Posted by: bschutzgruber | December 1, 2022

Sharing the Art of Making Art

Once again the Village Theater Gallery at Cherry Hill (Canton, MI) invited the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild to create a members exhibit. “Exploration in Fiber” ran the month of November. It was a great show filled with a wide range of the fiber arts.

I had 3 felt pieces in the exhibit:
Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Fire & Flood Summer 2022 and my Back-to-Back Jacket.

Besides a monthly exhibit the Village Theater Gallery also offers evening sessions presented by different artists so people in the community can try their hand at different ways of creating art.

When the guild exhibited last summer one of our members gave an introduction to weaving class and for this exhibit I offered to give a 2 1/2 hour introduction to wet felting class.

It took quite a bit of planning to organize materials for 17 participants. The trickiest thing was figuring out how to have easy access to water in a carpeted room with no sink or facet. The solution – use 1 liter bottles with sprinkler screw tops already filled with soapy water as well as few small Halloween Trick or Treat buckets (reduced to 20¢ each now that it’s November). I like to bring a broad color palette of wool fiber to work from plus a variety of felt items as examples to show the diversity of felt – from light weight flowing garments to thick rugs. Getting everything in my Yaris is a 3D game of Tetris!

Each participant was asked to bring a picture for inspiration. After an explanation of the how and why wool felts they were off!

I was very impressed with the wide range of images created – some were VERY abstract and others more detailed.

With 1 hour left – we moved onto wetting down the fibers and rolling…..rolling….rolling…rolling…rolling…rolling…rolling…

This is where the real work of felting (agitation) and patience come into play because nothing seems to be happening for the longest time, then suddenly it’s felted and is 30-40% smaller than it was at the start! As our time together was winding down I had everyone rinse their pieces and then ironed them. Everyone was amazed at how their pieces had changed from the dry layout start to the now felted end result and even again after ironing.

What a great evening of sharing the art of making art!

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