Friday, November 15

Arts & Crafts, Part One

I've had an amazing opportunity lately to be a part of a local artist-run cultural centre as an intern for the school year. Part of my responsibilities as a programming assistant is putting together a hands-on free workshop for January. I racked my brain trying to think of ideas. I wanted something that would be appealing to a wide range of people - art students, and anyone else. I also wanted to do something a bit unique. There have been some amazing workshops over the last couple of years at the space, and I wanted mine to be amazing among them. I decided on needle felting. It's a process that can yield two- or three dimensional projects, and can result in really "crafty" looking results, but also more "fine art" applications, depending on how the artist approaches their work. 

I was first introduced to felting in 2005 when I was studying textiles in London (Ontario). The process uses wool fibres and a special needle which pulls the fibres together to fuse them. As research for the workshop, I've decided to work on a few projects over the next few weeks to use as examples. The first was directly taken from this post on A Beautiful Mess, aptly titled "Needle Felting 101". 

I scaled the DIY down from a blanket to a scarf (no way doI have time to needle felt an entire blanket right now) and I decided to go with simple black-on-white for my Swiss cross pattern. 

In this first image, you can see my stencil laid on the white wool scarf, and the tufts of black wool on top, ready to be pressed in with the needle. 

This cross is about three quarters of the way felted. It's still a little puffy, but it's getting there. Each cross takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete, and the cross pattern is three inches long.

It's getting there! This project is perfect to work on while watching tv. I'm still only about halfway done, but I hope to finish it over the next few days so I can get to work on some three-dimensional projects. 

That's all for now. I really hope to get to some more art shows over the next week or two, particularly David Bowie Is at the AGO and David Cronenberg at the gallery at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.