All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.
Needle felting is an ancient craft that involves an easy to learn a process of sculpting and transforming wool into 3D objects using a barbed needle. In this spirited needle felting class, a program leader takes participants through the steps that will help them craft their own small winter-themed characters that can displayed, hung on Christmas trees, or given as a gifts to others. This program is suited to those of all levels from beginner to expert. No artistic skills are needed, only a desire to try something new and have fun in the company of other members.
What to Expect at a Session
Needle felting involves sitting at a table with a foam felting pad and stabbing small amounts of wool with a special needle until a firms up into the desired shape. In the first session of this program, participants are introduced the materials used for needle felting, and soon after, everyone is encouraged to jump in begin creating simple shapes. Over time, with plenty of guidance and encouragement, new participants will learn a comfortable level of enjoying this craft, while more experienced participants will be challenged with more advanced projects. In all classes, a common theme is communication, comradery, and plenty of laughter.
Benefits and Impact
Self-expression through the creation of art can have meaningful effects on the health of people living with cancer. Research on art therapies has found evidence of a broad range of health-related benefits, such as improvements in anxiety, fatigue, pain, and quality of life (Boehm et al., 2014; Bosman et al., 2021; LaPenna & Tariman, 2020; Puetz et al., 2013; Wood et al., 2011). Specifically for textile-based art, a survey in the UK found that knitting can be a strategy for coping with stress, and may be associated with increased happiness and greater perceived thinking ability. The researchers conducting the study note that these effects tend to be greater when the activity is performed in groups (Riley et al., 2013).