Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wild and Wooly

Things have been amazingly busy in my world. Mostly Felt making things. Not much to show as it was a lot of teaching and large group projects.

Last week I did a mini workshop with the children in my daughters class at school. 24 kiddies aged in the 7-8 year old bracket. They are studying fabrics and textures. DD's teacher has noticed her sporting lots of felt and knitted things in school and asked if I would be willing to teach them how.

I agreed and with a month to prepare, I left it until the last week or so. Most of the fibre was donated from junk stuff that was nearly felted from being in the bottom of a bag. Almost unusable... Almost. One run through the drum carder and we have soft fluffy bats that are ready to use. After consideration of what type of project to do in 80 minutes time, I asked the teacher what her thoughts were on it. Large piece to keep at school or small individuals to take home. She opted for the take home things. It's hard to keep something hanging around after the children have moved on to the next grade. Wise choice.

I made things simple. Foam rollers, Bubble wrap all the same size, approx. 8x8 piece of fibre chosen for them by my glamorous assistant Sheila, bits of yarn and coloured fibre for each table to share and 1 large milk jug per table with warm soapy water. Seemed well planned with minimal room for spatting. You never know, but I was amazed how well they shared the assortment of fibre.

I did a brief demo, making them count as I rolled each side 50 times. Get them involved 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. While rolling, I gave them the history of Felt, asking questions all along about what types of things could be made from wool. The answers are hysterically funny! Love that age! Roll on. Now it was their turn and with minimal repeating we set to work. You could hear the counting!

Periodically we would take a break to check the work and move on to the next step. Squishing the prefelted pieces, quickens the process and gets their grubby hands really clean. Love that!
Then the rinse and very pleased faces! I was astounded at the great work they did and the artistic designs that were created.

We all had a really fun time and a big thanks to Sheila, DD's teacher and class helper. Good to have extra hands to guide each table.

1 comment:

Dana said...

I love the pieces from your felting workshop. I had a needle felting workshop for adults in February. They had a ball! I would love to do the welt felting next. Your students did a wonderful job as did you.