• Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
  • Josie Chisholm - Artist and Feltmaker offering felt lessons, classes, and workshops in Kent
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Kentish Gazette on 16th June 2011

 

Good feelings at fun day with felt

 

Pupils enjoyed a day being creative with felt.

 

Artist Josie Chisholm, from Eastry, visited Wincheap Primary School on Tuesday to assist the school's art teacher Julie Burroughs in a workshop.

 

Minibeasts and pond life were the inspirations for an array of creations using the material to bring art to life.

 

Pupils made giant hand-rolled wall hangings which they were then able to take home at the end of the day.

Kentish Gazette 5

 

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Kentish Gazette on 14th October 2010

 

Not so fuzzy on felt-making

 

Children at Stelling Minnis Primary have been learning all about the art of making felt.

 

As part of their book week, youngsters at the school got their hands dirty, before creating book-themed designs, featuring everything from monsters to rockets.

 

Their felt squares will now be put on display and hung up around the school, for all to see.

 

The workshops were run by artist Josie Chisholm. She said: "It was lovely to see the children get so much out of the sessions.

 

"They all had a go and were very creative."

 

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Kentish Gazette on 27th May 2010

 

Recycling workshops are a lesson for life

 

Pupils at Wickhambreaux Primary School turned rubbish into are on Monday during a series of special recycling workshops.

 

Eastry artist and feltmaker Josie Chisholm dropped in to run activities on how to transform a simple sketch into a colourful montage.

 

She said: "We ran three sessions during the day, two on the theme of coasts and another on rainforrests.

 

"The children are told beforehand to collect recyclable materials from home and once they've cleaned them up, to bring them to school. Pupils then build up a picture using a set of panels, decorating them and eventually creating one large piece of artwork between them.

 

"It's great fun and the children all work together. It also encourages them to look at how they can re-use materials they come across every day."

 

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Kentish Gazette on 22nd April 2010

 

Everyone felt it was messy but good fun

 

Canterbury Umbrella centre has been getting crafty with a lesson in felt-making.

 

Artist Josie Chisholm headed along to the centre in St Peter's Place on Tuesday to hold the special class.

 

The group were able to turn wool into felt in just two hours, with many of the class choosing to use their felt to make paper weights using pebbles.

 

The Umbrella centre welcomes everyone through its doors and helps those experiencing mental health and or associated learning disabilities.

 

Mrs Chisholm said: "We all had a great time. The messy aspect of it definitely adds to the fun.

 

"Everyone had a laugh and the workshop provided some super results."

 

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Faversham News (Kent Messenger Group) on 11th March 2010

 

It's messy and fun and that's why children just love felt!

 

Pupils at Lorenden Preparatory School have been getting into a colourful mood as part of a creative workshop.

 

Children from the school in Painters Forstal had great fun designing and creating felt faces working with Merino wool, with a theme of Imaginative Stories.

 

The workshop was run by Eastry teacher and artist Josie Chisholm, who practises the ancient art of felt-making. She said: "It is usually wet, messy and fun and that's why the children love it.

 

They will have created a unique, vibrant set of felt squares which will be made into a wall hanging for the school hall.

 

"It will look very impressive."

 

Luke Haddon, 10, said: "I especially like the way it was not rushed and really enjoyed the art."

 

Giulia Waddington, 10, said: "This was the best fun, I liked the tearing up of the wool, and the messy part where we spread the water on with our hands, and mushed it all up."

 

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East Kent Mercury on 4th March 2010

 

Felt self-portraits will brighten school hall

 

A HUGE vibrant wall-hanging decorated with smiling faces will soon be cheering up part of a village school.

 

Children have been taking part in a felt project at Kingsdown and Ringwould Primary, under the guidance of Eastry-based artist Josie Chisholm, and pupils had a fun time.

 

Ronnie Cook, seven, said: "Felt making is excellent because it's all messy!"

 

As part of developing creative curriculum Key Stage 1, pupils from Years 1 and 2 were taught how to make hand-rolled felt.

 

Mrs Chisholm said: "They each made a colourful felt square, using self portraits as the design theme. All the squares will be collated to make the new wall hanging which will enrich the assembly and dining area in the school hall.

 

"I love showing children of all ages this ancient skill. Felt was the first fabric known to man."

 

Class teacher Kay Forsyth was impressed by the project. She said: "It's fabulous for all abilities of children and every felt square is so different and reflects a little bit of the children's characters."

 

Pupil Evie May Siddans, seven, said: "It was really fun to rub the wool as it was all bubbly!"

 

Daniel Waters, six, added: "It's really fun because you get all wet and you get to use wool like cottonwool."

 

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Kentish Gazette (Canterbury and District) by Mary Louis (25th June 2009)

 

Art and science was combined for children at Wincheap Primary School who took part in the ancient technique of feltmaking.

 

The verdict of 56 year six pupils who took part was that the skill, which is thousands of years old, was also great fun.

 

Raylee Marshall, 11, said "This was the most fun we have had in ages." Adam Law, 10, described it as "squidgy", while Alfie Stevenson, 11, said it was the "cleanest I have been in years."

 

Leah Beeching, 10, added: "We made beautiful faces and it was the best thing we have done all year."

 

They were guided by Eastry artist Josie Chisholm who showed them how to make felt squares which they then turned into self portraits. The finished pieces will be combined into a single wall hanging which will be hung on a school wall as a permanent and eyecatching reminder of the youngsters who leave this summer for secondary school.

 

Magnificent

 

Felt making involves using merino wool and rubbing it with soapy water.

 

Mrs Chisholm said: "The children really enjoyed themselves. The wall hanging will be a magnificent remembrance of the children with all their happy smiley faces brightening up the school immensely."

 

The school has an Art Council Gold Artsmark for excellence in creativity.

 

Art teacher and co-ordinator Julie Burroughs said: "Felt making is great for children as it is a combination of science, art, and fun."

 

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East Kent Mercury - Rubbish provides artistic inspiration (16th April 2009)

 

Children at a village school have successfully proved that art does not have to cost the earth.

 

Pupils at the Cartwright and Kelsey Church of England Primary in Ash have created a vibrant five-metre mural made entirely of rubbish.

 

Eastry-based artist Josie Chisholm has been encouraging the classes to save recyclable waste at home and take it to school for a project during Eco-Week.

 

She said: "Pupils collected a total of eight bin bags for the mural and the children were inspired to use their imaginations, plus a lot of cutting and sticking, to produce a colourful environmental-friendly project.

 

"The mural shows the transition from polluted city to green countryside.

 

"Every pupil helped in a small way to create this smart eco-friendly picture which also symbolises how if we all do our bit for the environment we can make a difference."

 

Brodie Aynes from Class 2 said: "It was really fun and really clever because we used lots of rubbish."

 

Class 4 pupil Luke Borner added: "It was really cool, big and awesome!"

 

The mural will be on permanent display and was part of the school's aim to become an Eco-School.

 

Other activities during Eco-Week at Cartwright and Kelsey included willow weaving, a recycled model-making competition, dressing up in rubbish competition and an energy saving poster competition.

 

Eco-pldges were made which involved pupils' families, children planted seeds and there was a visit from one of the Kent Eco-Schools officers. At the end of the week the Cartwright and Kelsey School received a bronze eco-award.

 

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Kentish Gazette - Pupils waste no time getting creative (16th April 2009)

 

Children at a village school have successfully proved that art does not have to cost the earth.

 

Pupils at the Cartwright and Kelsey Church of England Primary in Ash have created a vibrant five-metre mural made entirely of rubbish.

 

Eastry-based artist Josie Chisholm has been encouraging the classes to save recyclable waste at home and take it to school for a project during Eco-Week.

 

She said: "Pupils collected a total of eight bin bags for the mural and the children were inspired to use their imaginations, plus a lot of cutting and sticking, to produce a colourful environmental-friendly project.

 

"The mural shows the transition from polluted city to green countryside. Every pupil helped in a small way to create this smart eco-friendly picture which also symbolises how if we all do our bit for the environment we can make a difference."

 

The mural is part of the school's aim to become an Eco-School.

 

At the end of the week the Cartwright and Kelsey School received a bronze eco-award.

 

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East Kent Mercury - Pupils have a bash at artwork (19th March 2009)

 

A vibrant and colourful wall display is cheeting up staff, pupils, and visitors at Sholden Primary School.

 

The new addition to the building is an artwork made from a mixture of more than 100 felt squares, created by all the boys and girls during a two-day felt workshop.

 

Eastry artist Josie Chisholm masterminded the project which was funded by the Friends of Sholden School.

 

She said: "All the children thoroughly enjoyed the felting sessions. Each child designed a symbol that represents an important part of the ethos of Sholden School.

 

"They loved all the different stages of felt making, especially when they had to bash their newly-made felt on the table to shrink it further!"

 

Mrs Chisholm said felt was the oldest fabric known to humankind, predating knitting and weaving.

 

She added: "Felt remains found in Turkey date back to 6,500 B.C. We use wool from the merino sheep because it produces the best and softest felt.

 

"This prized sheep originally came from Spain. Before the 18th century, if anyone was caught exporting them, the crime was punishable with death. Luckily this is not the case today."

 

Andrew Viney, from Class 3, said: "It was very wet which was great. I made a cross against the sun setting to show that Christianity is a big part of this school."

 

Head teacher Justine Brown said: "Josie has a lovely manner with the children that inspires them."

East Kent Mercury

 

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East Kent Mercury - Josie gets the bug for felt making (7th August 2008)

 

When Josie Chisholm took her children to a craft workshop she returned home with more than a few colourful creations.

 

She loved the felt-making workshop so much it started her thinking about how to develop her new-found interest.

 

"I totally got the bug. I read all the books I could find about the ancient craft and started making my own felt."

 

With a life-long interest in art, Josie started designing and making a variety of tea cosies, slippers and bags.

 

She started exhibiting her work and visitors to the displays asked her how she made her creations. So she started to organise her own workshops last January.

 

Enthusiasm

 

After being approached to share her enthusiasm with children during a school arts week, Josie agreed and was impressed at the reactions from the boys and girls.

 

"We made a wall hanging together and they loved it. It was such a success and the pupils found the sessions new and challenging.

 

"They used maths and team work on the project. It is important for children to have art in the school curriculum - they don't have enough fun in the classroom!

 

"It is important to be creative and imaginative. Making felt can be messy, wet, noisy, and vigorous. I hope more schools get in touch with me.

 

"Arts and crafts are important. They make you happy, fulfilled and satisfied, as well as being incredibly rewarding."

 

Josie, of Eastry, was born in Canterbury in 1962 and lived in Tanzania as a child.

 

She moved back to Kent when she was 13 and, after leaving school, she travelled before going to university in Norwich to study for a degree in Third World development.

 

In 1991 she moved near to Ash, and then to Eastry in 1997. She is married to Dave, who is a cartoonist, and the couple have three daughters, including twins.

 

"I have always been self employed and work from home to fit around the family. I make a living from out of my hobbies now."

 

In addition to her workshops and school sessions, Josie also designs a variety of greeting cards.

 

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East Kent Mercury - Wall hanging fulfils a long felt need (31st July 2008)

 

Bright and cheerful wall hangings are adding splashes of colour to the new community library in a village school.

 

All the children at Worth Primary spent a day making felt "pictures" of themselves using the ancient skill of making hand-rolled felt, organised by Eastry artist and felt maker Josie Chisholm.

 

She said: "All the pupils had lots of fun laying the wispy layers of wool and then wetting their felt pictures with warm soapy water.

 

"They rubbed their work and made great lather of bubbles which in the end turned the wool into felt. They were very pleased with their results."

 

All the children's squares were collated into a large wall hanging now on permanent display in the library, which is open for villagers in Worth to use for browsing, reading and logging on to the internet.

 

Mrs Chisholm added: "One felt-making story goes back to medieval times when a French monk on a long journey picked up pieces of fleece caught on the rocks and twigs to tuck them into his sandals for comfort.

 

"When he finally reached his desination he discovered that the fluffy wool had matted into a strong, tough and comfortable fabric.

 

"Luckily, it was the end of term so the children don't have to think about new shoes for a while!"

Worth Primary School

 

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Links

 

www.chizcartoons.com  for cartoons by the Sunday Times cartoonist, Dave Chisholm

 

www.Pressup.biz  for raising your profile & promoting your brand

 

www.natural-pathways.co.uk  for short courses to learn about bushcraft and survival skills.

 

www.stewartross.com - for a vibrant and lively writer and speaker.