Susan Tornheim

Mixed Media, Felting, Knitting

Artist contact info:

617-527-3859

sftornheim@gmail.com

 

Spring 2019 Exhibit Location #32

Hyde & Seek  
120 Hyde Street
Newton Highlands
 
 
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I have been creating mixed-media pieces for several years. These sculptural works often include textile elements, like felted wool, as well as wood, wire, and natural elements. They are a growing body of explorations that express a variety of ideas and feelings.

My felted work grew out of my childhood introduction to fiber and textiles. After learning to felt in 1977 I have primarily been a surface designer and feltmaker, producing clothing, hats, and other items from wool felt that I make. I employ the ancient felting technique of using soap, hot water, friction, and pressure to cause wool fibers to entangle randomly into a strong fabric.

My focus is on the surface design: combining and coordinating colors, and adding shapes that I have cut from prefelted wool or from knitted or handwoven material. Mohair or brushed wool yarns add linear elements and contrasting color. All these additions become part of the final fabric as they meld with the combed batts of wool underneath them during the felting process. I shape the felt in the wet stage. Some of my hats have a quirky small point in the center. Other hats are conical. By pressing, squeezing, and rolling, I coax the felt to take the desired form. I especially enjoy combining felting and knitting. My current explorations include depicting nature in my work and adding embroidery.
 

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