Spring Arts preview: Wet felt workshop

Apr 13, 2021

MARION — A little bit of felt can go a long way.

Anna Kristina Goransson, a Swedish-born felt artist, will be hosting a workshop on May 8 as part of the Marion Arts Center’s 10-day South Coast Spring Arts festival.

At the three-hour workshop, participants will see a demonstration on felt working by Goransson, then be able to make their own small piece of felt art.

“It’s really fun for me,” Goransson said. “And it’s really fun to see the state of satisfaction when people realize they can do it themselves.”

Participants will use a technique called “wet felting” to make a piece like a pod, vase or hat, Goransson said.

Goransson move to the states in 1985, and said she’s been working felt since she earned her Master’s from UMass Dartmouth in 2008

In wet felting, all it takes to make art that can withstand the test of time is wool and soap. Goransson said the material starts out flat, but with a bit of elbow grease, it can start to take a three-dimensional shape.

Goransson said “you can’t get a ton done” in three hours, but participants will be able to leave the workshop with a small piece they’ve made themselves.

“It’s a pretty magical process and material,” Goransson said.

She said part of the magic of felt is its simplicity.

“Felt is such a strong material that it can be kept outside,” Goransson said.

That’s proven by some of her work — felt flowers.

She said this will be her first class since the pandemic began last March, after spending a year working out of her basement.

“I love teaching,” the artist said. “I feel like when I teach, I always end up learning something new.”

Goransson said even though it’s a bit of a workout to turn felt into art, “it’s always lots of fun, that’s for sure.”

Registration for the felt workshop is $35, and can be found alongside other Marion Art Center Spring Arts events at marionartcenter.org/scspringarts.