Archives for posts with tag: felt

As most of you, I stayed snowed in yesterday, after an epic failed attempt to get to work. Biggest snowstorm since 1996, that’s what they say. It was a little bit of a frustrating day since I couldn’t get any work done – no internet, no right knitting needles, … However, each time that I’d look through my window, I couldn’t help to smile. Snow crystals, snow flakes, snow, snow mountains, snowed streets and cars.. Snow is so pretty!

And it made me remind of one of the first Abigail Doan‘s works I came across and that I truly loved, the Snowed Crocheted series.

Abigail Doan, Crocheted Snow 01, 2005

Abigail Doan, Crocheted Snow 03, 2005

Abigail Doan, Crocheted Snow 08, 2005

(photos courtesy of Abigail Doan)

I really love how the fine crochet work complements the delicate balance of the snow flakes on the branches. And just how simple and really beautiful it is.

And then, with my mind set on snow-y textiles, I started remembering the lovely white felted yurt, by Janice Arnold, at the Fashioning Felt exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt on Spring/Summer 2009. I went to see the exhibition on the opening night and it was crowded, but I remember coming back several times to this room and just stare at the walls and ceiling. The felt work is really complex and intricate, but expelling such a peaceful aura. Just like snow.

Janice Arnold, Palace Yurt, Site specific installation at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design, 2009

(photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

Janice Arnold, Palace Yurt, site specific installation at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design, 2009

(photo courtesy of Janice Arnold)

And finally, ended my snowy textiles dream with the installation piece World Wide Web, by Shane Waltener, commissioned for the exhibition Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, at the Museum of Art and Design, New York, in 2007. I moved to New York 2 years too late, but I’d love love love to have seen this one live.

Shane Waltener, A World Wide Web, 2007

(photos courtesy of Shane Waltener)


Hope you had a nice and cozy snowed in day!

Received a surprise email from a former TAC weaving student this past week. Anna Craycroft took Intro to Weaving about a year ago. She was very intent on focusing her energy on understanding drafts and patterns. She briefly described the project she was working on, learned what she needed to from Visnja, and was on her way. Little did we know she was participating is such a great exhibition:

Subject of Learning / Object of Study brings a playful engagement with pedagogical language to three rooms of the Blanton Museum of Art. A colorful mural of chalkboards flank the walls of one gallery. A curated library of books fill the shelves of another. Handwritten wall didactics explain the content of the show through slogans and diagrams. The exhibition underscores how the museum itself as a tool for teaching: replete with visual aids, archives and lesson plans.”

While the exhibition seems to have been incredibly visually stimulating, there were also workshops, readings, and discussions throughout the exhibit on a range of topics from Kafka on the Shore, theater, and steel drumming to Montessori education, Bauhaus color theory, and zen meditation.

In the main education room, were Anna’s pieces:

Says Anna: “They are hand woven out of strips of merino wool, and sewn together for reinforcement. The rugs could be removed from the wall and used as seating during workshops and events that took place in the galleries as part of the exhibition. The ‘weaving’ technique comes from a paper weaving exercise invented by 19th century pedagogue Friedrich Froebel as part of his occupational gifts – a series of teaching tools for young children the pattern and color combination are based on the color theory exercises of Bauhaus teachers – Wasilly Kandinsky, Josef Albers, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten. Each rug is titled after the given Bauhaus exercise.”

(all above photos courtesy UOIEA)

(all above photos courtesy Anna Craycroft)

I wish I had been able to see this! As an arts education center that also houses a gallery, we greatly admire how seamlessly they blended a wide range of educational topics and art. Congratulations, Anna! Can’t wait to see what she does next in textiles.

Look for a recap of last nights lecture with Sabrina Gschwandtner on Monday! Have a great weekend

Wikipedia says:

Clothing and textiles have been enormously important throughout human history—so have their materials, production tools and techniques, cultural influences, and social significance.

Textiles, defined as felt or spun fibers made into yarn and subsequently netted, looped, knit or woven to make fabrics, appeared in the Middle East during the late stone age. From ancient times to the present day, methods of textile production have continually evolved, and the choices of textiles available have influenced how people carried their possessions, clothed themselves, and decorated their surroundings.


Historically, textiles began as any other means of expressing stories and present experiences. Today, we see textiles as a way of expressing our personalities, of reserving a place in history specifically for ourselves.  Not really much different from what has happened for centuries, so our perceptions of its techniques should not be so different.  This is where you would be wrong. Now-a-days we are not so concerned with how our products are made, just that we have them and as many of them as possible.  We have lost the joys that a process brings, and that is what textile artists, slow fashion, and centers are bringing back.

The techniques have changed significantly, but the ideals remain the same.



Screen Printing



And these are just a few examples.  There is still quilting, crocheting, lace making, sewing, macrame, batik, tie dyeing, cross stitching, embroidery, not to mention the possibilities of combining all of these techniques.

What my anger issue is about is that such a small group of people really appreciate the work that goes into a hand-crafted textile.  It is such a shame that everyone does not have appreciation for something that is a part of their everyday life.

This is what the Textile Arts Center is helping to rectify.  By educating we can help the public gain more smarts, appreciation, and overall experience in a field that affects their lives immensely.

Happy Grand Opening, and I promise that next week we get back to our regularly scheduled program!

I love multi-textured and architectural art.  By layering pieces, colors, and different degrees of sheer fabric on top of each other creates new ways of seeing the fabric.  Lindsay Taylor is another individual who understands the principles of layering and has put it to practice in her sculptures and jewelry.

Lindsay resides on the Isle of Wright in England.  Her works have been featured in many publications including Selvedge, Design Edge, and Country Living.  All of her works begin with hand dyed fabric, mainly silk or merino wool.  Then multiple techniques are applied usually over one another to create what Lindsay describes as “magic”.  Many of the techniques used are devoré, felting, appliqué, heat manipulation, freehand or machine embroidery, batik, wire and bead work.  The final product is nothing short of highly innovative, textured, and extremely beautiful.

Every little detail that you can imagine are present in her work.  The lines of the butterflies are carefully stitched into the wings, giving each individual butterfly character of its own.

When you think about it, felt is an amazing substance.

Born from wool, it takes just a little bit of water, beating with reeds, and a ride behind a horse and you have the fabric called felt.  Or, to save on the cost of a horse, you can just throw wool into a hot wash and out comes felt.  Felt is used everywhere: on your instruments, in your car and home, in your childhood toys, or your warm hats, on your billiard tables, in blankets and mattresses, and those are the only examples I can think of right now.

However, felt has never been considered a luxury fabric; and subsequently, never is first to be chosen when creating clothing or art.  Yet the kids at the Textile Arts Center’s camp made these beautiful little felt sculptures that got me to thinking whether or not any mature artists utilize felt in their artistic process.

Tristin Lowe’s work is simple but powerful.  He uses natural white felt to create his life-sized masterpieces.

This whale is made entirely out of felt and is life-size.  Look at the fantastic detail that went into the little barnacles that permanently attach themselves to the whale’s body.

Another large-scale artwork is his Lunar piece.

Dana Barnes is no stranger to fabrics.  As a veteran sportswear clothing designer for Elie Tahari, Adrienne Vittadini and Tommy Hilfiger she has been exposed to fabrics more complicated than felt.  But when her downstairs neighbors started to complain that her children were making a racket running back and forth through their loft she came up with a “feltastic” solution.  She started to create large felt rugs to muffle the sounds of her children running.  The process is communal and creates very beautiful rugs.

Dana was reviewed in the NY Times in May.  To read this review click here.