I Feel You 2021!
Download a pdf of the phases doc here - or read on...
1: Training the volunteers: (Prior to DesignTO week)
Connecting with an organization like Canadian Council for Refugees, a demo within the population that the organization serves will be identified (ie. women and girls, LGBTQ, youth).
From that demo, participants will be invited to engage in a workshop learning the process of making flat felt from raw wool and other organic elements. The participants will learn the skills of dying, laying the wool, surface design, wetting the wool out, felting, fulling, needle felting, and the final blocking and mounting of a piece.
This one-day workshop will happen prior to DesignTO to prepare the participants to act as guides for the public during the I Feel You 2021! interactive art experience at DesignTO.
2. The "laying" of the wool: (During DesignTO week)
Citizens of Toronto who have sponsored or been sponsored will be provided with wool batt, roving, textured yarns, pre-felts and raw wool and then guided by the project lead and the pre-trained volunteers in the laying out and design of 3'x3' segments.
Once each segment is laid, it will be "wetted-out" using a method that has been used for centuries. The laying and wetting out process is an interactive event that happens over the first 5 days of the festival. The segments will then be rolled and set aside for the felting process during the CUT A RUG Dance Party and MASH PIT!
3. The CUT A RUG Dance Party and MASH PIT!: (Evening 5 of DesignTO)
At this evening event, the segments of previously laid wool will be transformed into felt. Through the process of dancing to the grooves of a local celeb DJ!
Citizens of Toronto will migrate the fibres of wool together into felt while dancing and those felted segments will be transferred from the dance floor to the "MASH-PIT" room.
The "MASH-PIT" room, is a kind of mosh pit of warm, wet, wooly, bare-foot mayhem. Participants are invited to throw their pieces against walls, and floors - stomp them with their feet and pound them with pool noodles to fully "mash" their wooly fibres together. This process, commonly called "fulling", will migrate the fibres of wool into super-tight, beautiful structures.
Once segments are determined to be fully felted together, volunteers and guides will remove them from the "MASH-PIT" and rinse them in baths of tepid water and vinegar, wring them and block and stack them for drying.
4. The Final design process: "Connecting" Connections:
Two days following the CUT A RUG Dance Party and MASH PIT!, the fully dried segments are laid out by the guides and the project lead. They are examined by sponsors, participants and guides to collectively determine additional design elements, alterations or repairs.
The project lead will assist volunteers in the process of needle felting and adhering the additional elements. Design of any larger textile pieces will be undertaken by connecting segments together.
5. I FEEL YOU 2021 Soiree – Revealing and Public Auction
Final pieces will be exhibited and auctioned at a public event that brings together sponsors, participants, guides, volunteers, members of DesignTO and the public at large.
The sharing of music, cultural delicacies and fine spirits will celebrate the work and the connections made during the process.