Adult Workshops

Workshops

At Spinning Yarns we will be offering a variety of different workshops where you can learn new skills & meet like-minded creative people.  Choose from a range of 1/2 day sessions led by experienced tutors or try out all sorts of ‘taster’ opportunities and leave with your own wool or linen creation as a lovely quirky memory of your visit to Spinning Yarns.

Workshops, taster sessions and demonstrations are provided by Kathleen’s Attic. Madeline McGreevy, the creative director, focuses on bringing traditional crafts to the public at events and for smaller community groups. Her and her team have many years of experience of craft and working in a variety of education and community settings with all ages and abilities of people.

See our workshops programme below, places will fill up quickly so book early to avoid disappointment!

For Workshop bookings
Call Antrim Castle Gardens 028 9448 1338.
Book online: antrim.ticketsolve.com
All workshops are £35 per person (£31.50 concession). 
This includes entrance to the festival.
All materials are included.

Botanical Printing on Irish Linen
Tutor: Ruth Osbourne
10am – 1pm
Participants: max 8 people

Drawing inspiration from the natural world participants will experiment with hand painting and printing techniques using natural plant materials, collage and colour to create their own artwork on Irish linen. The significance of linen and the folklore surrounding the plant materials used in the workshop will be discussed as part of the process. All materials will be provided including a frame to mount and display the artwork.

Ruth has a BA in History of Art and Drama, MLitt in Museum Studies and a Level 3 Award in Education and Training. She works as a freelance artist running arts and crafts workshops and creating, selling and exhibiting her own work alongside working as a museum Learning and Engagement Manager. For over 10 years Ruth has worked in the museum, arts and heritage sectors in community and education roles. This has involved working with a variety of different groups with varying ages, needs and abilities and designing and delivering creative learning workshops that involve arts and crafts activities.

Crochet Jar Sleeve
Tutor: Hannah Ferguson
10am – 1pm 
Participants: max 8 people

Crocheted fabric first appeared in Europe during the 19th century. When Ireland was facing the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849), crochet lace work was introduced as a form of famine relief.  The production of crocheted lace being an alternative way of making money for impoverished workers. If you would like to learn more about this craft join our tutor to learn some basic stitches. You will then create a sleeve which can be used on a storage jar to decorate your kitchen or craft room or, to keep your coffee warm while you are ‘on the go’.

Hannah is a multi-disciplinary artist working in textiles, print and paint. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, Scotland she has spent 10 years working with children and adults in formal education, museum and community settings. Her passion lies in helping groups to combine traditional and contemporary art practices. Since 2014 she has delivered ‘Aspire’, a children’s project through East Belfast Mission which helps children build positivity and self-belief through art.  In 2015 she completed a Masters in Community Development to further her experience in this area of work.

Goldwork on Linen
Tutor: Heather Harrison
2pm – 5pm
Participants: max 8 people

Goldwork is a form of embroidery using metal threads. The majority of which is a form of laid work or couching; that is, the gold threads are held onto the surface of the fabric by a second thread which are cut off or pulled through to the back of the embroidery and carefully secured with the couching thread. Join us to learn how to create this unique form of traditional embroidery and hear more about its origins.

Heather is a qualified Art and Design teacher. Throughout her career, she has taught students art at both primary and secondary levels. For over 30 years she facilitated a wide range of adult classes throughout Northern Ireland including painting, a variety of textile crafts including goldwork, drawn threadwork, embroidery and whitework. She is one of the adult class textile tutors for the Ulster Folk Museum.

Felt Jewellery
Tutor: Mandy Jackson
2pm – 5pm
Participants: max 8 people

Join Mandy and learn how to create various styles of felt beads. We will decorate the felt beads with hand stitching, needle felting and beads before stringing together to make a necklace or bracelet.

Mandy holds a BA Hons in Fine Craft design (Textiles) and a Level 4 Award in Teaching Adults in the lifelong Sector. Mandy favours working in felt, combining print making and hand embroidery. She has experience facilitating adult art and felt-making workshops in community settings, coordinated art workshops for Edinburgh Fringe Festival events and has been a member of Feltmakers North for over five years taking felt-ins at various monthly meetings and exhibiting her textile work at group exhibitions.

Rag Rug Flower Hoop
Tutor: Jenny Haslett
10am – 1pm
Participants: max 8 people

Spend the morning learning how to recycle wool based fabric into flowers using a rag rug technique. The flowers will then be placed on an embroidery hoop for display in your home.

Jenny holds a BA Hons Fine Art. She has 7 years’ experience as an educator in museums including the Ulster Folk Museum where she teaches traditional crafts such as rag-rug, prodded rug, embroidery, sewing and art. She is the manager of the Northern Ireland War Memorial and co-ordinates and leads an adult craft programme of war related workshops such as ‘Make Do and Mend’ and wartime cookery.  She completed a MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies in 2012.

Wet Felt Bowl  
Tutor: Mandy Jackson
10am – 1pm 
Participants: max 8 people

Using a wet felting technique you will learn how to use a resist to create a bowl. Mandy will bring along some samples of her work to look at and if time permits we will start to embellish the bowls with beads and hand stitching.

Mandy holds a BA Hons in Fine Craft design (Textiles) and a Level 4 Award in Teaching Adults in the lifelong Sector. Mandy favours working in felt, combining print making and hand embroidery. She has experience facilitating adult art and felt-making workshops in community settings, coordinated art workshops for Edinburgh Fringe Festival events and has been a member of Feltmakers North for over five years taking felt-ins at various monthly meetings and exhibiting her textile work at group exhibitions.

Dorset Buttons
Tutor: Merle Osborne
2pm – 5pm
Participants: max 8 people

Before the onset of manufactured buttons people made their own. Spend the afternoon learning how to use wool and beads to make Dorset buttons. You will hear about its history and be shown examples of other techniques to decorate your button ring using hand spun naturally dyed yarns. Your finished buttons can be taken home and used to create a necklace, bracelet or even a small picture.

Merle has been a member of the Ulster Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers since the 1980s and since 2003 has worked at the Ulster Folk Museum as a Visitor Guide giving spinning demonstrations and workshop tuition in Spindle Spinning, Crois Weaving and Dorset Button Making. She specialises in wool spinning and natural dyeing.

Embroidery on Linen
Tutor: Heather Harrison
2pm – 5pm 
Participants: max 8 people

Using examples from the 1800s to inspire creativity, participants will be able to replicate stitches based on this hand crafted embroidery. Our tutor will teach the class how to use a variety of traditional stitches on an original, ready prepared design which will be worked on a background of linen.

Heather is a qualified Art and Design teacher. Throughout her career, she has taught students art at both primary and secondary levels. For over 30 years she facilitated a wide range of adult classes throughout Northern Ireland including painting, a variety of textile crafts including goldwork, drawn threadwork, embroidery and whitework. She is one of the adult class textile tutors for the Ulster Folk Museum.

Try me’ Workshops (each lasting 15-20mins)

(Each tutor will share information in an informal way regarding the history of the craft)

All booked workshops and craft activities in the Taster Tent are provided by Kathleen’s Attic. Madeline McGreevy, the creative director, focuses on bringing traditional crafts to the public at events and for smaller community groups. Her and her team have many years of experience of craft and working in a variety of education and community settings with all ages and abilities of people.

Punch needle embroidery

Learn to use a punch needle tool to make a beautifully textured piece which can be turned into a brooch, used for jewellery or as an embellishment. Punch needle is a cross between embroidery and rag rug latch hooking and using wool people will create a small design with loopy, shaggy stitches.

Pom Pom Cupcakes

All ages will be able use wool to create a pom pom which will be attached to a card cupcake base and embellished with sequins.

Fabric Brooches

Using wool based fabrics participants will cut shapes and layer these to create a brooch or embellishment to be attached to a hairband or hairclip. A button will be sewn on to finish the brooch.

Braided Dolls

All ages and abilities of people can make these fun dolls out of various types of fun wool. A simple version involves no plaiting of the arms and legs. A boy and girl version can be made (the girl has the wool left loose to form a skirt). Ribbon will be attached to the neck/wrist area for added decoration. This is a good intergenerational activity which teaches the skill of plaiting.

Vintage fabric pin cushions

Linking to the previous cupcake theme, and using locally sourced vintage embroidered fabric, participants will use the embroidered element of the fabric to create a pin cushion. This will be attached to a cup-case for stability. This activity allows vintage fabric to be recycled and reused in a new format.

All booked demonstrations are provided by Kathleen’s Attic. Madeline McGreevy, the creative director, focuses on bringing traditional crafts to the public at events and for smaller community groups. Her and her team have many years of experience of craft and working in a variety of education and community settings with all ages and abilities of people.

From Flax to Linen: using samples of flax at its various stages of processing our tutor will provide an overview of linen production in Ulster from the early 1800s to the present day. Using photographs and raw materials she will describe how each stage of production was achieved. Examples of linen fabrics and finished goods will be available to view.

From Fleece to Fabric: Fleece will be available at various stages in the wool process to enable our tutor to tell the story of how this gets from the sheep through procedures such as scouring, carding, combing, spinning and dyeing. The public will be able to watch the carding and spinning elements of the process.

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