CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

FELTING: Our New Favorite Thing

"J" is making this rabbit - this is the progress after two classes

Safety Rule: Keep your eyes on your work

Wow! I don't know why I resisted learning about felting over the last few years – it is magical!

Here's how you do it:
1. Have someone donate a GIANT bag of roving from the farm (thanks to “A's” mom for thinking we needed this!)
2. Have the bag sit around for 3 months while you ponder what to do with it
3. Suddenly think: “Hey, I know, maybe we should learn how to do that felting thing...
4. Order felting needles and drag out all those Styrofoam blocks another family donated (thanks for thinking we needed these!)
5. Look for a tutorial or two online to get a short jump on the students
6. Test it out a little - “how does this work anyway?”
7. Fall in love
8. Love Love Love
9. Learn the rest along side the students: make safety rules and share tips and innovations
10. Repeat 7-9 above, and invite other teachers in to try it too

We have a lot of roving...
New "pop-up" FELTING CENTER is born!

I borrowed the idea of "Play-Care" from Dr. John Crowe, Art Education Professor at Massachusetts College of Art & Design

It turns out, this experience is a perfect example of how the concept of “Play/Care” functions in the art studio. The idea is that artists need to PLAY (with ideas, materials, techniques, tools,) in order to EXPLORE & EXPERIMENT which leads to DISCOVERY. The artist can then utilize their discoveries and proceed on to CARE; when an artist works with INTENTION, PURPOSE and strives to improve their skill toward better CRAFTSMANSHIP.

Some first tries - Grade 5
Grade 8 - adding color for details. It's easy to make separate parts and then felt them together afterwards

Some 8th graders are making flat panels to turn into custom cell phone covers. One 5th grader is making a pouch to hold beans - a felted bean-bag. The rest of us are making figures and animals (mine's a camel!)