Carmen Laferrière is a fibre artist who loves to ignite and inspire other to her passion of felt making. She uses Merino wool, silk and natural fibres. She finds her inspiration in poetry, patterns and colours in nature and people she meets. Carmen teaches all ages. Her goal as a visual artist is to bring out the student's creativity and to enable their artistic voices to flow freely. Carmen has her studio in Vernon in the beautiful Okanagan.
My grade 11 French Immersion students and I had the pleasure to learn the art of felting through exploring 20 important events in BC in the 20th century with fibre artist Carmen Laferrière. She made the whole experience relaxing and fun, allowing the students to develop their creativity regardless of their level of artistry. They were proud of what they accomplished and were able to cultivate a greater level of appreciation for art. Thank you Carmen! Yvonne Fiala, Teacher, W.L.Seaton Secondary, Vernon
I had the pleasure to have Carmen teach the art of felting in my Kindergarten class. She is passionate about what she does. She is very knowledgeable about her art and in her ability to engage all students. Her interaction with the children is gentle and inclusive. Lisa Poirier, Enseignante de Francization, École Entre-Lacs, Penticton
Carmen's felting workshop was excellent. She had a group of Grade 3-4 students and they made a felted bookmark for reading week. They were introduced to the legend of felting and then to make and decorate their bookmark with silk embroidery thread. They worked in pairs and learned to twist a cord for their bookmark. It was a very successful, innovative and interactive activity. Jacinthe Alarie, Spécialiste, École Entre-Lacs, Penticton
Project for students in grade 4 up for Anglophone, French Immersion, Francophone schools. Natural plant dyeing, Tatakizomé ( Method of hammering pigment of fresh plants on natural textile such as cotton) and sewing. Plants are collected from Pollinator garden to make a geo-poetic journal. Journal cover is wet felted with sheep's wool and dyed with natural, indigenous dye-plants if available. Journal cover is sewn with sewing machine and hand-sewing.
Using felt making as a core medium, students will explore some significant events that took place in your town or in BC in the 20th century. They will create tactile metaphors to represent and communicate how these events impacted their own lives, community and culture. Through the process of felting, using different techniques they will develop their creative and critical thinking skills. An exhibition of their works will take place at the end of the semester.
The project will focus on the process of felting while exploring social justice issues that the students are encountering and wish to explore more deeply. The students who choose to participate (Grades 7-11) will be at the center of the project and will use an active hands-on approach working with wool to make felt works, exhibit their work and organize a poetry evening or show. The students will draw from their own experiences to actively shape the project and what they wish to do. The project will take shape using an arts integrated approach and therefore will connect with other subjects.