I volunteered to give felting workshops at the Montana Arts Interscholastic at Glacier High School this past Saturday. In my previous post, I showed you all the wool I dyed for the classes. I had 39 students signed up for a total of 3 classes and the possibility of having 15 students per class for a total of 45. So I made up about 50 packets so I was sure to have enough and give the students a lot of color choices.
Friday night, I decided to go over and check out my class room and take over all the piles of equipment and supplies. And here is what I found. The room was set up for the “Dance, Dance, Dance Extravaganza. There were only 3 tables in the room. Hmmm…
I couldn’t find anyone to ask so I just put my supplies under the tables. I decided I would just come an hour early to make sure that I could get everything set up. The first class was scheduled for 8:00 am Saturday. So an early morning for sure.
Luckily, when I came in on Saturday, the class room was set up with three rows of tables and all I needed to do was set up a station for each student. I set up 15 stations because I wasn’t sure how many students I would have.
Each station had a towel, stair tread, sheer curtain and a resist all piled up. They also had a bottle of soapy water and a little dish of extra soap.
I had a demonstration desk set up for me. This is a new high school and the facilities were really nice with lots of space. There was one sink but I brought tubs to fill with hot water half way through the class for the students to use. So I got all set up and had plenty of time to relax a bit before the students showed up.
One of my concerns about the whole set up was that the students would be late. The class time was only one hour and forty-five minutes so it was going to be tight to make a felt phone case over a resist with people who had never felted before. The students spent the night before sleeping on the gymnasium floor and, yes, they were late. I was supposed to have a full class of 15 the first session, but ended up with only 5. The main portion of missing students turned out to be a school that at the last moment canceled all their students due to a school violation. Sadly, one student caused the entire school to miss out. So instead of 39 students, I ended up with only 23. But we forged ahead.
Dennis was the photographer and assistant teacher. Most of the photos are of layout and rubbing. Once we got into the felting and fulling portion, we were rushing to try to get all the students far enough along that they could finish fulling at home. So we didn’t get any photos of the finished cell phone cases. The students all had another class to attend and we only had 15 minutes between sessions to clean up and set up for the next class. But they all seemed to enjoy the class. I even had a couple of students come up after class and ask where they could take more classes and get the supplies. So I may have converted a few into fiber addicts. 🙂 It amazes me though that some of the students were just “worn out” after rubbing and couldn’t believe how much work it was. But every one of them had a phone case that was felted before they left. They still needed to shrink them down and I hope they will take the time to keep working on it.
I thought you might like to see my finished class samples that I made during each class. They still aren’t quite dry so you can’t see the silk noil embellishment very well, but now I have 6 phone cases to sell. 🙂
It was a good experience and I enjoyed it. I think it would work a bit better with a slightly longer class session but they cram it all into 24 hours (there was a class session Friday night that I declined to teach) so I guess they do well to get four almost 2 hour sessions completed with over 200 students involved.