Vrouw Wolle ~ Viltacademie

Human masks

Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th, Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of November 2019
by Gladys Paulus

This workshop is complete.

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An intensive 5 day master class

During this 5 day technical master class with UK-based textile artist Gladys Paulus, you will learn how to calculate, design and create a base resist template which will become the starting point for an experimental and playful fantasy mask.

Mask making requires a combined approach of thorough planning and intuitive felt making. More than just a face cover, these masks will cover the head completely and are sculptures in their own right. You will learn how to achieve facial symmetry, experiment with different types of protrusions and colour, build up features and markings, create hair or textural surfaces, how to felt all the 3-dimensional parts together and how to sculpt and shape the felt.

You will be guided through the techniques step by step. Learning is supported through practical demonstrations, one-to-one consultations, hand outs and illustrated explanations.

You are free to incorporate abstract, and fantastical elements into your mask. You are encouraged to consider a variety of felting techniques and surface decorations to enhance your design. Creative expression within the design of each mask is actively encouraged, but please bear in mind that, given the time restraints of the workshop and the time consuming nature of felting masks, you will be asked to keep designs relatively simple so that you will be able to finish the mask in the time available. For this reason too, the tutor may recommend adapting or simplifying overly ambitious designs.

Please come ready for hard work as well as lots of fun and bring plenty of ideas, inspirational photographs and sketches; you will have an opportunity to discuss these with the tutor during the workshop.


• You will be required to make a small felt sample before the workshop.

• This master class will be taught in English. Some written handouts will be supplied.


DAY 1: Shrinkage / designing & preparing the resist / laying out

DAY 2: Laying out / eyes / attachments

DAY 3: Laying out / surfaces and hair

DAY 4: Final opportunity to lay out / felting

DAY 5: Sculpting / finishes

Experience level

Mask making in felt is a complicated, demanding and physical process and requires stamina and determination. In order to complete the masks in this master class, daily tasks will be set and the pace will be demanding. For this reason, regrettably, this master class is NOT suitable for beginners or those suffering from back or hand/arm injuries or other health issues that prevent you from standing/felting for long periods of time.

There will be no time to go over any basics during this master class and you should have a thorough practical understanding of wet felting in general, and making 3-dimensional wet felt around a resist in particular.

Furthermore, you will have a willingness and ability to work additional untutored hours, if necessary, to achieve the daily targets set. An aptitude for sculptural form will be helpful, though not a requirement, as the tutor will be on hand to guide.

About the tutor:

This master class will be taught by Gladys Paulus, a professional textile artist with a background in fine art painting and teaching, based in the UK.

She is an exhibiting member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists, and a member of the Crafts Council Selected Index of Makers and the International Feltmakers Association. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the UK, and her masks have featured in theatre, fashion magazines, television and film.

Gladys' s workshops are in demand nationally and internationally and over the years she has taught hundreds of textile enthusiasts and professionals. She asks a lot from her students, and give a lot back in return. Gladys is interested in the nature of the creative process and learning through experimentation & play, and she likes to encourage her students to come with an experimental attitude. Likewise, her own techniques are born from experimentation, and continue to develop and evolve as the nature of her art work develops.


  • 10am - 17pm (studio is open from 9.30am)
  • Price: €595
  • Included: homemade lunch, drinks, biscuits and sweets, excl. materials
  • Location: Studio Vrouwwolle, Kapelstraat 81 (behind the Citroëngarage), B-2910 Essen
  • the list of materials will be sent after final registration
  • Experience : yes

This workshop is complete.

Put me on the waiting list
Human masks
close up human mask made by G.Paulus
human mask made by G.Paulus
close up human mask made by G.Paulus