When I was reading Mark Hearld’s book ( which is very lovely and full of inspiration ) one of the sections that struck me was a kind of mind map he did of all his artistic influences. I decided to do the same exercise , but I also put a spiral twist on it, clustering different influences by time. Kaffe Fassett managed to sneak into a lot of different phases , starting with his appearance on Pebble Mill at One in 1985 where he co-ordinated a nationwide project to create a Heritage Tapestry.Over 2600 people contributed a 6×6 inch square and the finished piece can still be seen at Harewood House. Soon after he published his first book and this co-incided with the period that I was building up my textile business. Although I wasn’t working in wool or patchwork his first few books were always a place to turn if I needed a little bit of colour inspiration.
Fast forwarding quite a few years I was lucky enough to attend one of his workshops in Gothenburg – patchwork this time. And the memory of a whole day thinking about nothing but colours and how they respond to each other has stayed with me.
Last week I had the chance to hear him speak again, this time in Amsterdam, and more generally about his life story , as he has just brought out his autobiography “Dreaming in Colour”. If you have enjoyed his sense of colour or created things inspired by his patterns then I think you’ll find it interesting to learn more about the story behind all the colour. If nothing else his work reminds us not to be pigeon holed into one category or medium . If you are a painter that doesn’t mean you can’t be a knitter too. As he says, it’s all about the colour . And in response to one question from a member of the audience who was never satisfied with the ways her colours looked he advised – add 20 more colours, take away any that jar or don’t contribute something. Keep changing things until the “colours are happy”.
And although my focus is much more on photography, with a little dash of paint, I just had to make a detour via the woolshop in Leiden and buy some wool.
And if you are in Ullapool make sure you have a look at the huge mosaic he made up there.
My last studio newsletter for the year will be out later this week – if you’d like a copy you can make sure you get one by subscribing here. And I will also be closing my Etsy shop from the end of November until the New Year – just letting you know , in case you had your eye on something.