It really is amazing what can be achieved with wool fibres soap, water, rubbing and some creativity.
I was really delighted to be asked to run two Sculptural Feltmaking days at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. These were outreach sessions relating to the exhibition; “POP”. "POP" is a retrospective of acclaimed artist Jann Haworth’s work.
Jann grew up familiar with film sets as her father, Ted Haworth was an Oscar winning Hollywood Art Director. Her sculptures are wonderful a celebration of life, fun, family and friends. She trained as a fine artist and has also illustrated many books but it is her soft sculptures especially which show the influence of her childhood familiarity with film sets.
Her sculptures can be read on several levels and very definitely enjoyed by all ages and types of gallery visitors. (Read a review of the show in The Independent newspaper.)
When I met Jann at the opening night of "POP" she explained how she used to pick up a donut and a coffee as she drove to high school and how donuts have been a recurring theme in her work. I particularly liked her collection of donuts which represented Alice in Wonderland (maybe because I have my own interest in Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll).
Another favourite is her "Art of the 20th Century" donuts which, as the name suggests, represent the different movements in 20th century art.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery is especially proud of “Donuts, Coffee Cups & Comics” a piece that they have in their permanent collection.
"New Donuts…20th Century History of Art with Coffee cup" 2005 by Jann Haworth.
Image from from ArtNet website.
I ran 2 one day sessions on 12th December 2009 and 6th February 2010 and the image above shows the really outstanding results that my very enthusiastic students achieved.
We had a full day of felting.
Yes there is a china mug trapped inside these fluffy merino wool fibres.
This photo shows the dry fibres and fabrics which were to become a saucer for our project.
"This is the best birthday present that I've ever had!"
Maybe making handfelted donuts could have a healing effect?
It's definitely good for releasing stress.
Ruth had never made felt before. She was planning on giving the cup away as a present but it is such a fantastic first project that I do hope that she keeps it for herself.
We felt like celebrating and so posed with coffee cups and donuts by the entrance to "POP" Jann Haworth's retrospective at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Exhibition continues until 10th April 2010.