Tuesday 13 November 2018

Nuno Felting: Specialist Textile Technique used by Level 2 Art and Design Students

Close up of the beautiful textured surface and 'halo' edge around cut pre-felt shapes. This was one of my Y10 BTEC student's very first piece of nuno felt and when I put this photo online earlier this year one of the hashtags I gave it was 

Completed sample piece of nuno felt. Approx dimensions 40cmW 45cmH

Pic on the Left = Front side                                  Pic on the Right = Reverse side.

I often like the Reverse side best! 

 When teaching beginners the Nuno Felting technique I prefer to use fine cotton turban muslin for the base fabric. 

 Merino wool tops. The students were shown how to pull off thin slivers from lengths of Merino 64's wool tops. These slivers were then laid in grid patterns and also around the edge of the muslin to create an interesting textured edge to their Nuno-Felt sample pieces. 

 With the right equipment and appropriate temperature water and suitable soap the nuno felting process is not as lengthy as people often think. 

 This photo shows some of the edge and surface details that are achieved with this interesting Textile Technique. 

(But unfortunately my speedily taken photos don't do the work justice.)

 The halo effect on the reverse of this students work is quite fuzzy and fluffy; this is because the pre-felt that she cut her shapes from was was only softly felted. 

 This Level 2 BTEC student added some hand-sewn detail to the edge of her lotus flower wallhanging; chainstitch in metallic red yarn.

 Laying out merino wool fibres to make pre-felt. By using two colours of wool fibres you can make reversible pre-felt. It is also another way of getting even more interesting 'halo' edges

 The Level2 BTEC module was titled 'Out of Asia'. These Y10 students' research included Primary Research at local Art Gallery and Museums and also images they sourced online.

 The above image shows antique Kimono fabric and the paper template shapes that were inspired by it. 

 This student then used the templates to cut appropriate shapes from her pre-felt. 
The above picture is of her final 'Out Of Asia' themed Wall-Hanging. 

Approximate finished dimensions 60cmW X 80cmH

 This student planned to add a central panel of handmade batik to his nuno felted wallhanging. He ensured that he used appropriate wool fibres (burgundy, sky blue and petrol blue) to compliment his Batik dye colours. 

 Interesting edging detail which combined wool Tops, metallic threads and cut shapes of pre-felt (which also incorporated metallic 'Twinkle' fabrics).

 He also added thin whispy layers of wool fibres to both the reverse and also the right side of the muslin. 
This student thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with the nuno felting technique!

 Photo taken when the nuno-felt was still wet. 
The bottom centre square is where the batik panel was later added. 

By laying a thin layer of wool fibres over an area of the muslin a very attractive wrinkled surface texture is achieved. 

This is because the wool fibres migrate through the spaces between the Warp and Weft threads of the woven muslin fabric.

Then as the felting process continues the wool fibres shrink; the cotton doesn't shrink but is dragged along (ruched up) by the wool fibres.  

I am proud of the Y10 students work and really hope that they do realise how much they have achieved. 

(Just to reiterate: these photos do not do the work justice!)

Wednesday 11 July 2018

King Arthur Themed Wallhanging made by Students in a Special School

Finished wallhanging measured 95cm wide by 210cm deep 
As I’m planning ahead to another exciting felting day in a Special School next week I’ve been reminded that I never did write about any of the felted wall-hangings that were made by my students while I was the Textiles Teacher at Brantwood Specialist School in Sheffield. 

So better late than never …

The above Excalibur wallhanging was made in just half a day by four talented 6th form (SEN) students. 

Another thing that made this February morning so special was that OFSTED inspectors 'popped in' to observe while we were making it! 

Their report said...
"Progress in practical subjects including textiles, felt-making, and art based activities is at times exceptional. This is due to the high-quality teaching, the high expectations adults have of the pupils and the wide range of resources available so pupils can freely explore their ideas and interests."

The students had recently moved into a new building and were working on a King Arthur themed project so their class teacher suggested that the wall-hanging also had a King Arthur theme. The Medieval story of the young Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone was what we settled on. 

The students selected these two images to use as their initial inspiration.

Starting to build up the second layer. R is laying out the outline of the rock.
Here you can see that the design is coming together

J cutting the shape for Excalibur; we made some grey pre-felt first. The cut edges will stay nice and crisp rather than be fuzzy. 

J made an illuminated letter for the word Excalibur. R decorated the hilt of the sword with a gem ... but he whipped it off again before it was felted on! 
Leaves cut from pre-felt. 

We managed to make this wall hanging in just half a day because we had a great team. Here you can see students and staff working together. 

The wool fibres were throughly wetted and soaped with Olivia olive oil soap. But we had to work speedily.

J and J working together to roll the wallhanging.
A lovely close up of the leaves on this large wet-felted wall hanging.

 Quite an achievement; all made in just half a school day.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Completed BTEC Level 2 Textile Masks (Carnival module)

My exemplar mask to give students an idea of how they might combine some techniques 
Here I am finally catching up and uploading my final selection of photos of student BTEC Level 2 Module Carnival Project work. This is a follow-on from the previous post which showed some of the students’ inspiration images and also how their first pieces of wet-felted base fabric turned out. 

These year 11 students had already experimented with some other textiles techniques:

  • Couching
  • Appliqué 
  • Reverse appliqué (Mola) 
  • Stitch and slash 
  • Machine embroidery 
  • Melted Angelina fibres 
  • Machine patchwork 

It was now time for them to review these techniques and consider how they might be incorporated along with the hand-made felt into their final mask designs. 

Making a start: leaf/ petal shapes cut from melted Angelina fibres and stitched in place. Plus some carnival sparkle added by hand-stitching silver sequins in place.
Angelina fabric was ruffled to add texture to this mask plus this student added her multi-coloured felted beads.
Good to see how this design developed as the student learnt more textile techniques.

A mask with added feathers, machine appliquéd ribbon, hand made felt and wet felted multi-coloured beads.

Excellent use of the heart shapes that this student had originally added as decoration to his base felted fabric. Plenty of surface interest and movement in this mask.
This student used fabric crayons to decorate a piece of calico with a design that he had previously sketched in his workbook. He then machine appliquéd the decorated calico onto his hand-made felted base.
Here the base for the mask was made from a fabric made using the Reverse Appliqué (Mola) technique. Next strips of handmade felt were machine appliquéd in position.
A glue gun is the perfect tool for attaching the wet-felted beads (once completely dry) to the mask base.

See more School Felting projects http://www.allsensesart.com/schools-projects

Thursday 1 March 2018

Wet-Felting as a Textile Technique for Y11 BTEC Level 2 Art and Design Carnival Mask Design

I'm excited to be teaching wet-felting to a new group of students. 

I joined their BTEC Carnival project after they had already experimented with a few other textile techniques; so far they have experimented with, reverse appliqué (mola), stitch and slash and trapping sequins and threads in heat-bonded angelina fibres. 

An inspiration image - Venetian Harlequin Mask 
This was the students' first ever experience of wet felting and wow! they have already made some pieces that can either be used as a base for their mask or even cut up and added to to other fabric bases. 

Here the Y11 student used mohair yarn to lay-out a harlequin grid and then added diamonds cut from pre-felt. 

Inspiration image: Harlequin mask with feathers 

Student work: Experimenting with the possibilities of adding multicoloured felted beads 

I am currently at home on a school snow day but am itching to start making my own mask.

A very simple demonstration piece to show the students that they can cut their hand felted fabric to shape. 

Inspiration image: Venetian mask with raised scroll surface detail

Inspiration image: Couching

I can see the potential of the the textile technique - Couching -to add some more interesting surface texture and pattern. 

Y11 Student work with glittery twinkle fabric trapped in during the wet-felting process. 

Y11Student work.- Their first ever piece of hand-made felt! 
Let's see how the BTEC FirstAward Carnival Mask project progresses....... 

See more School Felting projects http://www.allsensesart.com/schools-projects