Author Archives: Aileen Duffy

Traditional Skills Feedback

We’ve been getting some great feedback from the fantastic workshops that have been taking place right across Offaly for the past 18 months. Please keep an eye on the website and our Facebook page for more workshops and hopefully something very special this Summer!

Some of the Feedback:

“I thoroughly enjoyed these courses. I felt a renewed energy towards crafts and it awakened creativity in me. These courses taught me new skills and gave me a chance to try new experiences that otherwise may not have been available to me. I enjoyed learning from such great tutors and it has given me a renewed interest in and appreciation of the craftspeople in Offaly and surrounding areas”

“I took part in three courses one better than the other just loved quilting also tapestry and basket weaving what a pleasure all were many thanks for your diligence Aileen in organising them mile buiochas”

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to build a wall from stones gathered from my own fields , when the weather gets warmer”

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Traditional Skills – Workshops this week….

Batik Class in KinnityOffaly was abuzz this week with a bounty of traditional skills classes commencing across the county. After months of planning it was a delight to receive such fantastic responses to all of the workshops and, by all accounts, everyone taking part thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

As this is such an important project for Offaly, it’s heartwarming to see the large number of people who want to be part of it, and witness the true depth of attachment for Irish heritage crafts.

Just as an example, Here’s a few words from a lovely lady who took part in Padraig Larkin’s Basket Weaving workshop (in Edenderry) on Saturday:

“Thanks so much, it was fantastic to get an opportunity to try the basket making. I really loved it and I’m looking forward to next week. Are there any other courses available on this subject as I’m interested in developing my basic skills in this area further?

Padraig is an excellent instructor as he gives everyone equal time but more than enough time and makes everything look easy – you learn unbeknownst to yourself and with humour too!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend this course, I enjoyed every minute and I’m looking forward to next week, I’ll probably make a hames of everything but what the hey!”

Also this week we had the following workshops and courses:

  • Batik in Killeigh
  • Felting in Banagher

The following are just some if the classes beginning soon which have places available if you or anyone you know would like to participate:

  • Wood turning in Shinrone this Friday and Saturday (Two day course).
  • Dry Stonewalling beginning in Daingean this Saturday and continues the following Saturday.
  • Pottery begins in Kinnitty in Saturday continues the following Saturday

Next Friday and Saturday there are still places free on the Wood turning workshop in Shinrone.

These workshops not only serve to give people access to such ancient skills, but also highlight the rich diversity of skilled craftspeople we already have in County Offaly.

Check out the training schedule and see how you can be part of this unique event.

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Tapestry Weaving Ferbane – Update

www.francescrowe.com

www.francescrowe.com

Due to circumstances beyond our control we have had to reschedule this workshop. Thankfully the date change suited all who were already booked. We are now looking forward to having Frances Crowe in March 2014!

 

 

 

One of the first traditional skills workshops of 2014 is Tapestry Weaving with textile artist Frances Crowe. Frances is an award winning textile artist with years of experience teaching beginners and experienced weavers.

About the Workshop. This workshop will be in Ferbane, Co Offaly. It is a beginners day workshop so no previous experience is required. Frances will supply each participant with a frame to use during the workshop.  Each participant will learn how to put on a warp, weave plain tapestry, diagonal, pattern, texture. Each participant will weave a small sample piece on day one and a more detailed piece on day two.

Dates: 22nd & 29th March

Materials required. All basic materials for the two day workshop will be supplied.

To Book: Click Here

Cost: €20.00

What is Tapestry Weaving? Tapestry is a form of textile art, which according to textile historians has been practiced for more than two thousand years! Traditionally woven on a vertical loom (wooden frame) and simple tools, yet tapestry weaving can create intricate designs, sometimes using hundreds of different colors to make realistic pictures.

However, it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length (called the warp) and those parallel to the width (called the weft); the warp threads are set up under tension on a loom, and the weft thread is passed back and forth across part or all of the warps. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible.

tapestry
Image http://ccsfexhib.wordpress.com/

In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each coloured weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.

Most weavers use a naturally based warp thread such as linen or cotton. The weft threads are usually wool or cotton, but may include silk, gold, silver, or other alternatives.

 

linear-landscape-515x545
Image: www.francescrowe.com

About the Tutor – Frances Crowe

About-frances
Image: www.francescrowe.com

I am based in the West of Ireland in my idyllic studio in Roscommon. I work in a variety of materials, paint, collage, mixed media, but my primary thought process is in fibres. I like to collect materials such as wool, rope, cotton, and twist and weave them together to form individual, original works of art.

Tapestry weaving crafted in the ancient way can give warmth and vibrancy to any space.

The art of handwoven tapestry is many thousands of years old and, in that time, the technique has remained virtually unchanged. What has changed and evolved over the centuries is the way in which the medium is used, the purity of its design and execution and the esteem it commands in society as a whole.

Working in the medium of tapestry demands many days and months of solitary labour in the production of one piece, but it is this very thing that I love.”

Frances Crowe works from her studio in Grange, Co. Roscommon. A graduate of NCAD, Frances has taken part in numerous exhibitions both solo and in groups in her career.

Frances has been commisioned to create her unique artwork nationwide, including commissions for Government Offices; Roscommon, Glanbia; Kilkenny, The Heritage Trust, Guinness Hops Store; Dublin and Gateway Lodge, Connemara.

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Pottery – Shannon Harbour

Pottery- Two Day Workshop

clonmacnoise_pottery_largeComing soon will be a great pottery Workshop with well know potter Damian O Brien. Damian is an experienced tutor and potter, you can see some of his fantastic creations at his studio just outside Ballinahown on the Athlone road.

About the Workshop. This workshop will be in Shannon Harbour, Co Offaly. It is a workshop suitable for beginners so no previous experience is required. Damian will supply each participant with the basic materials required on all days.

Pottery

You will learn to coil ceramic sculptures, build pots using sheets of clay,  decorate your work using slips and sgraffito.

There are many methods of constructing pottery. Most classes will teach you how to coil, slab and throw pots, sculpt clay, hand-build as well as decorative techniques  such as slip-painting and glazing. Each technique can have its difficulties but practice makes perfect so it is important to stick with it!

 

Dates: Tuesdays 18th & 25th Feb 2014

Materials required. All basic materials will be supplied.

To Book: Click here

Cost: €20.00

About the Tutor

Being based near the historic site of Clonmacnoise provides inspiration for Damian O’Brien. His deep connection with the history and landscape of Westmeath influences the earthy organic shapes of his mainly salt glazed and wood fired wares.

With over twenty years experience in pottery making, Damian’s understanding and interest in the physical processes of wood firing is reflected in his highly individual and distinctive work. A large range of domestic ware suitable for everyday use and dramatic one-off pieces are available direct from the Clonmacnoise studio.

 

Batik & Felting – Killeigh

Batik & Felting – Four Evenings Workshop

felt balls

Image: http://loopiforyou.blogspot.ie/

We’re really looking forward to the Batik & felting Workshop with Carole Quinlan. Carole is an experienced tutor & textile artist. During this four evening workshop you will have an opportunity to learn both Batik & Felting.

About the Workshop. This workshop will be in Killeigh, Co Offaly. It is a workshop suitable for beginners so no previous experience is required. Carole will supply each participant with the materials required on all evenings.

Batik - Batik is a method of dyeing fabric. A removable wax is used to cover specific parts of the fabric before dying, making it so that the dye does not reach those parts. This wax is applied in a design or pattern, and then the fabric is dipped in dye or painted. Once the dye has dried, the wax is pulled up or boiled off. This exposes the previous colour and design. Some dye does seep underneath the wax. This leaves a cracked, marbling effect, which is one of the aspects batiks are known for. To create multi-coloured designs, the fabric is layered with wax and dyed numerous times. Batiks are mostly made of cotton fabrics, but both natural and synthetic fibres can be used in this technique. Have fun discovering how to draw with hot wax on cotton using a canting, or both, with1- 3 dye colour.

Felting - Learn all about wool and how it is transformed from soft fluffy fibers into a substantial piece of material. Courses cover the basics of felt making, starting with small flat sample pieces of patterned felt, using combed wool tops (machine processed wool).
Make colourful felt beads and string them together to make an unusual necklace. Make long felt cords that can be wrapped round and round the wrist for a multi wool bangle look. Also brooches and earrings can be made from thick felt cord and cut into slices and stitched or glued onto various jewellery findings.

batik

Image: www.fineartamerica.com

Dates: Monday Evenings 13th Jan to 4th Feb 2014

Materials required. All basic materials will be supplied.

To Book: Click Here

Cost: €20.00

 

 

Basket Weaving – Edenderry

Padraig

Image: www.padraiglarkin.com

Following on from the huge success of our Basket Weaving in Cloneygowan the workshop in Edenderry is now fully booked. Padraig Larkin is a fantastic tutor and we are delighted to have him teaching on this programme.

If you are interested in Basket weaving please email aileen@traditionalskills.ie and if possible (depending on budget), we may be in a position to run another workshop at a later date

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Tapestry Weaving – Ferbane

ploughed-field-515x545

Image: www.francescrowe.com

One of the first traditional skills workshops of 2014 is Tapestry Weaving with textile artist Frances Crowe. Frances is an award winning textile artist with years of experience teaching beginners and experienced weavers.

About the Workshop. This workshop will be in Ferbane, Co Offaly. It is a beginners day workshop so no previous experience is required. Frances will supply each participant with a frame to use during the workshop.  Each participant will learn how to put on a warp, weave plain tapestry, diagonal, pattern, texture. Each participant will weave a small sample piece on day one and a more detailed piece on day two.

Dates: 11th & 18th Jan 2014

Materials required. All basic materials for the two day workshop will be supplied.

To Book: Click Here

Cost: €20.00

What is Tapestry Weaving? Tapestry is a form of textile art, which according to textile historians has been practiced for more than two thousand years! Traditionally woven on a vertical loom (wooden frame) and simple tools, yet tapestry weaving can create intricate designs, sometimes using hundreds of different colors to make realistic pictures.

However, it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length (called the warp) and those parallel to the width (called the weft); the warp threads are set up under tension on a loom, and the weft thread is passed back and forth across part or all of the warps. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible.

tapestry

Image http://ccsfexhib.wordpress.com/

In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each coloured weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.

Most weavers use a naturally based warp thread such as linen or cotton. The weft threads are usually wool or cotton, but may include silk, gold, silver, or other alternatives.

 

linear-landscape-515x545

Image: www.francescrowe.com

About the Tutor – Frances Crowe

About-frances

Image: www.francescrowe.com

I am based in the West of Ireland in my idyllic studio in Roscommon. I work in a variety of materials, paint, collage, mixed media, but my primary thought process is in fibres. I like to collect materials such as wool, rope, cotton, and twist and weave them together to form individual, original works of art.

Tapestry weaving crafted in the ancient way can give warmth and vibrancy to any space.

The art of handwoven tapestry is many thousands of years old and, in that time, the technique has remained virtually unchanged. What has changed and evolved over the centuries is the way in which the medium is used, the purity of its design and execution and the esteem it commands in society as a whole.

Working in the medium of tapestry demands many days and months of solitary labour in the production of one piece, but it is this very thing that I love.”

Frances Crowe works from her studio in Grange, Co. Roscommon. A graduate of NCAD, Frances has taken part in numerous exhibitions both solo and in groups in her career.

Frances has been commisioned to create her unique artwork nationwide, including commissions for Government Offices; Roscommon, Glanbia; Kilkenny, The Heritage Trust, Guinness Hops Store; Dublin and Gateway Lodge, Connemara.

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Supported by Offaly Local Development

Basket Weaving Cloneygowan

Basket Weaving

PadraigThe first of the traditional skills training workshops commences tomorrow Saturday 26th October. Skilled basketmaker Padraig Larkin will deliver this workshop in Cloneygowan.

Padraig, a basketmaker based in Cloghan, Co Offaly, Ireland is extremely skilled in the training of willow weaving and basket making and places are coveted on his workshops. Padraig learned his craft from Joe Hogan, one of the foremost basketmakers in Ireland.

“Since my introduction to basketry I have become immersed in the craft, learning a lot of new skills through some excellent courses, books and good old fashioned trial and error. I have developed my own style based largely on traditional methods with a strong emphasis on quality and pride in my work”

To book you place on this workshop go to Booking Form  on our this website.

Places are limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Positive Ageing Week Offaly 2013

Celebrate Offaly Positive Ageing Week
27th September to 5th October 2013

Positive Ageing Week (27th September to 5th October) is an annual event run by Age Action Ireland to celebrate ageing and is now Ireland’s largest celebration of positive ageing.

Offaly has been a Positive Ageing Week county for the past few years and once again has a varied programme with something for all older people. As part of our traditional skills programme for Offaly we are delighted to team up with positive ageing week and are offering three workshops for adults.

The workshops will be rolled out in three locations Shinrone, Edenderry & Belmount. Included in the programme is basket weaving, Tapestry weaving and Quilting & patchwork.

 

DL Legacy positive ageing week

Places are limited and to book contact:

aileen@traditionalskills.ie

or call

Aileen 087 9430489

Thanks to the Positive Ageing Week Committee, Bluebird Care, local groups, Offaly County Council, Offaly Local Development Company, Health Services Executive, Offaly Sports Council, and TASK for their work in supporting the delivery of Positive Aging Week events in the county.
The committee invites older people in Offaly to get out and about, and celebrate ageing during Positive Ageing Week.

DL Legacy positive ageing week positive ageing week brochure

For more information on Positive Ageing week visit their website

 

Legacy – Workshop with Sylvia Thompson

cropped-image.jpgAn evening of memories and exploration of traditional skills in Offaly. Sylvia Thompson, Irish Times Journalist and author of Hands On: the art of crafting in Ireland introduced us to her book on traditional skills in Ireland.

Sylvia BookThis beautiful book is based on Sylvia’s widely read column for the Irish Times and celebrates the wealth of crafts practised throughout Ireland.   Hands On: the art of crafting in Ireland details the history of forty eclectic crafts from basketmaking to woodturning and provides concise information on where to see them, where to learn them and whats involved.

The book is broken into five categories, each then containing more detailed information on specific crafts;

Sylvia discussed the categories which are Studio based crafts, Stitching and weaving crafts, Home based crafts, Outdoor crafts and Restoration and Conservation Crafts. We reminised on days gone by when traditional skills were a way of life and we valued the skills of hand -making.

Sylvia shared her experiences of meeting the craft makers in their studios, how they work and the skills required for different crafts.

Padraig Larkin, basketmaker shared his passion for traditional weaving methods and brought us through his varied range of baskets and weving techniques. Padraig explained the teaching process and how you could learn the basics of making a small basket in a day and a larger one in a two day workshop.

Padraig

Following on Sylvia introduced us to award winning fiber artist Frances Crowe. Frances told us that tapestry weaving is one of the oldest forms of woven textiles and the basic techniques have remained the same for centuries. Frances showed us amazing examples of her own work and explained what you could learn in her workshops. Frances runs workshops for Adults and children in spinning and tapestry weaving. She showed us examples of pieces that can be made from her beginners workshop.

About-frances

We then had the opportunity to learn from Frances Fitzgerald about the art of patchwork and quilting. Frances had amazing pieces made form her childrens drawings, one of which she won an award for. She explained the skill and patience involved in this wonderful craft and how satisifying it is to see your completed piece. In fact one of her students from a one day workshop showed us a fabulous bag she had made. Frances also noted  the social aspect of  patchwork and quilting while you learn the basics of using a sewing machine, the basic techniques that can be applied to may products such as bags, cushion covers and wall hangings. All you need is you imagination!

patchworkAll in all, thanks to Sylvia, Padraig, Frances and Frances and Offaly Local Development Company we had an really interesting evening. Kilcormac Community Centre was buzzing with the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming programme. There was plenty of time for refreshments and chat with other craft makers and to meet the craft tutors that were there.

More details of this programme to follow.