Magical Felt in Thai orphanage

from Gaia Gualtieri - 6 June 2012

Gaia Gualtieri

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Gaia Gualtieri

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Phrae and Phetchabun

With the wool fibers that amalgamate continents, once again, Ruth Bucci-Baumer from Switzerland, which normally offers creative felt courses in Italy, spent the winter, as a volunteer, in two orphanages in the North and Center Thailand.


Ruth was supported by DHG Main Street, which generously provided the material necessary for the realization of his project.

“The home and the schools in Phrae and Phatcheburn managed by a Christian association based in Australia, were the places where I found an excellent base to work as an art-therapist.

I started working with preschool children in Phrae, in which the curiosity about this strange material has been definitely a good start. The contact with water, initially brake for these children, who were taught not to get wet, soon took over the entertainment aspect, it was transformed into a great interest and subsequent involvement.

Soon they showed the desire to create with fun, and day after day they created new felt objects. Through this way of “making felt” I could teach the younger, as sensory, knowledge of colors, shapes and materials, particularly for Freddy and Ploy, two children with Special Needs, “making felt” it was a therapeutic boon that has helped to improve their motor skills and foster their growth.


In the second structure Phatcheburn, there are about 100 boys of all ages, organized in small families who attend the school adjacent to the institute, built by the Australians with the consent of the Thai state, the school also hosts about 1500 children from across the region . These children could attend felt classes only in their free time after completing their daily tasks, which consisted of cleaning activities, gardening, work in agriculture, to feed the fish, fishing and helping in the kitchen, etc. etc.

With great pleasure I observed that just enjoyed a bit of time showed a great desire to be a personal item. Having a personal item Felt was seen as a prime location. Boys all wanted the bag or tie, females were creating flowers or light scarf.

felt felt

Often I felt it difficult to postpone the children the next day because the spontaneous participation, but so numerous, kept me from following them.

I felt, and I confirm at now, that do felt in Thailand, in schools and orphanages, was the ideal vehicle to create contacts in the beautiful space of all ages. The combination of wool fibers, together with the soap and water and warmth mixed contacts between the people and joy for the soul. 

In synthesis, I went with the thought and the desire to give many things to these children but the wealth that I brought in is really indescribable.”

Thanks again Ruth for her willingness to share his experience and for the beautiful photos of young artists and their beautiful creations that sent us.


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