Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fashioning Felt Exhibit

Fashioning Felt is an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, through September 7, 2009.

Quoting from their website:

"This exhibition will explore the varied new uses of felt—an ancient material, believed to be one of the earliest techniques for making textiles. Made by matting together wool fibers with humidity and friction, felting requires little technological expertise and is an extremely versatile material. The exhibition will begin with historic examples of felts, showcase innovations in handmade felts, and feature contemporary uses of industrial felt in a range of fields, including product design, fashion, architecture, and home furnishings. The exhibition is being organized by Susan Brown, assistant curator, Textiles."

... and ...

"About the Exhibition:

Fashioning Felt presents an extraordinary range of felt. From two-dimensional carpets to three-dimensional environments, each work reveals the virtuosity of both the material and the designers. The exhibition and book focus on felt that has been produced by traditional hand- or machine-felting processes; they exclude non-woven felt and techniques, in order to underscore the essential elements of feltmaking — wool fiber, agitation, moisture, and pressure."

There's a page on the website that shows one process for making felt in Turkmenistan, that's very interesting and very labor intensive!

The felting blog, also on the site, and is worth visiting.

Read the art review of the show "Humble Fabric Takes Center Stage" by Roberta Smith in the NY Times on April 30, 2009. There are also other felt shows mentioned in the review, that you might want to visit if you're in New York.

As an artist, who focuses on the use of fiber, this show is of great interest. Last year, I created on 6" x 6" piece of felt each week. Take a look on on my website, and read about my process here on my blog. I also wrote an article that is in Quilting Arts Magazine's December/January 2009 issue about my 2008 project, and my experiences with felting from art school through the present day. The title of the article is "Journal Felting with Punch", and can be found on page 76.

I hope I can get to New York to see this show before it closes.