Over the spring, summer and autumn we’re sometimes going to the local outdoor markets in Bantry (Fridays) and Skibbereen (Saturdays). We started out doing both markets every week, but decided to only do the markets occasionally as we need to spend time to make all the stuff that people buy on-line and in other outlets.
Come and say hello and have a look at what’s freshly made and available on the day!
Jack joined us in May in 2021. Since then, both we and Jack have learnt a lot. He was 12 years old when we got him and he had been a single donkey all his life. Perhaps due to this, he is a very social donkey and enjoys long walks and conversations.
Part of our daily round is to call Jack, give him a couple of carrots and let him out for a walk-about. Jack normally greets us with a big “EEYORE” but so far he has refused to “speak” on camera.
We are currently training him to become a working donkey, pulling a cart or carrying bags to help us with our work on the land.
In the run-up to Midwinter we had the opportunity to offer some of our crafts to the public at the Deelish Garden Centre Xmas Craft Fair in Skibbereen. It’s a great venue for activities like this, also in COVID-times as we were under a roof but still outdoors. It was indeed very exciting to do a craft fair as we have been mostly working at home for the past two years.
We created an apiary to keep bees. From our bees we get both honey and wax. Honey is delicious and useful in our cooking and baking, or even medicinal. Wax we can use in a multitude of ways, for example for making candles, treat wood or textiles.
We only extracted about 5% of the honey in our hives this year, as it is the first year for this apiary and we want to increase the probability that our bees survive winter and thrive next year.
Nature’s Little Crafts is Tracey King and Mikael Fernström. We work with range of crafts and materials. Textile (wool, spinning, felting), Ceramics, Wood, Metal. We are inspired by nature and working with nature.
Workshops are held outdoors, in our Fairy Garden.
During Craft Month 2021 (August), we are offering one workshop every Thursday, 3 hours, from 12:00 noon to 15:00 (subject to weather conditions).
We started to work with ceramics too. The joy of making stuff from clay! So far, we’re making earthenware as our kiln works up to 1,100 degr. C Some of the pieces are hybrids, combining ceramics and wool – check out the pin cushions below.
Some pieces are hanging ornaments, while other pieces can be used as fridge magnets.
Wool comes from sheep, goats and possibly some other animals with soft and curly fur. It’s normally sheared (a haircut). The wool is then cleaned and washed, which is quite a lengthy and sometimes smelly process.
When the wool has dried, it’s either used as is, or dyed, preferably using natural dyes, for example, onion skins, elderberries or woad. The list of possible vegetable dyes is almost endless and there is always room for experimentation.
We then card the wool, which means straightening out the fibers to make them usable for spinning or felting.