Felt puppets mark end of Kitchener's 2016 artist in residence term
Felting's long history in the city of Kitchener is being celebrated at city hall with a six-foot tall felted tree, from the city's 2016 artist in residence Sarah Granskou.
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The Rumpel Felt Company produced felt out of its downtown Kitchener factory until 2007, and while felting has fallen out of fashion in modern North America, hundreds of residents have had a chance to try their hand at the craft, and contribute to the felted tree puppet n display at the Berlin Tower Artspace at city hall.
"This puppet was inspired by a gnarly willow tree at Lakeside Park, with almost more roots than branches," Granskou wrote on a sign for the exhibit.
"It was so hollowed out, one could climb in it and peer out a hole in the trunk."
"The leaves were all created using naturally-dyed wool, either naturally foraged or grown in a garden I had at Hymner Park," Granskou told CBC KW.
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The leaves were both wet and dry felted, but the majority of the figures, especially the detail work, was dry felted with a barbed needle.
The puppets and figures Granskou created over the past year for Our Fibres Our Forest are on display until the end of January.
In the audio below, she explains the work that goes into producing these puppets.