People have been intrigued by my use of felt, and I have also been intrigued by the varied uses of felt I see in craft and design blogs and magazines. My brother recently sent me a text with a picture from Domino magazine wherein the Editor said that felt was IN and he thought it was awesome that I was so hip. I've also contemplated expanding oh ginger to incorporate other felt crafts from home decor to fashion accessories and even varied use of felt in jewelry projects. I found a really amazing felt supplier, Felt-o-Rama, which sells wool, wool-blend, and even ecologically friendly felt made out of recycled plastic. They also have a small but adorable selection of other felt products and supplies. Felt is really where it's at!
I was unsurprised when I ran across this article in the New York Times by Tim McKeough. In speaking with Susan Brown, an assistant curator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, McKeough spells out the reasons why felt is having such a bold impact in the art, design and craft fields. The impact has been so great that Brown has curated an exhibit for the CHNDM called "Fashioning Felt"; the exhibit seems to be an almost anthropological assessment and exploration of the myriad of uses of felt, from practical to posh. Brown also takes McKeough on a tour d'felt through NYC and she provides accessible examples of the aesthetic and utilitarian capabilities of felt, including a screen made out of curving/bowed felt and the beehive shaped bowls by Philadelphia designer Mio, which were all over the blogosphere many months ago.
“It’s a little bit liberated from the constraints of other textiles,” [Brown] said. “It’s a really wonderful, yet strange material.”Felt is a unique, genre-crossing textile that I imagine will continue to be at the forefront of fashion, design and craft for the coming year if not the decade. Etsy features a bounty of sellers who have created just about anything you can think of out of felt, from baby slippers to bags to pillows to novelty items and even jewelry. With websites like Felt-o-Rama making felt financially accessible, it seems to me that crafters will continue to create with it regardless of any pinch the economy might generate in the pockets of artists.
[Poppy photo courtesy of Lupin Handmade!]