Tag Archives: wall hanging

Felting with ‘Sense’

Over the last four months I have had the pleasure of working with Sense Jessica Evans (Sense Art Tutor). Sense is a natioanl voluntary organization that works with and supports people of all ages who are deafblind and / or have sensory impairments.

In August I delivered a drop-in activity at the annual Sense (West Midlands) summer gathering, held at Rowheath Pavillion, Bournville. This year’s theme was a 1950s Summer Rock ‘n’ Roll Tea Party,  a celebration event bringing together all the regions’ Sense clients, their carers, friends and family. The atmosphere was fantastic, music, dancing, and reuniting friends along with a display of home made cakes, biscuits and treats that was truly amazing and very delicious! Our drop-in activity involved making ’50s vinyl record inspired brooches and summer bunting.

In November I was invited to design a project to give Sense clients the opportunity to develop new skills, produce a wall piece to decorate The Garden Room, (Smethwick), and provide a future income generator to help fund the centers’ activities. Health & Social Care students from Stourbridge College joined us, combining their learning about working with people who have multi sensory restrictions and to experience occupational interactive sensory art activities.

A Tree of Life became our theme for a hand felted wall hanging. The tree was made as a bare trunk and branches so the wall hanging can be an ongoing interactive art work; decorated with additional work attached at later dates. The finished wall hanging is to be hung up, but also shared as an interactive multi-sensory table peice, to be handled by visitors to the centre who can enjoy it’s tactile nature. To achieve this is was important to include contrasting colours and highly tactile surface relief.

We did this by including shining glittery threads, Angelina fibres, differing textured yearns, varying depths of wool and smooth silk fibres. The group worked together to prepare and lay out the the wool and mixed the yarns and fibres, before wetting and felting the whole peice together.

As it was close to Senses’ Garden Room Christmas Fair, we also made textured felt pieces to be made into festive baubles for Christmas tree decorations. Future projects are planned using the new skills learnt, these will include making leaves and flowers, to decorate the wall hanging and to sell for fund raising as book marks and brooches.

I would like to thank everyone who participated during the project; Jessica, all the Sense clients & Stourbridge students, carers, friends and family – it wouldn’t have been possible with out you. You can find out more about Sense and donate towards their services by visiting www.sense.org.uk

 

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British Values in Screenprint

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In late May I was invited to visit Moreton Community School in Wolverhampton by Amy Draper (Head of Textiles), to work with some of their gifted and talented textiles students. The students from Years 8, 9 & 10 were to spend the day learning how to screenprint using dyes and developing work as part of piece representing British Values. 

The subject matter was certainly a challenging one, what are British Values? I really had to think carefully and investigate what are thought to be British Values today. I spoke with friends, my adult students and researched the governments recent papers on the subject – it certainly sparked some interesting debates!

We agreed to focus on creating symbols that represent the following values  – freedom of expression, community, democracy, tolerance, rule of law, respect and equality. Following a discussion on what these values meant to the group, they selected symbols to interpret in their own designs. These were drawn and stencils cut out to attach to their screens.

Then the messy bit began – no matter how hard you try when new to printing with dyes, it seems to find its way into your gloves, across the table and even onto your face!  We used white cotton pre soaked with soda ash and red & blue dyes to represent the Union Jack colours to continue the British theme. Some students decided to work with one colour, others printed with both and some even swapped screens with their fellow students to create their printed designs.

Once the prints were dried, bunting and figures were cut from the printed fabric to assembled into a collage. The group machine embroidered words, representing British Values, and the details of the figures onto the wall hanging, using the work of Laura McCafferty as their inspiration.

Everyone worked extremely hard during the workshop and I was very impressed with the students ideas & perseverance whilst working on a difficult subject and tricky medium. The group are still working on completing the final stage of the wall hanging during their lunch hours and hope to have it completed very soon. Amy has promised to send us a picture of the completed work – so photo to follow!

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