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Our Group of artists in Residence this year is a very talented group of textile artists and designers- Ali Rabjohns, Vicky Mappin, Susan D’Souza, Sandra Ventris and Bridget Honour.

Their major exhibition will be showing with us from 1st June to 16th October 2016 and the group will be leading some marvellous and inspirational workshops during the course of their time with us .

Focus on -Sandra Ventris

Sandra 1-2Sandra Ventris began her creative training at Brighton Art School on Foundation Year and then studied Fine Art BA Hons at Sheffield School of art .
Her involvement with theatre began at Sheffield Crucible , a 6 month tour as Wardrobe Mistress –adding tailoring and cutting to her skills she worked as a Theatrical tailor for various Opera and Costume houses in London and Sussex.
Sandra has been involved in many fringe production in a variety of roles performing , directing and designing .
In 2005 she took up a place on the Motley theatre design course in Drury Lane as a postgraduate student
SandraventrisimageThe opportunity to work with textiles to bring the threads of my skills into play with making and celebrating FELT in the fantastic environment of Sussex Prairie Gardens is a wonderful opportunity

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Our Group of artists in Residence this year is a very talented group of textile artists and designers- Ali Rabjohns, Vicky Mappin, Susan D’Souza, Sandra Ventris and Bridget Honour.

Their major exhibition will be showing with us from 1st June to 16th October 2016 and the group will be leading some marvellous and inspirational workshops during the course of their time with us .

Focus on Ali Rabjohns

alirabjohnsimageAli Rabjohns is a Crafts Tutor at The Mount Camphill Community, teaching young adults with special needs a range of crafts including felt, wet on wet painting and basketry. Ali’s aim is to inspire independent creative discovery, resilience and craft skills. Community building and practical creative skills are common themes in her teaching practice, enabling her to work in a very inclusive, person centred way. She has great respect for the Steiner ethos and her teaching practice incorporates a mixture of anthroposophical, therapeutic and holistic approaches, which are constantly evolving

Ali graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art with a postgraduate in Theatre Design. After starting her family, she discovered the magical world of felt at an arts centre in Shoreditch called ‘Arts For All’. She had been searching for something relaxing and natural that she could create at home. Twelve years on, Ali focuses particularly on three-dimensional pieces and art garments, wall hangings or installation work, developing and experimenting with new 3d felting techniques. Ali is mainly inspired by the natural world with all its seasonal colours and forms. She is now studying part time to be an Arts Counsellor at Tobias school of Arts and Therapy and will complete her masters level training next year in 2017.

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Ali enjoys allowing the land and fibre to work though her. Exhibition opportunities in Canada during the summer of 2010 and 2013 enabled her to create a form or unfold a textural idea in response to her spiritual connection to the landscape. Through Ali’s experience of shamanic healing and her previous travels to Peru studying shamanism, her passion is to create a sacred space through felt making and textiles. Her intention is to enable her audience to step outside of time, re-connecting their souls and our ancestor’s cultural heritage. It is also to create a timeless space where people can sense the mystery and wonder of life. Threads of possibilities define an infinite dreamscape where healing and vision can occur.

 

Ali has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions internationally and locally, including The Moon Rain Centre, Canada, Brighton and London, UK. Inspired by the textile arts trail she participated in Canada during the summers of 2010 and 2013, she decided to bring this idea to Sussex Prairies .The Arts group ‘Elemental’ was established by Ali with the intention of working collectively as a group around a theme and for continuing traditional crafts techniques in a contemporary way. She has especially enjoyed developing her visual ideas around the archetype of the ‘Woman between the Worlds’ surrounded by the stunning and magical backdrop of Prairie Gardens.

Workshops at Sussex Prairies 2016
Workshop cost £65.plus £10 for materials
(If people booked all three of my felting workshops, it would be £175, for two workshops it would be £120 and for one it would be £65.)
The aims of this course are:
To develop technical skills associated with felt making.
To develop creative skills in translating personal ideas and designs into felt.
To introduce the work of other artists and designers working with felt.

Through this process, we will become familiar with examples of traditional felts and the work of contemporary artists and designers using felt in their work.
We will work predominantly with merino wool tops (loose wool fibres) but also incorporating other materials to create texture. Carding and blending of coloured fibres in preparation for the felting process is also demonstrated.
The techniques for felt making covered include: making flat felt, nuno and pre-felt ,wall hung and sculptural forms, needle felting.

Please pay the full amount via BACS to Mrs AJ Rabjohns: Acc no 50480355, Sort Code 20-36-16. Please state your name and ‘Sussex Prairies’ as a reference

Flat and Nuno Felting with simple natural dyeing techniques.

alirabjohnsNuno-2

Workshop cost £65.plus £10 for materials

30 July 2016. 10am – 2pm.

 

alirabjohns3d form-3

Felted Wild Flowers or sculptural hollow forms,

using resists, pebbles and 3d natural materials.

Workshop cost £65 Materials cost: £10. 6 August 2016. 10am – 2pm

alirabjohnsfairy workshop-3

Needle felted Deva’s, Goddesses and Fairies

13th August 2016. 10am – 2pm. Workshop cost £65 Materials cost: £5.
To secure your place, email Ali at i@feltgoodfeltfine.com.     tel 07528614747

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With a summer of wool and sheep ahead of us we are delighted to welcome our newest artist  to the fold : Mo Jackson :a felt maker extraordinaire !

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Mo’s Bio :

• BA Graphic Design/illustration
• Member of the International Feltmakers Association
• Member of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
• Member of the East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers

She has been a graphic designer and illustrator for twenty five years but textiles have always been her first love. Now she is pleased to say she is leaving behind the computer and getting back to a more hands on approach to her creativity. Her life is now about  designing and illustrating in wool!

What is Feltmaking ?

Feltmaking is a facinating process of taking unspun wool fibres, adding soap, water and elbow grease and making it into a non-woven material. It’s fun, therapeutic and totally addictive…I’m sure you’ll think so too.

Our Workshops with Mo :

Birds, Bees and Butterflies – Needle felting workshop- Saturday 8th June 2013 , 1pm -4pm

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Needle felting is a dry felting process which involves no sewing, instead it uses a special needle with notches. By prodding the needle into the wool fibres this makes the fibres knit together, allowing you to make any shape you like… a kind of moulding in wool. In this workshop we will be making a variety of birds, bees and butterflies. It’s easy and fun, come and give it a go!

Felted Art Workshop- Friday 16th August 2013: afternoon 1pm -4pm

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In this workshop you will be bonding wool fibres onto a fabric base, this is called ‘nuno felting’. Wool fibres are laid down on the fabric in the design of your creation. Warm water and soap are added. The wool and fabric are rolled in bubble wrap and aggitated back and forth untill they fuse togerther. The end result is your own felted fabric art. Come and set YOUR woolly creativity free.

Felted Flowers Workshop- Thursday 27th June 2013 afternoon 1pm -4pm

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Felted flowers can be as varied as the real thing. You will be guided step-by-step though the ‘wet felting’ process. Wool fibres are massaged together with soap and warm water to form the felted flowers. Come and be inspired by the garden and make a corsage for yourself or as a gift for a friend…if you can bear to give them away!

Felted Soap and Pebbles Workshop- Saturday 24th August 2013 afternoon 1pm -4pm

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Felting around objects is fun and very therapeutic. The felted soap is good to use as an exfoliator in the bath. It also shrinks with the soap! Bring your own bars of soap if you prefer. Felted pebbles are lovely tactile objects that can be used as paper weights or just to have as decoration on a table. Both are great to give as gifts. All materials provided.

To book any of the above courses all you need to do is contact us and we shall send you a booking form. Each session costs £25.. Why not come with your friends and family and have a fun afternoon making beautiful things !

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Ali Rabjohns has brought an amazing piece of felt to the garden. It can be seen as you enter the garden on the edge of the woodland. Tantalising seedpods hang from the tree as you approach the main work which is positioned next to a wonderful gnarled old oak tree.

It will be very interesting to see how the piece of felt is incorporated into the natural garden and landscape over time and how it weathers down through all the weather the British summer can throw at it.

To me , with apologies to TS Elliot , it really feels like I am “entering the whirlpool” between sky and sea. Tentacles of sea like anemones reach blindly for you as you spiral down into the depths of the vasty deeps. This is a totally tactile piece and you want to touch and explore the nodules and craters with your fingers and even rub your face against the woolly hide.

Why not come and explore it for yourself ? you can even meet some of our Shetland  sheep who contributed the wool which went into making the piece.

You can find out more about the artist at :

Ali Rabjohns,

Website : http://www.feltgoodfeltfine.com/indexhibit/index.php?/gallery/3d-work/

Email : i@feltgoodfeltfine.com Mob : 07528614747

Blog :http://feltgoodfeltfine.com/wordpress/

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Ali Rabjohns canada felt work

This summer we are joining with Evolution Arts & Natural Health from Brighton to bring many talented artists and crafts people to our garden  to join us for a series of inspirational workshops .

our workshop at Sussex Prairies with Ali

The weekend of 9th and 10th June we are looking forward to being joined by the extraordinary felt maker Ali Rabjohns for a two day workshop .She will also be exhibiting her felt works in the garden with us this summer.

Ali Rabjohns canada felt work

So who is Ali ?

Ali is passionately involved with examining ideas about human and spiritual connection with the universe, both within and beyond the human body. She is inspired by the natural world with all its seasonal colours and macro/micro forms and primarily uses the ancient art of felt making because it’s so versatile and therapeutic to do.

Ali rabjohns felt workshop

 What can she do ?
As an artist and a member of the International Feltmaker’s Association, Ali has many years experience in designing and making her own work as well as devising and delivering educational projects in a variety of settings, either individually, or as part of a team.
She runs creative felting workshops as an experienced community artist and tutor, teaching many diverse groups ranging from young adults to adults with special needs. Ali teaches a broad range of creative feltmaking skills , including nuno and flat felt , 3d forms and textural landscapes. Her aim is to inspire a love of discovery and creative exploration that will lead to confidence with a feeling of empowerment and peace. She’s a member of an artist group, Earth keepers – who focus specifically on public art projects and workshops that combine intuitive skills with a deep sense of unity, the earth and the community.

Ali Rabjohns felt

where can you find her work ?
Ali has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally and locally, including The Moon Rain Centre in Canada as well as London, U.K and regularly shows her work as part of The Brighton Festival. This summer she will be joining us here in the garden for a unique outdoor show.And how fitting that we also have our rare breed Shetland sheep who we can  also enjoy meeting over the two days  !

Ali Rabjohns Felt chandelier

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felt teapot

felt teapot

a tiny little bit about sewing in the garden… not the traditional sowing .. but sewing with needle and (as Paul calls it) fuzzy felts …

in the potager garden

in the potager garden

 I make my own cards when not running a global empire, and the peaceful spot of the ticket office over the weekend seemed the perfect spot to be creative… only with a howling gale blowing, felt, pins and needles to the four corners of the echinaceas I was one stitch short of a tapestry… but as an homage to the Flying saucers now flying with reckless abandon through the grasses brought by Ammonite man , Robin Johnson (of Driftwood fame)… I have designed some mad hatters tea party cards.. an exquisite collection of nonsense and wonder ! it is all very Alice in Wonderland! be ready and be a tiny bit afraid !

tea cup with star

star tea cup

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