Felt fires in public

On Tuesday last week we gathered in Hula to make felt flames.  Some of us had never made felt of any sort before but by the end of the session we’d made 12 needle felt fires on prefelt and an uncounted number of wet felted flames.  Thank you to everyone who came and took part.  I hope you had fun – I know I did.

needle felt fires

felt flame needles







I took the felt panels back to my studio and used the nuno felt technique to bond them to a piece of black silk chiffon. I added an all over pattern of flames on the back. This way both sides will look good if we hang it like a flag some time.  I also made a lot more of the individual flames to make a lovely little bundle of fire.

On Saturday 6th October, the International Day of Felt, both pieces were displayed in public in keeping with the idea behind the day.  As the main piece of work, the hanging was set up on the mirror wall in Hula Juice Bar and Cafe on West Bow just next to where we we started work on it. It’ll stay there until Monday lunchtime.  Pop in for a smoothie and see it.

12 felty fires in Hula

bundle of fire










I’ve been taking the bundle of fire to various places and photographing it in public places – the bar at Summerhall arts centre, the banks of the Water of Leith and more to come. Once I have a good photograph of each piece I’ll uploaded them to the Felt United international portfolio of this year’s day of felt to let the world of feltmaking see what Craft Reactor can do.

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Set the world on fire at our October meet-up

Craft Reactor comrades and fellow travellers are invited to join in making group contribution to the International Day of Felt at the regular meet up in Hula on 2 October.

The first Saturday in October every year feltmakers around the world take part in a wide range of public events to celebrate the glories of their chosen medium. For more about the Day of Felt see the website www.feltunited.com and join the Facebook group.  Each year has a theme in order to create some focus to these events and this year it is fire!

“close your eyes and think about it. Think about that word… fire, about every aspect, about the meaning, what it looks like, love the colours, feel the heat, find warmth in the friendships, taste the food, smell… use all of your senses… then dream of the possibilities.” – from the announcement in January on www.feltunited.com

So  your Craft Reactor committee has hatched a plan for everyone who comes along to our meet to make a flame which will be incorporated in a group piece that will be exhbited in Hula on the Day of Felt itself.  The work will also be photographed for inclusion in the international portfolio on the Felt United website.

We have two simple methods of making flames that can be made easily even if you’ve never made felt before. They can be flat or 3D and use dry and wet processes. We’re starting simple to get as many people as possible involved but there may be scope for something more sophisticated if there’s enough time and space.  We’ll supply the tools and the fleece but contributions of extra fleece in firey colours are welcome.

Madeleine Shepherd then will take the flames to her studio later that week and assemble either a hanging panel or a sculptural object from everyone’s work. The final form will be dictated by what we make on Tuesday.

At 10am on Saturday 6th October the work will be installed in one of the windows at Hula for all to see and admire!  Everyone is welcome to come along to that too.


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May Day Meet & Mend

Our next MeetUp falls on May 1st so in honour of Workers’ Day and in the spirit of renewal and revolution there will be a mending theme to this one.

If you’ve got a pile of mending but just don’t fancy staying at home with your sewing kit, well, you don’t have to! Bring some of it along and join us in  giving those old items a springtime revamp.

Of course if you are all caught up on your clothes repairs just bring whatever you’re working on (or just yourself!)

May Day 2012 Event Poster
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Ferbruary Crafty MeetUp

With the sad closure Tea Tree Tea we’ve been on the lookout for a new home for our monthly meetups where we have a blether while working on them projects that fit in our bag. Lots of ideas were thrown about, some fine cafes were visited and we think we’ve got a good one for you. And for those of you who plan ahead you should also know that we’ve moved our regular date to every first Tuesday of the month.

We welcome all makers, from those those trying to make a living off their passion to anyone with an interest in creative crafting. We simply want to provide a place to exchange ideas, knowledge and skills while consuming respectable amounts of local delicacies.

So, our next meetup will be on the 7th of February at Hula Juice Bar, a lovely cafe on West Bow serving yummy smoothies, Artisan Roast coffee and all-day lunch. We’ll be crafting and chatting away from 5:30 to 7:30 and we hope to see many of you there!

Monthly MeetUp Flyer

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Maths – It’s a stitch up!

Hyperbolic patchwork shirt

Hyperbolic patchwork shirt

Just a quick post to let you know about the Mathematician’s Shirts.  It’s a textile installation by Julia Collins of University of Edinburgh and Madeleine Shepherd of Craft Reactor (among other things!) which you can visit every day until 26 February in the ASCUS Projects Space,  St James Centre Edinburgh. This is one of four projects funded by ASCUS Art Science Collaborative, all on show in the Project space.

In addition to having work on display Julia and Madeleine will be talking about the work, how they made it and why on Thursday 2 February at 6pm.  Do come along – they’ll have demonstrations and hands-on things for you to try too.

See these sites for more info:

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Members’ Showcase Exhibition

Come and see what our members have been up to in their crafty making this year.

Our home for the week will be the Coburg House Gallery in Leith (15 Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH6 6ET). We’ll be open from 18 to 27 November, weekdays 12am-6pm and weekends 10am-5pm.

On Saturday 19th we’d like to invite you to meet some of the makers and have a chat with them over an afternoon glass of wine anytime from 3 to 5pm.

Among others the exhibition will feature work by Karolina Binczyk, Made by Jo, Carmenland, pegeggleg and Madeleine Shepherd.

Craft Reactor Showcase Exhibiton 2011

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