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…