Part of Makers Month at the Forum Norwich
The aim is to make a piece of felt - in this case a sort of carpet runner - by enough people walking over pre laid out fibres so that they become felted due to the friction and pressures caused by the walking. Thus hoping to prove the theory that felt was first made by shepherds putting fleece into their shoes for comfort and ending up with felt due to the combination of sweaty feet, oils in the fleece and the friction caused by walking - as we don't really want the sweaty feet bit the fibre will need a bit of help! The help comes in the form of soapy water to add moisture and bubble wrap to aid the friction. The project will be encased in very strong clear plastic which will allow people to see what they are walking on without them getting soggy feet – we hope!
The project is part of the Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers contribution to Makers Month, an educational exhibition at the Forum in Norwich celebrating the creative talent and skills that abound in the county.
The exhibition will run for the whole of February with the first two weeks devoted to textiles.
We decided it would be interesting to have lots of different types of fleece so the Guild have been brilliant turning up with all sorts of fleeces belonging to breeds of sheep that I had never heard of! – Also the wonderful Norfolk Smalholders Training Group have come up trumps providing fleeces for the project.
Yes, I know – Sheep fleece, moi! With all those lovely alpacas running about outside - don’t tell them they will be very put out! However there will of course be alpaca fibre in the process and I decided it was best to have a mini dummy run in my kitchen for which the alpacas donated some lovely fleece.
Oz thought it was fab – it makes a great dog bed! I should probably call it dog felting…
It was very exciting unwrapping the felt parcel after we had all duly stomped about on it and …...
A lovely alpaca fleece rug made by - Felt Walking!
Ann Nickerson - Burnt Fen Alpacas
Eleven diverse artists coming together for Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios