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.