Monday, October 18, 2010

Wooly, Wet And Wild!!!! (or Wet felting workshop with 85 4th and 5th graders.)

Well, October 15 finally arrived and after several days of planning and kit making and more planing for every eventuality. I arrived at Fredericksburg Academy at 7:45am to set up the room. At 8:45 the fourth graders arrived all ready to go and get their hands into the roving and create felted collages!!! They were ready, I was pretty nervous! In the picture above you can see the lucky kids with their fabulous Art Teacher Ms Mirinda Reynolds. This was my third year working with Mirinda in the Visiting Artists Program and I will gladly return whenever I am asked!!

This is a small sampling of the glorious wool roving that we purchased in Scrap Bag pound portions from Blue Goose Glen Farm in Western Pennsylvania. They have a fabulous farm and thriving wool business and offer outstanding customer service and an awesome supply of wool products ( as well as bamboo, tencel, mohair and alpaca fibers) for spinniers, felters and fiber artists! You can check them out here!
Here we have two young men laying down their first layers of their fiber collage.

All the students were able to pick thier own kits. Each kit had a neutral wool hunk for base felt and several colors of bright roving for the top layers. I also included several colors of wool yarn, some colorful synthetic ribbon yarns and some plastic mesh vegetable bag bits and gold mesh. I added these last bits so we could see how the wool fibers could trap non wool materials. those bits also served to add texture sparkle and added textural interest.

Yes that would me, holding up one students layering of wool to show how even the layout of the fibers needed to be to support the felted sheet.

After the wetting and rolling process , we sent the kids outside to the breezeway with their felted collages in their labeled zip lock bags. We had the kids throw their pieces against the wall as hard as they could to help shock the fibers into place. Needless to say, this was a highlight of the process for some and great fun for all!!

The kids then left the collages with us in their name labeled bags and we spread them out on open shelving to dry over the weekend.
We all had a great time and I am really looking forward to returning to the school to work with one of the 5th grade classes to use up the remaining roving. We plan to make wall hangings that the kids will donate to the annual fundraising auction to raise money fro specail school projects- the Visiting Artistis Program for example!!!
now I will give you a chance to look at some of fabulous creations that these wonderful kids created in their whirlwind one hour adventure in Wet Wool Felting!!!
(Mind you, this is only a very small sampling of the fabulous work)

Some pieces were very balanced and precisely laid out.

Others were fabulous abstract creations showing a wonderful eye for color and design.

This artist obviously had a plan and executed it beautifully!

Doesn't this post inspire you to go and have a good messy play with some color? It certainly inspired me, I have been fiddling with wool ever since I got home last Friday!! More about that in another post!


Lisa said...

great idea and lots of creativity in those works! bet there were no artist blocks that day! looks like such fun!

Peggy Beck said...

So much fun. Took a course this summer in wet felting and it was awesome. Just the feel of the slippery fibers and warm water. Looks like the kids had a blast and you had no reason to be nervous.

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Lucky students to have you as guest artist once again! I bet they loved making their felted pieces- and they look wonderful!

dosfishes said...

I love the fearlessness of kids and what they an create. Wonderful workshop. 85 kids is a big group, you are fearless. xox Corrine

Jackie said...

You were very brave to take on 85 children. All at the same time?
Lucky kids, they obviously enjoyed it tremendously.
But I think you enjoyed it more!

Anna said...

Ive said it before and I will say it again. You are a brave (and talented of course) woman!

Diana Trout {} said...

Oh that looks like you had a fabulous day, E. Working with kids is the best! I loved the shot of them beating theeir wool. Happy making fabric collages, the kids must have felt very good about that.


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