Friday 19 February 2010

Wow! Felted donuts, coffee cups & saucers made by beginners at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Jann Haworth's exhibition is inspirational.

It’s hard to believe that these splendid donuts, coffee cups and saucers were all made by beginners!

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.

I made up a thick soap sludge from Oliva olive oil soap for this workshop. It really helps when felting over an object.

Yes there is a china mug trapped inside these fluffy merino wool fibres.

I really enjoy trapping unusual fabrics into the hand made felt. Most people wouldn't advise using shiny metallic fabrics but I really enjoy the lovely textures that are achievable.

This photo shows the dry fibres and fabrics which were to become a saucer for our project.

Ann had a smile on her face all day! She was one of the students on the first workshop. Her husband had booked her on my Sculptural Feltmaking day for her birthday... and her feedback?

"This is the best birthday present that I've ever had!"
We all found that making the donuts was amazingly therapeutic. I think that that may be because it is a comfortable size to work with and also the rythmical rubbing and handling of the round donut shape really is deeply soothing, relaxing, and comforting.

Maybe making handfelted donuts could have a healing effect?
It's definitely good for releasing stress.

Julia's frothy coffee with the perfect accessory; a non fattening and pretty felted donut.

Jo "iced" her donut with a generous amount of mohair knitting yarn. we all agreed that it was the perfect shade of pink and looked incredibly realistic.

Rich, exotic and definitely a celebration of donuts, coffee cups and saucers!

I was so proud of these students!
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.

The students from the 6th of February 2010 Sculptural Felting workshop.

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.


Anonymous said...

LOVELY, I would love to be able to work with felt. Muriel

frillip moolog: said...

Muriel you CAN work with felt. Get on a plane or train and visit us! I'd love to teach you.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous coffee and doughnuts the group had a fab time....they all look very proud of themselves!thanks for the interesting links to Jann Haworth. x Barb

Lisa Marie Olson said...

Hi Kirsty,
was lovely to get a visit from you today... I just love this felted tea cup and saucer what a fun and clever idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirsty, thanks for a fab workshop! I have since added beads to my pink iced donuts to look like '100s and 1000s'. Problem is, everytime I see it, I get a craving for a donut!! Best wishes Jo