I had a great time last week visiting the Evergreen Independent School. I spent a full day there, working with one of the parents, Andrea, teaching 76 children how to make felt. Oh ya!It was a little wild and a little exhilarating! We had the day very well planned, with the classes organized to come in a staggered time frame. So while one of us was starting instruction and layout with one group, the other was working on finishing the felting with another. There was also enough flexibility built into the day that we could accommodate the different needs of each group, and have a few breathing moments ourselves!
Andrea, stretching out the youngest children's felt to dry.
Everyone started with a piece of white wool batting and built up their picture, and layers on top. This was one child's picture- a robins nest with egg. How beautifully simple, and inspired by the season.
And a sun setting in the forest.We harnessed the energy of some the boys to do a group rolling! Each group had different needs, in terms of time for each step of the process, help with design choices and execution of the felting methods. There are so many ways to make felt- it was great to be able to pick and chose to best fit the group for age, dynamic and energy!
One class working their felts on the work surface. They are so sweet! Isn't that just a heartwarming image of children, happily engaged in creating?
Our discussions led us into the history and geography of feltmaking, which some of the teachers were going to build upon in upcoming lessons through the week. Some of the teachers also had the chance to make their own felt.
One class almost entirely decided to make their felts for a loved one. One was for a boy's Mother, who had been away from home for a few days, and he wanted to make something for her for when she returned. Another made a heart for a Mother's Day present; one felt became a gift for Grandfather. Not only creative, but so generous!
The older children were ispired to create masks. It would have been so good, with everyone, to be able to come back and work with their felts as a canvas for another project. To change, add and embellish. With this class, it would be so fun to put these masks on and create a story based around them.
Some of these are upside down- so they may be hard to make out. To work with 76 children in one day, we had to really keep track of time and put all our attention into the making, and not the photographing! I wish my pictures showed off their work in it's true beauty!
A great spider weaving a web of woolly colour!
This day was designed as a basic introduction to felt making. Most of the students had never made felt before, and those that had, had mostly experienced needle felting. It was such a satisfying day...our best laid plans paid off, and everyone finished and enjoyed the process. More time is always a good thing, but this worked well as an introduction. I'm hoping to have the opportunity to come back and work with the Evergreen School again- this time making a large wall tapestry for the school, made by all the hands of the children and their teachers.
Thank you Evergreen, all of your students and staff, for having us at your school! It truly was a wonderful day!