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Felted Forms In Sculpture

Anita Larkin
  • Term: Summer School Week One 2018
  • Start Date: 8 Jan 2018
  • End Date: 12 Jan 2018
  • Time: Mon-Fri, 9:30AM - 4:30PM
  • Number of Classes: 5
  • Teacher: Anita Larkin
  • Level: All Levels
  • Age: All Ages
  • Location: The National Art School
  • Availability: Unavailable

Handmade felt is a wonderful, malleable medium that can form complex shapes, creating an eloquent and intriguing avenue for contemporary sculpture. Learn the fundamental felting techniques, constructing seamless three-dimensional forms using resist patterns, modelling solid felted shapes, and making felt around wire. Anita Larkin discusses the use of felt as a metaphor in artwork, considering its properties of insulation, its primal natural origins, its history as a protective shelter, its absorption of sound and moisture, and its tactile qualities as points of investigation in a sculpture. She shows examples of felted wool sculptural objects from the 5th century BC through to those of modern artists such as Joseph Beuys and Marion Borgelt. Drawing and collage exercises will also be used throughout the course to develop ideas for sculptural forms.

Anita Larkin

Anita Larkin’s art practice uses collected objects, felt and direct casts of her body in various materials. She is represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney, and has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including in Sculpture by the Sea, the Wynne Prize, the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, the UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Award, the Blake Prize and the Beijing International Art Biennale. Her artworks often focus on sociopolitical issues and explore human relationships and our interaction with functional objects. She is a patient and generous teacher with 25 years’ experience. Visit her website at

Important note: Students need to be aware that felting can be quite a physical activity. Bring a drink, snacks and wear comfortable shoes.

Felting equipment:

  • A cake of soap (olive soap is good)
  • A 10 litre plastic bucket, or large plastic container
  • A towel
  • Plastic apron
  • Unspun Wool Fibre that has been washed and carded during its processing – 1.5 kilo in total. Colours are entirely up to you. We will be using some coarser wool around 29 micron (eg corriedale, finn, gotland, crossbreed, or strong merino or similar sheep) you may also use a fine fibre of around 22 micron (e.g. merino). If you do not have fibre the tutor will bring some to sell.
  • Some odds and ends, yarns, for felt surface design if you fancy this.
  • Scissors to cut the felt, a dressmakers measuring tape, and long needle (such as an upholstery or doll makers needle) and some strong thread/yarn (linen thread or similar).
  • I pair of flat nosed pliers, scissors to cut plastic, a waterproof permanent marker
  • About 5 x A4 size sheets of paper and pen/pencils for drawing, collage and working out ideas, paper scissors, sticky tape