Sheila Broughan reflects on the September workshop given by Mary MoorkensI was looking forward to going to Mary Moorkens workshop. Knowing her work to see, I wondered how we would ever get a sense of her techniques in a very short space of time or indeed what would we be doing or would we finish anything! So, the weekend finally arrived 01/09 – 02/09 (our 1st. meeting of the new year 2018/2019).

We were 12 very eager students, all ready to go….! 3 items to get to grips with and hopefully finish.

1.       A small card

2.       A brooch

3.       Necklace with a spool fob.

ALL the equipment/materials were provided.  Mary told us that for her the lace was what ‘spoke to her’ and inspired each piece, and the direction in which the piece took. To my happy ears she mentioned that she does not keep a journal but lets her work evolve and take its own course.

The Card – finished piece 4”x 3”

We each received a piece of vieline 4” x 5” approx. in size, with a stitched outline in the centre 2” x 3” approx.  We then started to lay down our own design within the centre outline, starting with our background fabric. We continued to layer down our chosen fabrics/lace/scrim. We could use as much or as little as we wanted and when we were satisfied with our design we tacked the pieces in place. The artist in all of us then created the picture by adding stitch/threads/cut up lace and watched the picture take shape. When we finished our design, it was cut back to the size of the inner measurements. Our little picture was finished and glued to the card.

The Brooch – finished size 2”x 2”

The process was the same as for the Card, however, this time we were to keep in mind the scale of our design to match the size of our little fabric piece. To finish we added a piece of wool felt to the back of our fabric/brooch and a button hole stitch was used to bind the 2 pieces together. The brooch clip was added to complete.

The Spool Fob Necklace.

Again, similar process as 1 and 2 above, but this time our working area was 2”x 3/4”. This size would fit around the little wooden spool.  Jewellery skills were introduced to help us attach our decorations to the spool and attach our now decorated spool to the neck chain.

We all finished the 3 pieces and some even managed to make extra. It was a great workshop, good company, lots of chat. New skills learnt and plenty of ideas to think about. Mary was at hand at all times to advise, help and encourage. Mary also told us of her passion for collecting vintage lace, buttons and beads and recommended Etsy as a good place to look for items. She mentioned Allie Ferguson as a good source for Wool Felt.

So, 12 happy people went home with 3 sets of unique pieces…….!