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Wrap with wool

This activity was devised by artist Brendan Jamison, who often makes sculpture using surprising materials. It was inspired by his series of sculptures that challenge stereotypes attached to objects viewed as tough, heavy and masculine by softening them in a coating of bright colourful wool. He demonstrates how to make a small wool-wrapped sculpture in this short film.


Each small group will need:

  • up to 10 balls of wool. They can choose one colour or even mix colours. Check out local charity shops for cheap wool
  • a tape measure, or two 30 cm rulers
  • a pair of scissors
  • clear sticky tape
  • a twig or small branch. Look for any lying on the ground first. Otherwise, ensure you have permission before taking one from a tree
  • a flat surface (table or work surface)

How to make your wool sculpture

  • Begin by cutting 10 lengths of wool at 60 cm and line them up in a row.
  • Tape one end so all 10 strands are held together. This tape is cut off at the end.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 so you have two rows of 10 strands each.


  • Select a branch that is about 50 cm long. Allow an extra 5 cm on either side so you're not short after you cut off the tape.
  • Attach one set of strands on the back of branch, one set on the front and then tape both together at the top.
  • Now cut some small lengths of about 20–30 cm. You will use these to tie onto the branch at intervals of about 7 cm along the branch.
  • Create a slipknot and tie it tight at top of the branch. Then use the remainder of the wool length to tie another knot. Continue this process all the way down the branch, with knots about every 7 cm. Once finished, cut the excess wool off the top and bottom of the branch.

Brendan ties a slipknot around his branch

Brendan ties a slipknot around his branch

  • Repeat this process on all of the other branches until you have completely covered the entire branch in wool.

Yellow Helicopter

Yellow Helicopter 2006

Brendan Jamison (b.1979)

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

For a more elaborate sculpture, as Brendan outlines in the film, students can be supported to cut sections of garden wire to (2 mm thick is easiest to cut and shape) to create a wire structure and then wrap it in wool using the same process as above.

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