painting with wool…

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06/11/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Kaffe Fassett Paperweight textile design pumpkin colourway

Kaffe Fassett "Paperweight" textile design (pumpkin colourway)

Having a seamstress for a mother I felt little motivation to learn to sew well (unfortunately). However, one thing I DID learn to do well was to knit. Very well actually (there…something you didn’t know about me!). As handmade knits are not exactly “in vogue” these days, I tend to reserve this “quaint” skill for the occasional toy or baby set (which are quicker to knit too).

Many, many years ago I attended a workshop for designing your own knitted garments and creating your own patterns. During the class we watched an inspirational video about an American born, London-residing man named Kaffe Fassett. This man is an artistic genius with textiles. He has created the most incredible patterns for fabrics, knitting, needlepoint and quilting. A quote on Wikipedia – about him – says “[C]olour is his very medium, whatever the substance he uses.

Kaffe Fassett Suzani Wrap knitted design

Kaffe Fassett "Suzani Wrap" knitted design

The video showed Kaffe Fassett taking a bag of random bits of wool, sitting down in the middle of a field and literally knitting what he saw. I have not seen anything like it!

What I l love about Kaffe Fassett’s designs is his bold use of colour. The pieces are always vibrant, dynamic and fluid – never predictable. He pushes textile design to the limit – to the point where “craft” makes the sometimes controversial (but totally delicious) crossover into “art”.

 

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