Monday, September 25, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Fantastic Felted Works Featured at Worcester Center for Crafts Fiber of Our Being Opening on Sept.

Work by Leslie Alexander
Worcester, MA- Over seventy-five pieces of fine art felting will be on display in theKrikorian Gallery of the Worcester Center for Crafts in the exhibit FIBER OF OUR BEING which opens on Thursday, September 28 with a reception beginning at 5:30 pm. The exhibit which is open free to the public is on view through November 18, 2017. All of the artists on view are members of the Northeast Feltmakers Guild and hail from MA, ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, NJ, NY and PA.

Artists represented in the show include: June Adinah, Leslie Alexander, Marsha Biderman, Susan Blakney, Robin Blakney-Carlson, Deb Bolcko, Jocelyn Bushy, Eva Comacho-Sanchez, Kathleen Crescenzo, Josephine Dakers-Brathwaite, Judith Daniels, Sally Dillon, Temple Fawcett, Susan Gately, Susan Getchell, Kimberly Goodling, Anna Kristina Goransson, Beth Harwood, Carol Ingram, Denise Kooperman, Helene Kusnitz, Melinda LaBarge, Angela Maroun, Maureen McGuiness, Charlotte Moore, Joy Muller-McCoola, Jeanne Noorsdy, Lynn Occone, Tinka Pritchett, Etta Rosen, Flo Rosenstock, Kirsti Sandoy, Marianne Senechal, Janet Sikirica, Nan Travers, Linda Van Artsdalen, Maria Wiklund and Nancy Winegard.

Krikorian Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.  Admission is free.

Work by Josephine Dakers-Brathwaite
Although felting is an ancient craft with extant artifacts dating back 5,000 years to Central Asia, Turkey, Green, Rome and Scandinavia, it is a craft which in the last 40 years has been reinvented as an international art form. This exhibit will show the artistic output of 38 makers from all over the Northeast and including local felters, Susan Getchell (Princeton) and Susan Gately (Worcester). 

How is felt created? Unspun wool sometimes with the addition of plant and other animal fibers, is laid in different directions, wet down with soap and water and agitated through direct touch or rolling to felt the fibers together. Then the felt is fulled-or shrunk-so that the fibers form a strong, tight bond. It is what the artist does in this felting process that changes the medium into art.

"The more an artist touches an area with the warmth of our hands, the more densely the fibers join together," said Susan Getchell. "Responding to our touch, from a gentle caress to a strong throw, we work the fibers to meet our vision. It is the medium we use as artists and craftspeople but it comes from the fiber of our being."

There are many different techniques and forms which will be shown in the exhibit
Felted Vessel by Carol Ingram
including wall hangings, wearable art, vessels and more, and an artist talk by member Joy Muller-McCoola will be given at 6 pm the night of the opening along with demonstrations of wet felting and needle felting. Ms. McCoola has had a 37 year career teaching art but in 2011 she took a hat-making workshop and became hooked on felt as felting gave her the immediacy of color, like painting, and the sculptural possibilities found in metal and/or clay.

An all-day workshop entitled, "Felted Sculptural Vessel Basics," will be offered on November 4 by Carol Ingram. In this workshop participants will discover the transformative qualities of felt to create a pleasing vessel while experimenting with surface texture, design and sculptural techniques. It will appeal to all skill levels. Pre-registration is required. Tuition is $140; instructions regarding what to bring and the materials fee ($25) are found on the registration page. Students may register online here or by phone at 508-753-8183, x 301.

"Our mission is to sustain craft," said Candace Casey, Gallery Director. "One way we do that is by exposing people to the great variety and depth in the many, many forms of craft.  We are delighted to put on this exhibit."

The Northeast Feltmakers Guild was started in 2002 to bring together the many talented felt artists throughout New England and the East Coast. Currently there are over 100 artist members of the Guild. The mission of the guild is to promote felted fiber art and increase awareness of the felt making process, while providing a forum through which information can be shared among members.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Honee Hess,


About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public.  Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.