While we had the use of my mum’s needle felting machine I planned a second felting activity for the boys…and me too.
I went hunting online for a great collage type activity that we could convert to a needle felting activity. Henri Matisse popped up everywhere in my “collage” Google searches which reminded me of his famous “Snail” artwork. (Did you know that this artwork is nearly three metres square? Kind of makes you think a little differently about it…a little.)
So the Snail became our inspiration for our needle felting activity.
First we read a little about Matisse.
And then we worked together to recreate “The Snail” with felt. It was not as easy as it looked. We had to match the colours, shapes and sizes and then arrange our pieces in a similar fashion.
We didn’t end up having the same colours available to us and our background felt was black and larger than our copy of the artwork so we had to add a little improvisation to our recreations.
But the boys said they preferred their version. Me too!
We worked together selecting shapes that we would each be responsible for cutting out and then cut out three of them to share. Then we arranged our pieces into our own snail creations. In our recreations we added an eye and antenna…so you could actually tell what it was.
When we got to the needle felting we discovered a small dilemma with arranging our pieces prior to felting…they moved and fell about as we tried to attach them. To help the boys I did a little pre-felting and gave each piece a quick burst of the needle barbs to adhere them so they wouldn’t move while the boys used the machine.
Ethan was an old hand at using the machine with this being his second turn but for Brayden this was his first experience. I started him out with only focusing on using the pedal. He enjoyed that. To him it was like driving a car! But then when I got him to try holding and moving his own felt under the needles his foot would release the pedal. It seemed that he could only do one thing at a time and not both combined. A common thing for a beginner in anything but cute to watch anymore. He didn’t care though. He liked “driving” the pedal and was content with that experience.
We were very impressed with our final pieces.
We enjoyed piecing them together and using the needle felting machine and we particularly liked learning a little about Henri Matisse in the process.