Masterclass in Feltmaking
With Gladys Paulus
25 July - 28 July
Gladys Paulus making felt © Chris Chapman 2020
Award-winning textile artist Gladys Paulus will be leading this four-day intensive Masterclass that explores the art of felt-making. Perfect for those who wish to push their textile or felting skills, as participants will be invited to creatively and technically explore this versatile medium, guided throughout by Gladys’ masterful eye and expert tuition.
During the three days, students will make a series of small 2-D samples (approximately 15 x 15cm) that will explore their personal interest and line of inquiry unique to them. Whether they are a felt maker preparing for a specific project or body of work or they would simply like to explore textures, colours, or techniques through guided experimental play, this workshop aims to help students get started on what may well become a lifelong addiction!
The power of the humble sample is often underestimated and in this workshop students will come to (re)appreciate the role sampling has to play in their artistic felt work. Not only can samples help avoid costly and painful mistakes, in the long run, they can also help to get through creative blocks, and can even become artworks in their own right.
By the end of the course you will:
- Have made a series of small 2-D samples
- Gained a greater knowledge of texture, colour and techniques of felt making
- Explored how felt-making skills can be applied to your own projects
- Identified the difference between poorly and well made felt
- Approached different felt making techniques with confidence
- Demonstrated the ability to evaluate, integrate, and apply newly acquired techniques and medium to their own textile arts practice
- Learnt how to use sampling as a method to break through artistic ‘blocks’
- Demonstrated the ability to reflect on their personal artistic journey through talking & presenting their work to a peer group
If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided.
We have also set up a payment plan, so that you can spread the cost of the sessions over the next 4 months. You will find the option for doing this as you enter the checkout page.
Gladys Paulus uses the ancient technique of felt making to create work which hints at a loss of a sense of sacredness in this world. Her practice of Insight meditation and study of Buddhist concepts and ways of seeing, feed, and inform her art practice.
Born and raised in the Netherlands in 1973, Paulus comes from a family of artists and crafts folk. She studied drawing and painting at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht before moving to the UK in 1995, where she started exploring traditional crafts and via an interest in natural materials and plant fibres, eventually found her way to wool. Handmade felt remains her current medium of choice, although she increasingly incorporates a range of other materials into her work.
Paulus is a visiting tutor at many specialist textile venues. Though based in the UK, her masterclasses are in demand worldwide. She is an exhibiting member of the 62 Group of textile artists and is on the Crafts Councils Selected Index of Makers.
On this first day we will be going through the learning objectives and what you will be achieving over the next 4 days. Galdys will introduce you to the felting process across a variety of demonstrations. After lunch you will gain an understanding of basic samples: wool breeds, colour blending, shrinkage. After a group supper you will have untutored studio time or you can use the time for self reflection, relaxation, or enjoy the extensive grounds here at Clayhill.
We will start the second day with an optional group walk of the grounds then head into group work where we will be experimental with texture & surfaces: pre-felts, stitch, natural fibres. After Lunch you will be developing resist samples and have the opportunity for 1-2-1 consultations with Galdys to explore possible lines of inquiry for your work. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be untutored and you will have optional studio timeor you can use the time for self reflection, relaxation, or sketch out ideas for the following two days
We will start the third day with an opportunity to enjoy the grounds. This will include possible gathering of materials, which you can bring back to the studio to work on your individual pieces. 1-2-1 consultations with Galdys will be available as well as group demonstrations to explore the work you have been making so far. The afternoon will be focused on group reflection and discussion followed by untutored studio time through until supper. You can then access the studio further should you wish to.
The final day will start with an opportunity to enjoy the grounds or have untutored studio time. After the morning break your individual work begins alongwith 1-2-1 consultations with Galdys and group demonstrations to explore the work you have been making. After lunch you will be finishing your individual projects. Have individual reflection on what the next steps are for you and the work. We also encourage individual presentations (5 minutes) at this point, to help you articulate your work and share what you have discovered over the last 4 days. This will culminate in a final group discussion & reflection before the final group supper.
Practicing early-to mid-career textile/fibre artists interested in expanding their fiber-based horizons, or those who would like to explore ways in which felt could become part of their artistic vocabulary and creative practice. Also suitable for intermediate felt makers wishing to deepen their understanding of the medium and to further their understanding of sampling in their work.
Sketchbooks and note pads will be provided, but do bring your own current workbooks for reference along with pencils/pens. A camera and small selection of sewing needles with a range of eye sizes would be helpful to have with you. There will be some provided, but if you have your own that you like to work with - bring them! A selection of raw materials/fibres/textile remnants/off-cuts/seconds from your existing textile/fibre arts practice which could be incorporated into the felt, or simply drawn on as an inspirational source would be useful E.g: Thread/(homespun)yarn, woven/knitted fabrics, embroidery threads, fine metal wire, etc. etc. (this is NOT an exhaustive list - bring what feels appropriate to you and your current working practice!) The following materials are optional, but recommended: A small selection of flat-ish objects with interesting shapes or surfaces, such as old coins, washers/metal discs (can be rusty), pebbles, buttons, shells, broken pottery for incorporation into the felt (edges have to be smooth) A small selection of natural fibres such as raw sheep’s wool, horse tail/mane hair, silk, flax, ramie, pet hair, or even human hair. Chunky yarns/string such as jute, cotton are also recommended.
Whatever you feel comfortable in. Felt making is a hands-on, physical process. As hands will get wet repeatedly, and for prolonged periods, this workshop may not be suitable for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, or an allergy to wool/lanolin. We will be providing hand cream, but if you have your own that you like to use, please bring this along.
Yes! We provide refreshments throughout the day and a home-cooked lunch which is freshly prepared in our Granary kitchen. Lunch is served around our communal dining table, offering you a great chance to get to know everyone on the course and share in the making processes you have been developing throughout the day. Please advise us of any dietary requirements before arrival.
Yes! All of our bedrooms here at Clayhill are en-suite so you will have your own private space to retreat to and relax in after spending your day in the meditative space of the Studio. We provide you with your own towels and bathroom products for use throughout your stay and you can enjoy the extensive grounds well into the evening. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided
We offer Gift Vouchers for use with our courses and events.
Working with Deborah and Michael was such a pleasure. They understood the project from the beginning, what the needs of the makers and our audiences would be, and acted as thoughtful ambassadors for the project when we were not able to be there. Every aspect of the exhibition and events was facilitated in such a calm and confident manner, which made my job of coordinating a group of artists so much easier! The whole event became a pivotal moment for the project, bringing people together in a way I could never have anticipated, and which has altered my thinking about the future of the project. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.
The weekend I spent at Clayhill Arts was a very welcome change of scenery to my otherwise urban setting. I felt calmed yet invigorated by the surroundings, and the accommodation was beautifully tasteful and very homely. The main space is wonderfully considered and very versatile - an ideal space for creativity and dynamic discussion. I left on the Sunday feeling energised and inspired by the experience of staying at Clayhill.
As a singer it has been one of the best spaces to sing in with generous reverberation and acoustics. It is a space which complemented the type of instruments I was working with and the songs.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being at your venue. It is a lovely and inspiring artistic space. The food was fantastic, homely yet unusual. I really enjoyed the day.
As an artist retreat, the venue at Clayhill Arts provided a warm and welcoming environment, allowing a safe and constructive space where individuals creative needs can be met.
We were lucky enough to be able to take over the whole venue for a weekend, using the Granary as our base for experimentation, discussion and shared learning. The informality of the accommodation, and the relaxed surroundings, put everyone at ease and offered a space where cooperation and encouragement evolved naturally.
Everything was wonderful! This is a beautiful place. Thank you, we really enjoyed our stay.
Clayhill feels remote which is great but it also is close to Cannington which has everything, so supplies can be bought without travelling a great distance...I also really enjoyed that it is still a working farm, because it feels productive and there is such a lot of life around us which is very inspiring