And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Needle Felting Novice #homeschoolart

For a long time, I have wanted to get a curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. for Apple. When the opportunity arose to receive Sculpture Technique Model for review, I knew she would be thrilled. She has such an artistic flair, and she really enjoys trying new things. I told her it was coming as soon as I received the shipment notification. She asked daily (DAILY!) if it had arrived. I was very happy when it was delivered, and so was she.

Sculpture Technique Model is a spiral bound book with 83 pages. It is a 36 week curriculum broken into 3 units. For the purpose of this review, I selected Unit 3 for Apple to try. Unit 3: Creating Surface with Fiber Arts is a 10 week focus on felting. It includes instructions on Wet Felting, Pre-felts as Surface Design, Felted Vessels, Needle Felting- Creating Mass, and Needle Felting Appendages and Surface Design. The Table of Contents Page lists materials needed for each unit so we went out and purchased the 4 items listed as required. Art supplies are not inexpensive, but I was able to pick up a felting needle tool, felting needles, felting mat, and natural wool roving at a reasonable cost.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

The book is written in conversational form with pictures to clarify. The unit begins with an introduction to surface with information on color and texture. There is also an additional page about wool and the other felting tools. Apple skipped over the first few projects and went straight to needle felting. I did not initially realize she had skipped some parts of the unit, but later I realized she did so because some of the other parts required materials we didn't have like dowel rods, bubble wrap, and tulle fabric.

She made birds as instructed in the book, and then she moved on to penguins. She worked on several penguins before I had her return to the book to try animals with appendages. She struggled a little with getting the wool tight enough for arms and legs, but she finally made a cat that she was willing to let me photograph. She wants to continue working on her needle felting to improve her technique. I think she's done a fabulous job for a novice! I have no artistic ability so she is always impressing me with the things she creates. I was just happy her projects actually looked like little birds and animals!

The other two units in Sculpture Technique Model are Creating Mass with Putty and Creating Scale with Clay. Apple has already been flipping through those getting ideas for the future. She does want to complete unit 3 first. The book is set up into lessons inside the units, and then projects to try with step by step instructions. There are 12 projects total in the book. At the end of each unit, there is a short evaluation to help the artist to reflect on what they have learned and achieved. An answer sheet is also included for those evaluations. 

I think this is a really well written art course that works well for the homeschool student. The combination of fully written instructions with color and black and white photos guided Apple through the processes. She did pull up some images on the internet for further clarification on final touches, but in general the book held everything she needed to know. As with any art projects, a well stocked set of supplies is the key to success. The supply list at the beginning is a great resource, but as we found, it's a good idea to flip through the project instructions for items that are maybe assumed to be available. I think the most successful way to use this curriculum would be to use it as intended one week at a time through a school year. For the purpose of review, dipping into a specific type of project worked well for Apple, and she spread her practice over several weeks. This is a middle/ high school level art instruction course. This is a pricier art curriculum, but it is a non-consumable book that can be used over and over again. Apple is already scoping out other fine arts courses from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc!

See what art projects the other Crew members have to show off:
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

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