Atkinson Road Primary

Saturday Art Workshops

For the past 3 Saturdays I have been wending my way to Benwell, Newcastle to run a Saturday morning workshop for children at Atkinson Road Primary. What a lovely idea for a school to supply regular, extra curricular art workshops with practising artists.

I was teaching the children about wet felting, and, with 3 sessions to play with and the help of a fabulous TA Mrs Duffy I could afford to try some different things

Week 1 saw the introduction – I don’t think the children knew what to make of it, how on earth was this fluff going to make a picture? We used Black Face Leicester wool in 3 different undyed shades to make a simple landscape, with a tree made from curly Iceland locks. (Apart from Usain who was inspired by the curly locks to make the face of the ‘GoCompare’ man!)

Landscape made from undyed Blue Faced Leicester

In Week 2 I wanted to show the children the fabulous colours of wool roving that are available so we made flowers. I made some basic templates but let the children choose the type and the colours they wanted to use -some were slightly over ambitious but everyone finished a piece for our beautiful bouquet.

In week 3 we had advanced to 3D felting. The kids just couldn’t see how what they had learned so far would enable them to make a 3D ‘pot’. We based our design on sunsets – more lush colours – and used circular plastic resists. The wool fibres are laid down and gently felted first on one side of the resist, then the other until they contain it. Another layer of fibre is overlaid for the sunset colours and well rubbed in. The piece – still a circle – is rinsed in hot water then cold and rubbed and rolled until it begins to pucker and shrink. Then we can cut a small hole on one edge or in the centre of the circle, remove the resist, then get your hands, fingers, spoons, whatever fits inside, to round out the hollow shape into a sphere. Resulting in lots of fabulous ‘pots’ that now looked more like planets than sunsets!


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