STRONGFELT necklaces, as a result of the ease of their function and the boldness of display area, reveal a vast exploration of techniques and designs. From encased objects and small-scale hollow form to solid felt forms and stacking cords, the design of the piece is considered in all 360 degrees including the visual incorporation of the felt clasp. Surface design may incorporate: fusion with fabric, thread and other non-felting fibers, partial felt patterning, 3-D felt surfaces, free-motion embroidery and natural dyes.
Lisa Klakulak – Asheville, NC
Lisa Klakulak’s creativity was nurtured at a young age by her mother’s arts, good public-school art programs in the suburbs of Detroit, and classes at the local art association. With these foundational experiences as well as self-directed exploration in fabric dyeing, sewing, and off-loom bead weaving, Klakulak began her BFA studies in 1993 at the University of Colorado. During her college years, she exhibited sculptural beaded jewelry at local art cooperatives and independently pursued the study of natural dyes, graduating in 1997 from Colorado State with a BFA in Fiber Arts. Klakulak relocated to Taos, NM to work as the chief natural dyer for a fiber supplier and began selling her work at fine art and craft shows. International travels over the millennium intensified Klakulak’s textile focus, motivating her move to the southeast to study at Penland School of Craft and to accept an Artist-in-Residence position at The Appalachian Center for Craft, in Smithville, TN. While at ACC from 2002-2005, Klakulak extensively explored the medium of felt, educated children in middle Tennessee public schools through ACC’s Outreach Programs, began instructing adult workshops and acquired a K-12 Visual Arts certification. Klakulak, now residing in Asheville, NC, creates wearable textiles, accessories and non-functional sculpture as well as instructs workshops worldwide. She pursues opportunities to work with children to integrate fiber art into the visual art curriculum and to raise cultural awareness and appreciation by way of her international travels.
Lisa uses a plethora of fiber techniques to create her fiber pieces. She is a master felter, natural dye chemist, and artist with machine and hand embroidery. Her body of work includes adornment, truly one of a kind bags, and sculptural works.
“I felt two-dimensionally by first stacking thin sheets of fleece to a desired thickness, then dampening and compressing the wool with soapy water. This wool sheet is then rolled up in a bamboo mat or in a sheet of bubble wrap and rolled so the ridges or bubbles gently agitate the fibers into knotting. When the fibers have felted or intertwined to create a stable piece of fabric, the felt can then be fulled or thickened and strengthened by more roughly agitating the fabric on a coarsely ridged surface such as a washing board or rubber door mat to encourage further tightening of the knotted fibers. To felt three-dimensionally, I either agitate the fleece free form in my hands to create solid wool objects or wrap layers of fleece around flat or form resists, which are then removed after the fleece has been agitated into felt, leaving a felted vessel that can be further sculpted by fulling specific areas. The fulling technique can also be applied to spun yarns consisting of specific animal fibers that have been knitted, crocheted or woven in order to shrink and thicken the original structure.”
Lisa then goes on to embellish and gild the felt lily with thread and pattern.