A quick post for you on the recent Irish Basket makers AGM which was held in May 2015 at the wonderful Caravantasia in Tipperary.
Tom and Heather were our lovely hosts who run an Eco- conference centre and small farm. They have some beautifully restored vintage caravans for hire, a camp site and all mod cons were on site in little chalets, luxury showers and camp kitchen all decorated in the most exquisite taste (unlike most camping experiences) Also on the grounds is an ancient ring fort circled by a rising spring, filled with flowering primula and old blackthorn trees, in the very centre is an active badger set.. It’s a really enchanting and magical setting.
We all assembled and greeted on the Saturday with a Skill Share Day in the Green House, there were Celtic knots, traditional straw bee skeps, underfoot bases, twisted handles and hex weaves being shown and learned. A real hive of creativity and fun. Then after a lovely evening meal provided by our host Heather (and cheese cake to die for!!! recipe please..) we all chatted and relaxed by the blazing stove before retiring to our caravans, tents and campervans..
On the Sunday the Agm was held and was attended by even more Irish Basket makers who had travelled from all the corners of Ireland. All in all, it was another wonderful weekend spent with such creative inspiring folk who share their skills and love of basketry with all in another fabulous location… Thanks Heather and Tom for really looking after us and i am sure we’ll be back again…
Remember folks…Its only €20 to become a member of the IBA for a whole year and you get Newsletters throughout the year and invitations to attend the Skill share days and the organised Workshops.. If your a basket case like me its so worthwhile.. Contact Brendan Farren for membership details at firstname.lastname@example.org
What a busy summer, i’ve been really slack at the blogging and website updating…ooooppps, .. but i’m back after a fabulous time enjoying the sun and the shows…even visited the amazing Vallabregues basketry festival in the south of France…!!! i’m such a basketry geek..ha ha
Well at long last i am ready to organise the basketry workshops that everyone seems to be waiting on…sorry for the delay… but keep watching this space as i as some dates coming up shortly, just as soon as the hall is confirmed…if anyone is looking for a group booking for their own venue let me know on the usual number 087 6573441…xxx
What a load!! wish i could carry that many.
What a lovely day was had by all, weather was kind and families came out in their droves, and for very good reason, because the standard of the crafts and skills on display were incredible. They had two working forges in action as Blacksmiths showed their talent and trade. The farm’s venison has to be the best i have ever tasted. If you have never been to this event, then definately put it into your diary. Myself and Michelle worked away to crowds of very interested families and we both had a great show. Thanks to everyone who supported us and i hope to see you there again next year.
I thought i might add in a few of the beautiful photos that were taken of myself and Michelle in the publicity run up to the Millstreet Crafts and Blacksmithing Fair on the May bank holiday weekend. I must admit that i had a thumping hangover that morning and was not a happy bunny being dragged out of bed for a morning of posing for a camera ( which in all honesty i don’t like at the best of times). Like most people i rarely look at the lense and i i hate seeing myself in any pictures, but i must admit, that i quite like these, i think its because of the lovely setting.
What a wonderful start to 2013, I have now held several Beginners workshops with more to come, there seems to be so much interest in this lovely craft i think Basketry in Ireland could well be having a little revival. On Saturday 26th Jan i taught a lovely group who all made fabulous pieces and we laughed right through the 4 hr workshop. A wonderful way to learn anything, not how i remember my school days, unfortunately. Maybe i would have learned much more had it have been that way.
Any way, with Imbolc and spring just on the horizon, i will be holding a weekend of weaving and celebration in Kinsale (see events for info). We will be making brigid crosses as well as weaving baskets, there will also be a spring blessing and small celebration to welcome on the sun and sap rising. There may well be a little song and drink on the saturday evening to keep the spirits high and in tune for this lovely time of new beginnings and awakenings. Places are now very limited so get in touch quickly if you are interested in joining us. No need to dispair though, as i will be doing more. Pencilled into the diary is another 4hr workshop in Lyre on Feb 16th from 1-5, i will post more info details into events when i have them.
Blessings to all and happy Imbolc.
Held in the entrance to the Cashel Palace Hotel this wonderful event was a real treasure, the quality of crafts and foods available were outstanding, also the same could be said for the organisers who ran around putting it all together. I was put along side a truly gifted wood turner, whose demonstrations and products were outstanding, and a lovely guy too. I wove away during the day, accompanied by some incredible live music and shows on the stage beside me. The people in Cashel are welcoming and supportive and the clientele were just lovely to talk too. A lady at the show was describing an egg basket she owned, very old design, small and oval, i was intrigued and would love to see a picture of it, if she remembers to send a photo too me, i will try to make it and put it up on the site.
Thank you to Jo and her crew and all the people in Cashel for a lovely day. I would highly recommend this event to anyone for a full packed, fun day out for every family in a beautiful venue. I hope to return to Cashel again very soon.
Well after a fairly long drive on a sunny frosty morning, myself and Michelle (the lady with the spinning wheel) made it up to Port Laoise for a Lovely Craft Fair inside the town. We were delighted to be the star’s of the show as we spun and wove away for the day. The people there were about the most supportive we have ever come across, we were treated to free coffee to warm us up by the local businesses and all the other wonderful crafters were a pleasure to work beside. Thank you all for your wonderful hospitality.
I was delighted and somewhat scared to meet Martin Sinnott, a basketmaker from the area with 5 generations of skill behind him and his lovely daughter, I must admit i felt in the presence of greatness, but his warm manner made me feel quite at ease. He even praised my work and gave me some wonderful tips and techniques. I hope i am able to meet him again, maybe at the IBA agm, I am sure i could learn a lot from him and would be delighted to be in his company again.
Thanks again to all in Port Laoise for a wonderful day to remember.
These lovely ladies from Millstreet Knitting Club had a wonderful afternoon learning beginners basketry at The Secret Garden, Newmarket. They each made beautiful flowers and the reference to different stitches/ weaves was often used. We all laughed and talked a lot followed by fabulous cakes and tea in the on site cafe. This is one a few adult education workshops i have ran with Cork VEC.