Peterbrook Primary School, Solihull invited me to work with them, using a C20th artist as the theme, during their 2015 Summer Arts Week. With Years 5, 3, 2 and 1 we choose Matisse’s cut out period as the inspiration to create collaborative group felt wall hangings.
Each year group worked to recreate one of the following Matisse work; The Snail, The Composition Les Velours, Les Figures and Polinesa The Sky. In each group individuals worked on different sections of their wall hanging, emulating Matisse’s cut out method of working, using pre-felt instead of paper. The elements of leaves, shapes, figures and birds were cut out of the pre-felted wool by the children, with the aid of templates, and then arranged on colour blocks of prefelt.
Once the groups agreed about the layout of their wall hanging, the fun began, spraying warm soapy water over their work, much to everyone’s surprise! All hands went on deck, rubbing their work to adhere the cut out felt to the background. Team work was then needed, as each class group divided into smaller teams to start rolling the wet prefelt, and begin the fulling process.
Throughout the sessions each group learnt about the artist Henri Matisse, his work, the processes he used and discussed the period in which he lived comparing it to today. Everyone also learnt about the materials they were using and how the process worked to create a fully felted finished piece.
I would like to express a heart felt thanks to all the students and teachers at Peterbrook Primary School, who made me feel so welcome and for working so hard to create their wonderful wall hangings. Thank you also to Adele Deane of Workshops for Schools for making this event happen and giving me the opportunity to work together.
After the Arts Week I was delighted to hear such positive feedback from the school about the event. “I started work yesterday afternoon and can’t tell you the amount of positive feedback and praise I received about Emma and the felt workshops as soon as I got in! All year groups absolutely loved it and thought she was fantastic at organizing the children and explaining the process so clearly and all in an interesting manner.” Liz Thorne (Headteacher)