PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is registration-only. Click here to save your spot.
Felt Form: Sculpting by way of Shrinkage
February 23-24, 2019
Workshop Hours: 9 am-4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break.
Fees: $300 registration / $15 materials
In conjunction with the exhibition Since Taos, featuring a collection of felt-based work created between 2001 and the present day, Lisa Klakulak will offer a 2-day course focusing on wet felting techniques to develop three-dimensional forms. Participants will explore the use of resists to build hollow forms while the placement of different weights of wool within the layout preparation determine the concave and convex areas of the form, a method Klakulak terms “extreme differential shrinkage.” Working with a limited palette of wool, the emphasis will be on exploring a plethora of small-scale forms, the relationship of pressure and directional agitation to the felting process, and—of course—enjoying the feel of this humble material.
This class is limited to ten participants, so make sure to register early! The $300 registration fee reserves your spot, while the $15 registration fee is due at the start of the workshop.
Lisa Klakulak presents Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought. The solo exhibition of 13 felt-based sculptureswascreated over a period of nearly two decades, since the freewheeling artist moved away from Taos, New Mexico in 2001. The collection simultaneously acts as a vivid portrait of Klakulak’s emotional journey and manifestation of her unique way of processing the world through fiber creations. “Like any piece of art you make, you are releasing an idea into the object,” Klakulak says. “It’s a completion of a certain cycle, and it’s interesting when someone on the other side spins it into their own emotive universe.” Klakulak’s work voices ideas about growth, human connection, mental stability, and the formation of personhood, as well as social commentary on issues of gender, income inequality, and culture.
Klakulak appears at a preview artist talk of Since Taos on Friday, February 22 from 4 to 5 pm. The opening reception directly follows, from 5 to 7 pm. The artist presents a registration-only felting workshop on February 23 and 24, 2019.
Lisa Klakulak appears at this special preview of Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought, directly preceding the opening reception of the solo exhibition. The series of 13 felt-based sculptures was created over a period of nearly two decades, since the freewheeling artist moved away from Taos, New Mexico in 2001. Klakulak thinks of her life since that moment in distinct phases. “The works are all related to these leaps of faith that I have taken,” she says. “I want to think about, or articulate what I’m thinking about, in a manner that I can translate into a physical form.” Join her for an interactive tour of the show, just before its official debut.
Lisa Klakulak first exhibited at form & concept this winter in Shifting Landscapes, our juried show with Surface Design Association. She’s a longtime member of the organization, and her work was a perfect fit for the place-themed show. Klakulak has traveled the world studying the textiles of diverse cultures, from Appalachia to India, West Africa and Spain. On her far-flung travels, she also takes in the flora, fauna and geography that surrounds her in search of inspiration. Her contribution to Shifting Landscapes captured the dynamism of glacial formations in a series of vivid blue necklaces:
Now Klakulak is one of our newest represented artists, and she draws inspiration from lava flows in a fresh series of wearable artworks. We’ve been eagerly learning about her travels and their impact on her work. It came as no surprise that she was featured in American Craft Magazine, in a lovely profile about her inclination for globe-trotting:
Travel is a crucial artistic resource for Klakulak. And yet art is not what compels her to leave home. “The places I’ve chosen to go are dramatically different from the world I live in. Travel turns my world upside down and challenges me,” she says. “My artwork is how I process these visual and emotional experiences. I wouldn’t say that I travel to make art; I make art because I travel.”
Klakulak has been artistic since she was very young, growing up in the suburbs of Detroit. Her interest in culturally diverse travel emerged in her teens. On one trip to the Caribbean with her father, she recalls being more intrigued by the people working at the resort than by the other guests. Then there was the eye-opening class trip to Nicaragua during her college years at Colorado State University, where she earned a degree in fiber arts in 1997. But it was two years after graduation, on a six-month spiritual and artistic quest with a boyfriend through India, Nepal, and Thailand, that she began to meld art and travel.
“It was the most monumental trip of my life,” she says. Forgoing the beaten path in favor of rural villages rife with textile traditions – once traveling a week by camel – she was taken by the “magnificence of work made with the simplest of materials. The poverty of materials and resources but the richness of the forms was totally inspiring,” she recalls. She gravitated to the highly ornamented Rajasthani embroidery of northwestern India and natural dye processes, as well as patterns in the landscape, and returned to the United States eager to expand her knowledge of fiber arts.
From there, Klakulak worked as a teaching assistant at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where she took up the medium of felt in 2000. She went on to complete a two-year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. She taught felting and other textile techniques to public schoolchildren through the center’s outreach program, an experience that kickstarted her ongoing teaching work and advocacy for fiber art as an important component of the visual art curriculum. Now residing in a cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, she continues to create wearable textiles, accessories and non-functional sculpture. She also teaches workshops around the world, of course. “For me, the medium is life,” she told American Craft. “That’s the art; it’s what you do with your life.”
Click here to browse all of Klakulak’s work on the form & concept website, and make sure to read the rest of Melissa Reardon’s profile of the artist in American Craft.