Artful Felt at the Farm

Madison Area Felters’ Guild hosts Artful Felt at the Farm at Four Winds Farm.

September 30th – October 8th, 2022

Join us for an exhibit of felted art and three days of fiber and felt-making activities.

The Madison Area Felters’ Guild is hosting a week-long art show at Four Winds Farm in Fitchburg from September 30th through October 8th. The Artful Felt at the Farm event will include a variety of activities for all ages, including wool and felting demonstrations, beginning felting classes, kids activities, and exploring the farm. A rich variety of felted art, some 50 pieces, created by 13 Wisconsin artists, will be on display in the farm’s new gallery space, open for viewing and purchasing throughout the week. Most events are free; there is a fee for the felting classes. Registration and tickets may be required for some events. Click here to register and purchase tickets.

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 30th, 6pm – 8pm | Opening Reception
Join us for light refreshments as we kick off Artful Felt at the Farm with our first gallery opening. Get a first look at the felted art on display and mingle with our artists. Registration is requested, but there is no cost to join. Click here to register.

Saturday, October 1st, 10am – 4pm | Family Day at the Farm
Family Day includes activities throughout the day for the whole family. There will be a “touch table” with wool and felted items for handling, wagon rides to view our sheep pasture, and hands-on events throughout the day.

From 10am – 12pm, kids can drop in to learn how to blend colors with wool and make felted beads. At 10:15am, there will be a wet felting demonstration presented by Susan Bond. At 12pm, Katie Fritz-Jung will be demonstrating nuno felting (felting with fabric). From 2pm-4pm, Peter McMasters of Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts in Stoughton will be teaching a beginning class, “Felting 101: Felted Flowers” for adults and teens, 14 and over, who want to try their hand at felting. Registration and a $30 fee is required to participate in this class.

The Artists Gallery will be open for viewing the felted artwork and guests are welcome to explore Four Winds Farm throughout the day.

This day will cost $10 per vehicle ($12 if paying with credit card) which will be charged upon entrance at the Four Winds Farm gate. If you are registered for  the “Felted Flowers” class at 2pm with Peter McMasters, click here to register and pay workshop fee. If registered for the felting workshop, your vehicle fee will be waived.

Sunday, October 2nd, 10am – 3pm | Fiber at the Farm
Join us for Fiber at the Farm on Sunday for a day of fiber events, which includes three 45 min. presentations all related to felting. At 10:30am Terry Tackett will present, “Sheep to Felt,” about sheep shearing, wool processing and making felt. An artists panel discussion on creativity and feltmaking lead by Jennifer Angelo will take place from 12pm to 1:15pm, and a guided gallery walk-through with docent Carol Cohen will begin at 1:30pm. The public is encouraged to attend all three events, which are free. The Artists Gallery will be open for viewing the felted artwork and guests are welcome to explore Four Winds Farm throughout the day.

Registration for the day of events is requested, but there is no cost to join any of the presentations on Sunday. Click here to register.

Monday, October 3rd – Friday, October 7th | Artist Gallery Open Hours
View the Madison Area Felters’ Guild Artist Gallery located on the lower level of our Barn space.  Admission is Free and Pre-registration is NOT required. Staff will be available if you are interested in contacting an artist about purchasing their work.

Gallery Hours:

  • Monday, October 3rd | 2pm – 6pm
  • Tuesday, October 4th | 2pm – 6pm
  • Wednesday, October 5th | 2pm – 6pm
  • Thursday, October 6th | 6pm – 8pm
  • Friday, October 7th | 4pm – 7pm

October 8th, Saturday, 10am – 4pm | Workshops & Final Viewing
Our final day of the Artful Felt at the Farm event includes activities throughout the day for the whole family.

From 10am – 12pm, kids can drop in to learn how to blend colors with wool and make felted beads. At 10:15am, there will be a demonstration by Sandra Wysock of “painting” with wool to make two dimensional landscapes. From 11:30am – 1:30pm, Michelle Martin will be teaching a class, “Felting 101: 3D Needle Felting.” From 2pm to 4pm, Renee Dauplaise will be teaching “Felting 101: Wet Felted Coasters.” Registration and a $3o fee are required to participate in both of these classes. Click here to register.

The Artists Gallery will be open for viewing the felted artwork on display and guests are welcome to explore Four Winds Farm throughout the day.

What is feltmaking?

Contemporary feltmaking can be traced back to ancient times. Various cultures going back thousands of years from Siberia and Central Asia to Nordic regions used their indigenous wooly animals, mostly sheep, to make felted items used in everyday life: tents, rugs, wall hangings, coats, boots, hats, bags.

Along with other fiber arts, such as weaving and knitting from hand-spun yarn, the 1960s and 70s saw a revival of feltmaking as both a craft and a new art, using wool fiber to create practical and decorative items, as well as works of art. These employed both ancient and newly-developed techniques.

Most felters start with sheep’s wool that has been cleaned and processed into roving or batts. Felting is the technique of wetting the roving or batts with warm water and soap and vigorously rubbing and rolling it to form sturdy two- and three-dimensional objects. It is through this process that wool fleeces becomes felted. Other felters use special barbed needles to felt wool. Anyone who has accidentally tossed a wool sweater into the washing machine has experienced the characteristic of wool to become felted when wetted and agitated.

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