Monday, 24 November 2014

Felting Fun

Happy Felt Heart

I had a lovely time last week working a in a local primary school doing a felt making workshop. I knew one of the teaching assistants from doing craft fairs together and she had kindly recommended me to the teacher who had expressed an interest in doing felt making with Key Stage 1.

Laying out white fleece for the base

Laying out white fleece for the base

Starting to add colour

The class I was working with (Years 1 and 2) were great, they were really enthusiastic and had some great ideas. They also picked up the techniques very well and adapted them to suit their individual designs.

Laying out the designs

This one is a slime trap!

Laying out the designs

It was interesting seeing the varying approaches and range of designs that the class came up with. Some of the pieces were very pictorial with an impressive level of detail, others focused more on colour and combinations of colours whilst others still were clearly more interested in the feel of the material and the process rather than the aesthetics.

Rubbing the pictures to start the felting

Rolling the pictures in bamboo mats

We began by laying out three layers of white fleece as a base, on top of this the children used different coloured fleece to make their designs. I also brought some sparkly fibres for them to work with which were very popular! When all the designs were laid out we covered them with net and added hot soapy water and began to felt them by gently rubbing the pictures with our fingertips through the net. When the pieces had started to felt we rolled them up in bamboo mats and worked in teams to roll them back and forth. The friction caused by the rolling combined with the hot water and soap causes the fibres to mesh together thus creating a solid, strong fabric we know as felt.

Some of the finished felt pictures

Some of the finished felt pictures

Some of the finished felt pictures

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