Friday, July 22, 2011

Feltmaking in Primary School - Educate Together National School

Here is some info about a project held in Educate Together National School in June 2011. 

I was working around the idea of a feltmaking workshop that would incorporate and emphasize a multicultural and multi-ethnic character of Irish society.

So, what first came up to my mind, although very cliche it may be, was the idea of a patchwork style felt wall hanging, that would be made up from flags created in felt by the pupils.

I was just not entirely sure whether placing one flag next to another would create a necessary impact so I got inspired by the school logo:

I came up with the idea of hands. These shapes would be cut out from flags pre-felted by children, to be subsequently felted by myself into a large pre-felt backing.
Here piles of cut out flags:

It took a while to felt the whole piece together, since some hands were quite thick and I had to tear some of the wool from the back of the cut outs. Please excuse my messy kitchen.

A big celebration took place in front of the school.  Each class worked on a different art project. The 5th and 6th class that I was working with showed the wall hanging as the last ones. People seemed to love it!

I must say I felt very humble having to stand next to what we did together over those 4 busy weeks.

The group I had for the project was large, up to 27 students at once. But they were such a bunch of lovely people and so well organised  and we worked together so well. Enough to say that I will be returning in September, with a specially designed masterclass course for a selected, small group of super gifted pupils from the school! Looking forward to it!

I dyed the wool myself and brought it to the classroom together with some sushi mats, sprinklers and plastic resists. Next time I should have more oil cloth to cover the tables cause everything was leaking and we had great fun/trouble in  cleaning the classroom afterward.

And the last image is just a simple farewell to the wall hanging as it gets dry and straightened. Magic.


Kinga said...

I like colors of yours works - they are fabulous!!! Greetings from Poland! :-)

Michelle said...

Working with kids is great, they all looked they had a fabulous time and what a great piece they produced. They must have been really proud. Good to see feltmaking in schools.

Angelika Geißler said...

I love working with kids and it always surprises me how much they love wool to work with. The sensitivity, the colors, the process of changing texture and surface... Wonderful work you have done here. Congratulations. Angelika from Bavaria in Germany