I was so fortunate the other day to have had such a wonderful teaching experience.
I taught a How To Felt Class to a group of 14 of the most well behaved and wonderful home school children-ever. Their ages ranged from 4 -12. Even some their moms got down and wet.
The class was taught at The Folk Art Center in Asheville NC. and is part of a new outreach program that The Southern Highland Guild is initiating in order to give Hands On Craft Workshops to school children and community groups.
The class started with showing the children a fleece from one of my own shetland sheep – Jordan. I encouraged them to touch it and make observations about it. The words, oily, soft and fluffy were noted. We moved around the tables to see some of my felted clothing and accessories again encouraging the kids to touch and feel the difference between the different felts. They noted there were differences in softness and hardness of the felt. A photo of a felt covered nomadic dwelling was also included.
Next I showed them some options of what they could do with their finished piece, but this group will be coming up with their own great ideas, I am sure.
Now, on to the project. The tables were set up before the class with a bags of supplies for each student. They had 3 colors of merino wool in front of them . (They did get an opportunity to trade wool if they hated their colors.)
Next I demonstrated the first steps that we do. Everyone was so attentive, polite and eager to learn. We went step by step with demonstrations and tons of individual attention.
We dove right in and began to lay our first layer of wool, “wisp” (or so) by “wisp”. I wasn’t quite sure what the layers would look like, but it all worked just fine.
When most were finished with their first layer we moved onto our next layer of wool. I was very busy hopping from one child to the next helping them with their wool and pulls.
Everyone was thoroughly concentrating on the process and engrossed.
Next we moved on to wetting the wool.
Finally, the best was yet to come- adding our embellishments. I supplied many choices of yarns and some glitz, and we learned how to use “wool glue” to keep our decorations in place. Now we were ready for the felting and fulling, but I seem not to have photos of that, sorry.
The class ran for about one and a half hours. We finished up with a great finale, a bunch of Happy Campers and hopefully a new group of felters.
The class was fantastic! At the end, I admitted to the group it was my first time teaching kids to felt and thanked them for such a great experience. I told them they have given me the courage to do it again and LOOK FORWARD TO IT.
I want to thank Deb Schillo from the Guild for her invaluable assistance in the class in all ways, and thank the moms who participated and helped. I hoped everyone learned something. Who knows may be a new Felter has been born.