In Design inspiration

This weekend my friend Heather and I went to the American Craft Council show in Baltimore. I expected to walk the show, see some cool stuff and be inspired…but WOW! We saw some amazing things! It got me totally fired up…

(forgive the shots taken with my phone, they don’t do the work justice!)

The scarves, above, are the work of Susan Neal an outstanding weaver. These wool scarves are woven, felted (fulled), then cut to remove portions of the weave to creating a pattern of holes, texture, and fringe. They are super soft and full of gorgeous color.

I couldn’t resist buying myself a *little something* from Susan Neal: this colorful felty necklace made from the cut strips that are removed from the scarves shown in the first photo. I love it!

And speaking of *love*, the work of Jeung-Hwa Park is near and dear to my heart! Her booth had the most alluring rainbow of color. All of her scarves are hand loomed (knit) felted, hand dyed, and manipulated with a shibori technique. I’ve experimented with this technique before with my recycled sweater felting and it is just magical! Beads, balls or disks are wrapped and tied in the unfelted knit fabric to create a resist. Once felted, the objects are removed leaving the unfelted shape behind. (Check it out: My very first tutorial was on shibori felting, from May 2006, back when my blog was just a newborn baby. *Sigh*…they grow up so fast, don’t they?)

More from Jeung-Hwa Park above. I think her work, more than anything else is fueling my desire to haul out my old knitting machine that I bought 20 years ago after graduation. Seriously, if only I could have a second life to play and experiment with it! As much as I truly adore the work that I am doing with my career and business, there is a part of me that misses the indulgent nature of exploring a certain media just for my own creative purposes. Someday, someday!

I highly recommend attending an ACC show if there is one in your area. I believe Atlanta, St. Paul and San Francisco are the next locations this year. I was only able to show you work from two of the craftspeople in attendance but the show was filled with talent of the highest quality. Top notch all the way.

Regarding my last post: I’m glad you enjoyed seeing a little bit of my design process! So much goes into it, it’s really hard to distill into a few photos and paragraphs. Some of you mentioned earning textile design degrees before computers were commonplace in schools and the industry. I feel your pain! I graduated with my degree in fashion design in 1989 and had the same issues with getting my hands on a computer for design work. I wanted it so badly. I do have more stories about this which I’ll probably share someday…

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Showing 12 comments
  • patricia

    Holy moly! I love those scarves! Gorgeous work.

  • Beth Gales

    Wow–I love these! They look great and I bet they feel very cozy, too!

  • Heather Ozee

    These colors and textures are amazing! So whimsical.

  • ourhometoyours

    The ACC show is so awesome!!! My mom has been going to this show in St. Paul for years. I just talked to her yesterday and she is not able to make it this year. I think she considered cancelling the trip she planned just so she could go to the ACC show. I have gone with her in the past and seen the amazing work! I live in NY and have considered traveling to Balitmore just to go (It is the closest one to me). Anyway, I saw your post about it today and wanted to comment because I know what a great experience you must have had!!! These scarves you took picutres of are beautiful!

  • theartistshouse

    How beautiful, despite the fact that you were using your phone as a camera. I was going to blog another piece on felting this week and might reference back to you and your first tutorial so people can learn about shibori felting. What a beautiful idea; they put my simple ideas to shame. Once again, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Carrie

    LOVE the color and texture of those scarves… and that necklace is SO fun!! Thanks for the inspiration ;)

  • Creativaholic

    Hi Betz, love your blog.
    I talk about you and your projects in my newborn blog. Hope you agree about it and linke it.

  • Carly

    Gorgeous! I have never heard of the ACC show but I will have to check it out… it must have been amazing. Being inspired is almost just as fulfilling as actually creating.

  • Organizing Mommy

    I think we need to take time to indulge in the creative process or we’ll run out of ideas.

    I love her (Swa?) work. Beautiful scarves.

  • Marchi Wierson

    that is so pretty my heart is happy!

  • Sandra Regina

    Lindos trabalhos

  • Kristen

    those scarves are amazing! i wish I had been able to attend the show – a friend from home was exhibiting her incredible jewelry Myung Urso and I would love to have been there to show her support as well :)

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