Trying Dry Needle Felting with Jack and Alice Crafts – Review
Rebecca Bennett lives in Marlow with her husband Iain and her two children – Jack and Alice. Rebecca has a background in art. She studied Fine Art and Sculpture at university then went on to teach Art and Design at a secondary school – and did this for thirteen years.
When the pandemic hit, Rebecca decided to follow her dream of starting her own art workshops business and spend more time with her family. Jack and Alice Crafts was naturally named after her children – and Rebecca now offers dry needle felting and free machine embroidery workshops currently at her home, but is looking at doing them in different locations – and even holding ‘prosecco evenings’ in other people’s homes!
When I tried dry needle felting
This week I was kindly invited to attend a dry needle felting workshop at Rebecca’s home. I had never tried it before, and in fact it wasn’t a term I was familiar with. However Rebecca reassured me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t have any experience as the technique is achievable for any ability.
When I arrived, I was warmly welcomed. Rebecca kindly provided tea and biscuits and explained how we were going to create our artwork. The theme was the sea and we were shown some examples of sea scapes that we could take inspiration from.
One of my favourite beaches is Porthmeor beach in St Ives, so I was guided by a photo I had taken on my phone in the summer of the sun set over the sea.
How tricky is dry needle felting?
All of the materials were provided, so we didn’t have to bring anything (photographs were optional). The process of dry needle felting includes building up small amounts of wool and using special felting needles to attach it to foam. Colours and textures can then be created by layering more wool. If you make a mistake, then you simply pull off what you’re not happy with and do it again.
It took me a while to get my confidence with using the different types of wool, and trying to achieve the right colours and textures. But as soon as I got going with it, it became easier.
Rebecca gave advice and guidance all the way through the workshop, which was really helpful. She suggested to start with the horizon and work from there – and helped me to blend colours and textures.
The session was really lovely and relaxed, with peaceful music in the background that felt very therapeutic. It certainly gave me a bit of ‘me time’ which I didn’t expect.
How long are the workshops?
The workshop was two and a half hours, which was perfect. I didn’t feel rushed, and it was enough time to complete my artwork. Once I had finished my sea scape, Rebecca helped me to cut out two surf boards from felt to add to it, and she also helped me to put it in a box frame.
For my first attempt, I was really pleased with the result, and it was lovely to be able to take it home and put it on display. I’d definitely have a go at doing this again.
If you would like to book onto one of Rebecca’s workshops, or you have an enquiry about having a workshop at your own home (or chosen venue) then get in touch.
Creating my sea scape
Almost finished artwork