interest among the group Lorraine will explain how to go about selecting a fleece for felting, and how to go about preparing the fleece for this use. You will also learn something of the history of feltmaking, with felt being probably the first constructed textile known to (wo)mankind.

Based in Ceredigion, Lorraine started felting in 2001, under the guidance of Ama Bolton in Somerset, and moved to Wales in 2006. She has achieved a City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Constructed Textiles and Design for Craft, and is a member of the International Feltmakers Association.
Lorraine is involved in the Afghanistan Inspiration textiles project, developing the website and working with Meike Laurenson on the launch of the touring exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham. Lorraine's own work is included in this European touring exhibition. Each piece of work incorporates a 10cm square embroidered by a woman from Laghmani village in Afghanistan.
She runs Greenweeds Contemporary Feltwork with her husband, John, using wool from British farms. She also develops websites, and is currently working part-time for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David as the Web and Social Media Developer for the CIME Project (Creativity and Innovation in Micro Enterprise). Lorraine is the Chair of The Wool and Willow Festival for 2011.

To reserve a place on Lorraine's feltmaking workshop, or find out more about the workshops at Wool and Willow 2011, please follow this link: Wool and Willow Workshops.

2011 Programme for Wool and Willow

The workshop programme is available at, with bookings already being taken. It's a great programme at very competitive prices, so do have a good look at what's available and consider spending a few days in mid-Wales growing your crafting outlook!

Already we have new exhibitors for 2011, though we hope to find about 4 more new businesses to bring to Llanidloes. Welcome back to Lois Grindey (Willow) and a warm welcome to 2 new willow exhibitors: Prue Thimbleby and Out to Learn Willow. All three are presenting workshops this year as is our perennially popular presenter and exhibitor Beryl Smith. Alongside an exhibition by the Welsh Basketmakers Association, there is sure to be plenty to interest willow enthusiasts in 2011.
Not to be outshone, the wool and textiles exhibitors are sure to put on a strong show. Olwen Veevers is offering a new needlefelting class this year, and Maria Lalic will be presenting a class in doll making using vintage and upcycled fabrics. Of course, beginning and advanced knitters can look forward to tuition from Sasha Kagan, who will be taking time out from her retrospective exhibition tour to join us at her local festival in Llanidloes. More about feltmaking, rag rugs, spinning and weaving soon!