Carlton J & I

Project: Interchangeable
Participants: 33 Year 3 children
Partnering with: Brownhill Infant
Artist: Fiona Goodwin

We are taking the idea of something old , something new, something changeable as the focus for our textiles project and our exploration of ‘change’.  We’ll be trying out hand felting and other felting techniques, fabric bonding, sampling and stitching.  Together we will develop ideas for our group artwork for the exhibition, which we imagine will be a wall piece.  We will also be collecting all our fabric samples into an archive to document what we collect and discover.

Session 1 – 25th February

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Year 3 pupils at Carlton have enjoyed a wonderful first session with local textile artist, Fiona Goodwin. They created their own felt using mohair, which they learnt is wool from goats. They started by stretching the wool fibres over a flat piece of muslin to create the warp then applied more wool on top, this time stretched even further and running horizontally, to create the weft. After that they applied different coloured wools to make their own unique designs before adding an additional piece of muslin over the top and rolling the whole piece tightly into a bamboo mat. Unfortunately we ran out of time but the next job for the children will be to unravel the pieces and lay them flat to dry. Fiona will be working with us again on Monday 11th March; we can’t wait!

Session 2 – 11th March

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Year 3 pupils at Carlton had their second, exciting artist-led session today! They each used a strip of electricians’ tape to create a base on which to lay different wools, ribbons and fabrics to create an interesting pattern. After this children placed Bondaweb over the top of their design then asked an adult to iron over the top to stick everything down. One or two children had a little go with the iron themselves. Some children also found and cut inspiring words from newspapers and magazines to apply to their work. Next time the plan is to cut these design strips down and apply them to the fabric squares which children created last week. The finished pieces are coming together nicely!
Today was a hive of activity with some really lovely pieces created, up to 30 metres in total! Really looking forward to session 3 and seeing their faces as the piece comes together.  Fiona – artist

Session 3 – 18th March

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There was a real sense of achievement and much excitement in the final session as the children began to realise the bigger picture, all their ideas and samples become arranged and rearranged and fused together, they quickly realised that from a group of smaller individually worked pieces can emerge something really quite magnificent collectively.  The felt pieces were trimmed into circular motifs and laid onto a large circular woolen ground. To one side, half the group were busily checking that the felting was secure and attaching it more firmly to its woolen base with needle felting tools, loving the action of knitting the fibres together, selecting colours and stitching methods to decorate their machine made felt pompoms with. The other group of children focusing on embellishing bonded strips with embroidery and developing these towards the checked design for the reverse, never losing sight of the fact that their piece needed to become interchangeable.
The children were focused throughout the session, you couldn’t help but notice their work ethic changing, becoming much calmer and quieter compared to the earlier sessions sweating away making felt, they were really having to concentrate and repeatedly thread needles! They communicated well with each other and discussed key decisions as the piece started to take shape, it’s going to be a lovely piece!
I left the class with textile diaries to complete and annotate, time now to reflect on their textile findings.  Fiona – artist

Year 3 pupils at Carlton had their final workshop with local textile artist, Fiona Goodwin, this afternoon. Fiona surprised them first off by showing them that their felt squares had been cut into circles and laid out to create a circular piece. The children were amazed and delighted at how beautiful their work looked and could not wait to get started adding the final details to make the piece come to life! The group split into two; half worked with Fiona sewing buttons onto the felt pompoms they had made for homework, whilst the other half worked with their teacher, Miss Foster, adding embroidery to the strips created in last week’s session. These strips will form a tartan-like design on the reverse of the piece making it truly ‘interchangeable.’ The children worked so hard all lesson and all learnt something new; we are all very excited to see the final piece in Batley Art Gallery! Thank you Fiona :-)

Our visit to the Change exhibition at Batley Art Gallery

A final word from staff…

“Fiona has worked really hard to make the sessions exciting and engaging for the children. She and I have worked really well as a team and I am so pleased with the outcomes of the project. The children have loved every minute of it and every one of them has learnt something new. I would definitely recommend this to other schools and teachers, it has resulted in such invaluable learning.”

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