Monday, August 26, 2013

Teaching wet felting to grade 3 and 4 students - part 2

Then for lesson two.
The work had to be redistributed, the demonstration done, the children who were absent last week given a very brief rundown of what they would do (this was a useful revision of last week) and the children set to work.
Much more running around this week!  The very thick pieces took ages to make really wet. In fact, I did things I would not have dreamt of showing the children normally. I picked up their work and flipped it over to see the back, to show them that it wasn't wet. We had the work sandwiched between the bubble wrap and the netting, so it stayed together well.

Things that I discovered: too much detergent will make the felting very slippery and hard to roll. You need to make the bubble wrap quite a bit larger than the paper we drew on - or make sure that the laying out of felt didn't go over the edge of the paper. Why? Because it was hard to roll bubble wrap around the stick before it got onto the wool. Both of these problems combined to make the bubble wrap and felt unravel, and wrinkle in some cases, and be quite hard to roll.  So, thinking on the run, I used the netting to wrap around the outside of the roll and it held it together much better. (I had decided not to use elastic bands around the ends of the sticks but may have to rethink that decision.)
Some of the designs were laid out close to the edge of the paper we used as our template. This meant that the design went over the edge a bit. We had different sorts of wool, in different microns.  I had meant to note that and get the children to see that the wool used makes a difference to the felting but that got lost in all the activity. However, we can pass them around when they are dry and see and feel the difference.  It will not be a controlled experiment because the children did not all lay out the same thicknesses of wool but it will let them see that felting is not an exact science - at least, not at our stage of development. We have samples that have shrunk much more than others and that are much thicker than others. So we will discuss this, and the uses each might be better for - mats, scarves, bags, coasters, etc.
Very different sizes from the same sized template.

The wool moved around before the felting, or early in the process.  And the folding-in of the edges wasn't entirely successful, that will be cut off.

The wool moved a little during the felting process and so the image is very close to the edge.

Because I had asked them not to start rolling till I had checked if the water had penetrated all layers, and they listened, there was a bit of a delay in getting some children to that point. But eventually everyone started rolling.
I had intended to rinse the soapy felt out in warm and then cold water but time got away from us.  So we just used the water we had and didn't change temperatures.  Not to worry, the felting was happening.
The children really enjoyed the part where you throw the felt down on the table.  Only a few got that far, so we will have to wet a lot of the pieces again next week and keep felting.

No comments: