Felt Making Workshops in Schools

I have run many felt making workshops in primary schools throughout Cumbria and Lancashire, giving children the experience of translating their art into hand rolled felt. I work in schools with just one year group, a number of classes or the whole school. Each project is planned with the class teacher and design ideas are discussed. A project can be based on a particular subject which is being studied, or to a theme of your choice.

Recent workshops have included:

  • The fire of London
  • Self portraits
  • African animals
  • Cross sections of fruit, to tie in with a healthy eating project

I have also worked with schools to create larger wall hangings for the school or an exhibition, including The Motto Project, with Ghyllside School, Kendal, and Sea to Shore with Heron Hill School. The workshops are universally enjoyed and give all the children a strong sense of achievement when they see the final outcomes.

Felt making is a very creative and artistic process, which gives pupils the opportunity to explore new materials and translate a drawing into a new medium. It links with other areas of the curriculum, scientifically the process of felt making is a perfect example of irreversible change. For literacy the pupils are learning new vocabulary, following instructions and often follow up the workshop with writing activities. There are also plenty of counting opportunities when it comes to rolling the felt. It also relates to history as the children learn the origins of felt making, why it was one of the earliest textiles and how different cultures have used the fabric.

Within the workshops I discuss my work as a designer and maker, and the materials we are working with and how they will change during the felt making process. We will work with the highest quality merino fleece, which is soft on the skin, felts beautifully and is available in a fantastic range of colours.

Recently I have worked with Croftlands School, Ulverston, Newbarns School, Barrow, Sherwood School, Preston and Stanwix School, Carlisle. The projects often run as part of art week culminating in a finished piece of work for an exhibition or school display. My fee is £180/day + materials. I have public liability insurance and and a DRB check.

Quotes from some of the schools I have recently been working with:

“Gill has worked in our school several times with children from nursery through to Year 6. The children have immensely enjoyed working with this media and created stunning pieces of felt art work. Work has been linked to topics such as the weather and animals, the work of Monet, history with the Great Fire of London and geography, with lions faces linked to Africa. Each new piece is a delight to see. Gill has a lovely patient manner with the children and passes on her knowledge and experience in a clear, professional manner. It has been a pleasure to work along side Gill and we will be welcoming her back soon.”Kath Steele, Art co-ordinator, Newbarns Primary School.

“The felt making experience was a wonderful creative process facilitated by an extremely knowledgeable and well prepared expert. The way in which Gill carried out her lessons was very clear and accessible to all children, regardless of their ability and previous experience.   It also proved to be a fantastic opportunity to invite parents into school to work alongside their children and everyone was thrilled with the results. Listening to and following instructions, the learning of new subject specific vocabulary, opportunities to develop language and collaborative working are just a few of the skills learned and reinforced during the day” Dianne McMillan, Croflands Primary School.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss working with your school.

E: gillian.fergsuon1@btinternet.com