Tuesday, June 10, 2014

First Felt

We've been felting in some of my Studio Art classes.  It's very new and exciting with some apprehension due to complete bafflement over what felting is.   I told them the story of the "first felt" which occurred on Noah's Ark.  The sheep in their stall on the ark shed their wool, peed on it, then stamped on it and then they were standing on a rug.  The kids liked the story except for the pee part.  That was a tad disconcerting for them.  I've made that mistake before when I told them how poor people in the Middle Ages would sell their pee to artists who added it to their paints for more intense colors that stuck to the canvas.  If you didn't have a pot to collect your pee then you were so poor you "did not have a pot to pee in."    Isn't History fascinating?  Back to the wool felt... I showed them a picture of a yurt on the steppes of Asia and told them about the nomadic tribes who have to move when there is no more grass for their sheep to eat and how they make portable houses out of pieces of felted wool stretched over  wooden panels.  It's a bit more work than they are used to, with all the rubbing and more rubbing, but that demonstrates how hard people had to work for shelter.  We have a lot of fun and the soap/water gets our art tables nice and clean. 

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