Art students at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA have been engaged in an in-depth experience with felting under the direction of art teacher, Jeffrey Wilson and they are about to take it to the next level. Award winning and professional sheep shearer, Emily Chamelin-Hickman of Westminster, MD spoke to students about sheep shearing and gave students a demonstration on Thursday, November 21, 2019.
For the past month, students have not only been learning how to felt, but using the felt they have made to design and create functional items such as purses and pouches. After learning how to felt, students became interested in the raw materials used in felting such as sheep and Alpaca wool. Their teacher, Mr. Wilson, acquired these raw materials and the students learned to wash and dye it for their projects. Seeing their interest, Mr. Wilson contacted Ms. Camelin-Hickman who is well-known Internationally for her sheep shearing skills and owns her own sheep farm. He invited Camelin-Hickman to come to Kenmore to share about her work and do a sheep shearing demonstration. Wilson felt this experience would help students understand the full cycle wool must go through before coming a part of a felted piece of art work. It is not everyday that students in a suburban school get an up close and personal farm experience. Wilson looks forward to expanding students understanding and hi-lighting the work of a sheep shearer who was voted by the American Sheep Shearers Council as the Team USA team manager this last year and who first qualified for the team in 2011.