Visual Artist Jane Groves with Ms Martins first Class
session 7…. Ms Martin and myself decided that today the children would love to work individually so we decided to introduce them to felt making. The children gathered round and I told them a story about felt (early man with sweaty feet and Mongolian horsemen with friction bums!) and explained the basic recipe for turning unspun wool into such a useful and robust material, the key ingredients being heat, water and friction. I had bought in some semi felted sheets to work on as it is sometimes difficult for small children to keep up the friction to bind large amounts of fibres together and we drew on our previous weeks of nature imagery as inspiration
The children selected the coloured fibres they were attracted to and the sheets were layered with fine wool, I described them as a network of cobwebs.pictures were created on sheets of bubble wrap sprayed with warm soapy water and then ‘put to bed’ inside the bubblewrap and sprayed again so that the children could easily rub their knuckles or the rollers I had had bought with me to help small hands.we played music as they worked.
Its hard work this felt making, so Id bought in some Sushi mats with me to break up the ways of creating friction. The children worked really well and when they’d run out of elbow grease dunked their felt into hot water to ‘shock it’ ( many thanks to Aideen!) the water and soap were squeezed out
It was great to see the children learn a new methodology and to see them taking such pride in what they had created.