Irish Wool Exhibition – 2020-23
In 2020 I got involved in a project with Feltmakers Ireland, looking at promoting more use of Irish Wool for Felting.This project involved sourcing Irish wool and extensive testing of the Feltmaking characteristics of wool from different breeds of sheep bred in Ireland.
This work resulted in a book about irish wool and I was invited to show works in Irish wool at a number of exhibitions:
Wool is a fantastic material, but in Ireland as in many European countries, farmers either cannot sell their wool at all or get a price that is a fraction of the cost of shearing the sheep it comes from.
Wool from different breeds of sheep have different characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to felting. We thought that if more of this information was known, it would be easier for feltmakers to choose Irish wool over imported wool.
As many breeds as possible were sourced, washed, and carded. Parcels of wool were sent out to 27 participants who made several samples with each breed and painstakingly recorded their results and impressions. Results were collated and summarised, samples were evaluated and photographed, creating a valuable resource for Irish Feltmakers.
During the project we found that while sourcing the wool was relatively easy -with many farmers donating their wool for free – getting the wool washed and carded was less easy. For this reason we added information on how to choose a good fleece, how to clean, card, and dye it to prepare it for felting.
I participated in the following exhibitions with work made with Irish wool:
2022 Timpeallacht, Kilcoe Studios, Kilcoe, Co. Cork
An exhibition based on artists using local materials.
This vessel was made using natural shades of Jacobs wool. Jacobs sheep have light and dark patches and if you card these colours separately and then mix them you get three distinct shades.
Image : Timpeallact 2022
Soft Things in Hard Times, Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin.
A Textile based exhibition in the Olivier Cornet Gallery.
Image: Soft things in hard times Olivier Cornet Gallery
The Little Frills: A vessael made with plant dyed Kerry Hill wool and Blue faced Leicestor locks.
The Circles We Walk; Triptych made with Merino Wool with Kerry Hill wool inclusions.
2023 A Meeting of Hands, The Galway Wool Co-op, Athenry Mart
An exhibition show casing Galway wool
Connections: Wall piece made with Galway wool