Needle Felted Critters


Sat 3 & Sun 4 Aug

In stock

1st installment : £93 (non refundable)


Sat 3 & Sun 4 Aug
Sat 10am – 4pm
Sun 11am – 4pm

Join world famous textile sculptor Johanna Flannigan, aka The Pale Rook for a relaxing needle felted critters workshop, and make your own fantastical beasties in this brand new offering. Take inspiration from your favourite animal or character, mythical or real, and see what character emerges as you learn to manipulate and build soft sculptural figures using natural wool. Johanna will teach a variety of techniques throughout the weekend, and as you felt you’ll learn how to recognise emerging characters in your making, and how to use the inherent qualities of your materials to bring your little creature to life.

Felting is the oldest textile construction method in human history, and has been used for home building, clothing, homeware, and sculpture for thousands of years throughout the world. In this workshop we will explore the sculptural possibilities of needle felted wool, beginning with simple forms such as beads and pin cushions, and progressing to more complex sculpture worked over wire armatures.

No previous textile or felting experience is necessary and all equipment and materials are provided. Please bring a cushion, blanket or towel with you to rest your felting pad on while we work. This will also provide support for your wrists or arms if you have any mobility issues.

Throughout the workshop we will be using ethically sourced sheeps’ wool. Typically we use leather finger guards while felting and although we will be offering a vegan alternative to the leather guards, please keep in mind that we will not be able to work with a vegan alternative to wool.


About Your Tutor

Johanna Flanagan is a Scottish doll maker, costumiere and teacher. She studied Constructed Textiles at Duncan of Jordanstone college, then an MA in Fashion at the Royal College of Art. Throughout a career that meandered from catwalk, to film, to theatre, to historical costuming, Johanna always made dolls in secret, never really taking them seriously until her mid thirties when she decided to bring them out of the shadows.

Johanna’s work is heavily influenced by the natural world, themes of decay and restoration, and is a deeply personal reflection of her own emotional world. Her design approach is often led by intuition and an instinctive response to materials and subject matter.

Johanna continues to work internationally in collaboration with fashion designers, artists, dancers and performers. She has been teaching and lecturing in colleges, art schools and museums for fourteen years, as well as teaching independently.


“Johanna really helps free you of pre conceived ideas of how to create. I found it extremely liberating.”

“This is what happens when you go on a Pale Rook doll making course. You shake loose and create from your soul.”

“I had in my head what I wanted to create and Johanna gently coaxed it out of me and enabled the process of bringing him into being. He’s a very personal creation, he’s mine”

  • All tools and materials needed for your portrait dolls workshop are included in the course cost
  • Tea and coffee are provided but participants should bring their own lunch and utensils
  • All of our classes are suitable for over 16s, younger crafters may be accommodated if accompanied by a participating adult but please contact us before booking
  • If the workshop you were looking at is fully booked drop us an email and we’ll add you to the waiting list. As restrictions ease we might be able to add more spaces to some of our courses. We will add extra dates to our most popular workshops too, join the mailing list to be the first to know

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