Vrouw Wolle ~ Viltacademie

Faces of extinction

May 9-14, 2023
by Gladys Paulus

This workshop is currently not available.

5 ½ day mask making master class + ½ day photography session

This workshop constitutes both a conventional animal mask master class, as well as an opportunity to contribute to on-line exhibition Faces of Extinction which aims to help raise awareness of the huge challenges to wildlife across the world, and of imminent natural network collapse.

Today wildlife accounts for only 3 percent of earth’s land animals; human beings, our livestock, and our pets take up the remaining 97 percent of the biomass. This is due both to the explosion of industrial agriculture and to a hollowing out of wildlife itself, which has decreased in abundance by as much as 50 percent since 1970. This cull is from both direct hunting and global-scale habitat destruction: almost half of the earth’s land has been converted to farmland (source: Peter Brannen, The Ends of the World)

Faces of Extinction is an international community art project & on-line exhibition that aims to draw attention to the impact of human activity on ecosystems and habitats, and the increased rate of species loss that is one of the results. Faces of Extinction occupies a, dedicated web page, Instagram site and Facebook page, and all images share a distinct set of guidelines to allow for visual unity.

All animals chosen have to be picked from the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species

(https://www.iucnredlist.org/) and all student participants will be asked to do some research on their chosen animal, as well as prepare a sign containing some basic written facts (more information in the Materials List provided separately).

Workshop content:

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 a realistic animal mask.

Mask making requires a combined approach of thorough planning, intuitive felt making and wool sculpting. 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 plumage/fur/hair, 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 and practical help, handouts and illustrated explanations.

Please come ready for hard work as well as fun and bring plenty of ideas, large inspirational photographs and sketches; you will have an opportunity to discuss these with the tutor during the workshop. Please bear in mind that, given the time consuming nature of felting masks, the available time restraints and your personal level of experience, you may be asked to choose relatively plain animals so that you will be able to finish your mask. For this reason too, the tutor may recommend adapting or simplifying overly ambitious designs.

If you are not sure a particular animal is suitable for this master class, please contact Gladys at gladys@gladyspaulus.com with a few images.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be required to make a small felt sample before the workshop.

You will be required to do some research on your chosen animal and to write, print & prepare a letterboard sign before the workshop, that will be used in the photography session

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

  • 10am until 18pm (studio is open from 9.30am)
  • Price: € 699, it is possible after mutual consultation to split the payment into 3 or 4 parts.
  • Included : homemade lunch, drinks, biscuits and sweets, excl. materials
  • Location: Studio Vrouwwolle, Kapelstraat 81 (behind the Citroën garage), B-2910 Essen
  • The materials list and preparation assignments for this masterclass will be sent to you after final registration (= payment masterclass)
  • Experience : Felting masks 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.

This workshop is currently not available.

Faces of extinction
Creation Gladys Paulus
an impression of the exhibition
Creations Gladys Paulus