Updated: Nov 5, 2021
The International Felt Makers Association (IFA), is dedicated to bringing together experienced and beginner felt artists. They share with their members insights, resources, and inspiration for developing felt art and create a network where fibre artists can share.
An important part of their mandate is their magazine, Felt Matters. Since 1986, the magazine has been a tremendous voice and inspiration for the felting community. Throughout the years the magazine has featured articles on topics from ethnographical felts and traditional skills, to contemporary and experimental feltmaking, the creation of garments, accessories and large-scale installations. Today it is a 40-page, full-colour journal published 4 times per year in March, June, September and December.
This winter felt :: feutre canada was invited to write an article about our online exhibition: Transitions. The new March edition of Felt Matters features this article. We are very proud of this. It was important to us that the article expresses the perspective of the artists involved so we took time to reach out to them.
We are happy to announce that the majority of artists obliged us in this, generously sharing their thoughts on topics such as community and inspiration. We were moved by their answers. Sadly there wasn’t enough space for all the thoughts expressed in the piece. However, we’d like to share some of these thoughts with you.
Jennifer Tsuchida said this about the importance of artistic community to her. “There is nothing greater than the feeling of connecting with like-minded people who truly understand the lifestyle of an artist and the way we think and feel. When I’m creating, it is a very solitary experience. Having that connection and interaction with other artists, whether it be online, in an artist–run centre or in a gallery, helps me tap into a side of my creativity that I might never have discovered. It spawns dialogue, inspiration, and new opportunities. An artistic community can be a very powerful tool, acting as a vehicle to bring about social change through collaborative artistic efforts.”
Our thoughts exactly.
Sandra Barrett had this to say on the subject, “I work alone in my studio space, so being a part of a larger community of Canadian fibre artists creates a sense of belonging and is an important part of my ongoing personal development. It’s a pleasure to appreciate what others have contributed and to feel that my own contribution is also valued. I think that whatever stage of fibre career you’re at, being accepted by your peers is good. Sharing inspiration and finished work can be an exciting or daunting process and experimenting with different techniques always sparks new ideas.”
Since the idea of a virtual exhibition is a relatively new one we wanted to know how artists felt about this new vehicle for their work. What were the advantages? What were they were unhappy with? We were thrilled to learn they loved this new form. The only negative mentioned was that one couldn’t touch the work and felt is incredibly tactile.
Barbara Guillen said this about online exhibiting. “I absolutely love the concept of online exhibition for two major reasons – first, having lost a piece of art that was sent away to be exhibited across Canada at a young age, an online exhibition assures me that the same fate does not occur again; and second, anyone can access the exhibition from anywhere in the world in the comfort of their home, so as artists we have a far greater reach.”
IFA is a marvellous organization if have not spent time learning about them we encourage you to do so. www.feltmakers.com
felt :: feutre canada wishes to thank all the artists for their thoughtful input and for taking the time to help with the article. We are very appreciative.
The full Felt Matters article can be read by clicking on the link below.