Introduction to feltmaking
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Course Code: VX353
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course is for beginners and those who wish to refresh and broaden their knowledge of the processes of making felt by hand. As well as covering essential felting skills you will be introduced to examples of traditional nomadic felts from Central Asia as well as the exciting contemporary uses of felt in fashion, interior design and sculpture.
What will we cover?
We will cover mark making and drawing with wool fibre, creating textural surfaces, making felt balls and cords. The course will also cover the magical felting technique of forming seamless 3D structures that can be used for bags, hats and sculptural objects.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Prepare and blend coloured wool fibres for felting
- Make samples of felt incorporating simple designs and mark making
- Create texture in the felt using a variety of threads and fibres
- Make felt balls and cords
- Use a resist technique to create seamless 3D structures
- Identify examples of traditional nomadic felts and contemporary work of artists and designers
- Talk about the history of felt and its use by contemporary artists and designers.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
Please look at the rest of the course outline carefully to decide if you may benefit from support in your English and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be hands on with demonstrations by the tutor, hand-outs, individual tuition and informal group discussions. There will be a presentation of felt designs from around the world. The use of a sketchbook to record your thoughts and develop your design ideas will be encouraged and basic research methods discussed. There will be recommendations for books and information on current exhibitions that you can visit in your own time. You will learn how to use tools, equipment, and materials safely in the workshop.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Basic materials will be provided but if you are working on a large-scale project you will be asked to
purchase wool fibres.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course is an excellent introduction to
VX972 Felt making: experimental 2D to 3D techniques
VX102 Constructed textiles with basketry and felt
VX317 Try it out: nuno felting.
Heather Belcher has exhibited her textile art widely in the UK and internationally. She completed a degree and post graduate degree in Textiles at Goldsmiths, University of London, before training as a soft furnisher, working with an interior design company for a number of years. Her textile art work is in a number of public collections including the Crafts Council and the Contemporary Textile Collection at Nottingham Castle Museum. Public commissions have responded to costume and dress making collections and incorporates hand made felt, knitting, print and dress-making processes. Heather has extensive experience of teaching adults in colleges and the art gallery context. She has also completed many residencies in schools and taught textile students at degree level.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.