Sharon Parker is an artist who works out of Artspace in downtown Raleigh (if you haven’t been there you should really check it out during First Friday!). She makes vibrantly-colored sculptures and wall-hangings out of handmade felt. I was amazed to learn that she makes it all from scratch, using raw wool that is worked and dyed to perfection. I think the results of her labor speak for themselves!
But Felt is not only for artists! Designers are increasingly using the material in a wide range of projects from headboards to impromptu rugs. One of the most unique applications can be found in the Fluff Bakery (pictured below), where Lewis Tsurmaki Lewis layered strips of felt on end to create a unique wall covering.
Felt comes in a lot of thicknesses, and in a broad range of colors if you are buying in the thinner range. The basic colors are grey and white, and many have a pleasantly warm, creamy consistency.
Check out this great chair by Cappellini, executed in purple felt!
And check out this rug by Mary Ann Williams – it must feel amazing underfoot.
What can you imagine doing with this unique material?
image 1,2,3: by the author
image 4: Lewis Tsurmaki Lewis
image 5&7: Apartment Therapy
image 6: Cappellini
What are you doing next Friday? Why not check out First Friday in Raleigh? It’s a great opportunity to see art, hear music, and enjoy food in downtown Raleigh. For me, art is always at the heart of the event. One of the most traveled spots on the circuit is Artspace, a large industrial building filled with artists who open their studios to the public. It’s a big space, and there is more than enough art to overwhelm you. But for me, there are two artists who really stand out from the crowd, and always make the visit worthwhile. One of them is a talented painter named Ashylnn Browning (I’ll talk about the other artist next month!).
Browning is currently working on a series of paintings that, in her words “create a hybrid of geometric forms and intuitive process.” It looks as if she took Buckminster Fuller’s famous geodesic domes and warped them into dream-like versions of themselves, then plopped them into a surreal landscape. For Browning, the result of this approach is a body of work that is easy to love, with beautiful colors and striking compositions.
In one of my favorite paintings by the artist (below), I like how the gray paint around the edges seems to intrude on the center of the painting, leaving us with only a glimpse into its dense inner-workings. It is as if the painting is hiding a secret that can never be fully revealed. Many of her other paintings have similar psychological undertones, and I always enjoy discovering something human amidst their imperfect geometry.
Raleigh’s First Friday is next week, so check it out! And be sure to visit Ashylnn Browning’s studio in Artspace – located in Studio 109, 201 E Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.
For more information you can visit First Friday’s Official Website and Ashlynn Browning’s Website.