Recently a friend of mine took me away from my children and my home and into the heart of Boston for the Boston Craft show. It was a delightful day out, despite the gloomy rain, and it was such a treat to see so many artisans and their beautiful wares. One design concept that truly struck me was the use of felt. In my mind, felt is for Sunday School dioramas and little kid book-mark presents – so I was intrigued by the ways some artists are manipulating the medium.
Danielle Gori-Montanelli’s felt creations are whimsical and satisfying. Once a painter, then a jewelry maker, Danielle was searching for something with more texture and less fumes to work with and happened upon felt. Her organic process of laying out pieces and cutting them as she is inspired offers the end user a fascinating glimpse into her creative mind. The pieces are visual eye candy with an equal tactile reward. More of Danielle’s work can be seen on her website: StudioDGM.
San Francisco artist, Jenne Giles, works with felt in an entirely different process that results in wearable pieces that have their own distinct appeal. She describes her work:
“I turned to wool in 2005 to create sculptured textiles and wearable art. Through experimentation I discovered that wool, with its pliability and saturated palette, is similar to other fine art mediums like paint and clay. I make each piece by applying wool as painterly strokes and fields of color to create a thick bed of fiber. Wetting this matrix with hot soapy water, I mesh the fibers together by rolling and hand-working them in a process similar to sculpting with clay. It is an alchemical process, rich with surprise and expression.”
The end result of her manipulation of the felt is truly divine – the cascading folds and nuances representative of the creative process she is so dedicated to. Jeanne’s work can be seen at her website: Harlequin Feltworks.
What craft have you been inspired by lately?