A very brief post today…… I'm busy working on my project with the Gaelscoil and unfortunately an essential connection to my modem has broken, NO Internet at home for a few days. Thanks Dawn for putting a message on Facebook saying I was out of cover, I've just logged in for a minute to upload this picture via a hotel's connection, cheeky! This gives a good idea of the scale of the wall hanging I and the pupils are working on, it's huge!!!
After I finished my new inventory list for Duckett's Grove this morning I felted a sample landscape prior to laying out the big wall hanging with the pupils in the Gaelscoil this week. I was a big concerned in case we had worked our prefelt too much, in fact everything came together nicely so I'm confident now that things will work out very well for the children.
This first collage shows both the front and back of my sample prior to felting. The design is very simple (I wanted to work out the shrinkage rate), drawing is definitely not my strong point but I think that the linen, silk and milk protein fibres I embellished it with help to bring the whole piece together. Because the prefelt has already started the fulling (shrinking) process we won't need to lay out the wall hanging much larger than we want the finished piece, it's going to be big enough anyway to roll and turn so any little help is gratefully accepted.
The second collage shows both sides during the felting process.
The final picture shows the front of the landscape after felting. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and the children this week that the big picture will come together as easily!
On Wednesday morning I had a very enjoyable session working with 20 fifth year Enniscorthy VEC students helping them complete their first flat felting project. My good friend Shaz is their regular art teacher and had invited me several weeks ago to speak about feltmaking and give a short demonstration explaining the process further. Because there is no funding for this type of activity at fifth year level parents contributed a small fee per student to cover my time and costs while I provided all the materials necessary for everyone to create a beautiful piece of flat felt to take home for themselves at the end of the morning.
Students with their beautiful felt pictures - please excuse the quality of my images today
This workshop was optional for the students and as a result everyone who attended wanted to be there although as always some people found the actual felting and fulling harder than initially anticipated!
I started the morning by asking everyone to choose just two main colours, less choice is MUCH simpler I find at the beginning and weighed out 60g Icelandic wool per person. They laid out the wool in several overlapping layers and when all the wool was used then came the fun part deciding what colours and fibres to use for the decorative top layer. Many of the students were quite adventurous with their selection enjoying a range of fibres including a coarse bamboo, silky corn, fluffy angora (from a friends bunny!), shiny acrylic yarn, painted sliver, merino and more Icelandic wool, there was also some silk chiffon and cotton muslin which a couple of the students choose. I was very impressed with how everyone concentrated on their own work and nobody seemed to copy their friends which sometimes happens when you get a large group working together. Quite a few of the students had started with the same two colour combinations but everyone was amazed at the end of the morning to see how totally unique each of the felt pictures ended up when finished! One of the students incorporated a lock of his own hair in his felt, a modern take on a Victorian idea?
Close up of various fibres and textures
Detail including human hair in the centre of the top right piece of felt