Needle -felting appears to be the most popular form of model making in textiles if the success of the 2 recent classes by Jenny Barnett for Heart Space Studios is anything to go by. Jenny gave her first workshop last month – foxes, and this month, hares……
I was amazed by the range of expressions and attitudes that the different people managed to make using the basic kit that Jenny brings along to get everyone started.
It comprises just a few simple things – wool tops in assorted colours, the special barbed needles for felting, a sponge to work on and some written instructions. Jenny also packed some love-heart sweets into the bags for her first visit to Heart Space Studios.
But most importantly to my mind, she also brings everyone an individual model to use as a personal reference – they look like sentinels or guardian angels watching over their allotted maker…the small perfectly formed creatures look on while the rolls and swatches of felt are poked and prodded into a brand new being.
Jenny makes the most realistic looking creatures of all the needle – felted wild life I have seen, her naturalistic animals come from real observation – she lives on a canal in Gloucestershire, but she also she brings a lot of different reference materials to the workshops
Needle felting is very different to wet felting, this is quick, really quick…the small scale animals take shape in rough form within an hour, the basic characters just seem to be conjured from each maker by alchemy. One minute you are looking at a table full of basic animal shapes, then the heads and ears are modelled separately ready to be applied
and with small adjustment of the angle when placing of the head, or an ear, the tiny being looks different – it has attitude……
and suddenly all the animals took on their own characters….
and after making one successful hare the class had a chance to make more – testing their new – found knowledge.
I was very amused though to find this group guarding the necessary packet of sticking plasters – needle felting is not for the inattentive maker.
looking on from a smart wicker basket were several other creatures
I had asked Jenny to bring them again as I remembered them from her first visit to us last year. I thought that now, having seen her work so successfully with the groups, she should conduct a 2 day Master Class for Heart Space – I had this idea when she brought out a simple winged horse that had broken a dream I have had recently…I wanted to try to make my dream creature ( more of this later, possibly – I often embroider my dreams)
I thought that it would be an opportunity to get different types of makers to develop their own characters. starting with the felted heads and bodies then dressing them in patch- worked clothes….so Jenny is developing a new Master Class for mid September at Heart Space.
But now it was time for all the new animals to go to good homes; they traveled in style – in the pretty bags that Jenny had provided each person’s kit in.