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International Visiting Artist

Jorie Johnson

The Potential of Lamination
in Contemporary Feltmaking


Friday July 26 - Sunday July 28
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuition: $400.00 + $50.00 materials fee + HST
Maximum 12 Participants

This workshop is SOLD OUT. Please CONTACT US if you'd like to be added to the waiting list.

Explore the joining capability of dyed wool with auxiliary materials during the formative stages of felt making and create fresh, lyrical samples, 3-D surfaces, and fashion fabrics. Learn how to felt wool fibers through a gauzy base fabric, exploring design and various types of materials. Learn how to laminate various yarns onto lightweight knit and woven fabrics. Explore finishing or joining fabric edges without the need of a thread and needle; enhancing a store bought or hand-dyed fabric with wool designs and resulting wrinkling detail; and placing wool between layers of fabric patches to "glue" them together during the shrinking process. In addition to fabrics, certain types of washi, various papers and fused synthetics also have the potential as elements in felt art collages. Finally, 3-D motif details such as tails, spikes, loops, and pockets can sprout out of a design for whimsical impact or truly functional closure for a work, such as anchoring a cord. The genius of the wool fiber is our departure point and by a series of quick "sketches", or samples, we will work towards the completion of a neck wrap or framed art work. These techniques apply not only to airy silks, laces and gauzy cottons but heavier, woven and knitted fabrics as well, as long as the fabric has not been "boiled" or is too thick or dense.

Jorie Johnson (Joi Rae Textiles) from USA/Japan is recognized internationally in the area of feltmaking. Born into a wool merchant's household, she studied textile design at RISD (USA), then KOTO (Finland). Her book Feltmaking and Wool Magic (Quarry Books) was published in 2006. Her work is in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. Frequently lecturing at several universities around Japan, including Kyoto University of Art and Design, she has taught workshops at conferences in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is a invited member of the research team of the Shosoin Imperial Household Treasures studying their 8th c. Chinese felt rugs.


Nomad or Mad: That is the Question

Wednesday July 24
6:00 pm
The Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Ave. Toronto, ON

Admission: $10.00

Textile Artist, Jorie Johnson opens a window to felt making, past and present


From the far western end of the Silk Road in Finland, where she was introduced to hand felt boot-making, to its opposite end in Kyoto, Japan, Jorie has explored and researched felt making both as an ancient survival technique and as a medium for contemporary artistic expression. In her own studio, Johnson produces original felt works for the body and home environment, focusing on the fundamental and fun capabilities of wool fiber.
In this talk, Jorie will discuss her creative journey working in felt as well as presenting her unique research into historical felt making techniques and forms found along the way. Jorie has been a key member since the start of the International Felt Symposiums first held in Hungary in 1986 which, combined with her thirty-year presence in Japan, has given her a unique perspective on nomadic and contemporary "mad" felt around the world. Her works are in the collections of the V+A London, the MFA Boston, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum NYC, and various private institutions. She teaches seminars at universities in Japan and since 2011 has been a research fellow for the Imperial Household Agency Nara, analyzing their extraordinary mid-8th CE Shoso-in collection including large, patterned felt carpets from the Asian continent. She has presented this research at the China National Silk Museum's symposium 2000BC Wool of the Silk Road and Traditional Textile Craft - an Intangible Cultural Heritage? sponsored by The Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen University and The Jordan Museum in Amman. Hali Publications, UK, commissioned her to write an article about the Shoso-in felt carpets for their Summer 2018 issue.

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