by Mark

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This past Thursday the Darhan MK school went on a field trip to visit a Mongolian Felt Artist.  Jargal Saihan and his wife are committed Christians who make their living by portraying Biblical and Mongolian scenes in felt.  Felt-making is an art that developed in Mongolia.  It is used for footwear, clothing, and most importantly for gers – the traditional Mongolian home.  The felt is light but strong.  The artist told the kids that a felt picture was found in a burial mound from almost 1500 years earlier.

 

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Step 1: Clean the wool.  The wool is washed five times to separate out the dirt and other things that get into it.  The clean wool is on top and the dirty, raw wool is on the bottom.  (All I could think of while seeing this was the verse  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Is. 1:18 ESV) 

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Step 2: Card the Wool. Jargal Saihan built this machine himself.  He runs the wool through it four or five times to break up the knots and comb it out.  He also dyes the wool for the colors he needs.  I think he said he has over 60 different colors that he can create. 

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Step 3: Wet the Wool Jargal Saihan wets the wool in preparation to add other colors of felt and pieces to create the desired picture.  He had all the kids work together to create a house.

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Step 4: Layer the Colors and Shapes. Everyone gets to lend a hand and pitch in

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Step 5: Soap Together.  A mesh is then put over the picture and it is rubbed vertically and horizontally with soap to help bring the fibers of the felt together.

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Step 6: Rinse and Let Dry. Its amazing that the picture is so strong that it can be wrung out!  it is then left to dry.

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