Monday, May 16, 2011

LECTURE In Praise of Sheep: A Feltmaker’s Tale

2011 Maiwa Textile Symposium Lecture

Jorie Johnson      $15
Wednesday October 12 - 7:30 pm
Net Loft Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada
Presented by Maiwa and The Silk Weaving Studio

Jorie Johnson, owner of Joi Rae Textile Studio in southern Kyoto, Japan, will present a talk about her life, her interest in woolly animals, and her current work in the studio.

Kyoto, the last depot on the Silk Road, has proved to be a great inspiration. She also found fertile ground in the artistic and academic communities of this ancient capital.


Influences from ceramics, the wabi sabi concept, Kabuki and Noh theatre, religious textiles, and traditional costume have been formative. Living in a “mud and grass house” has also aided in her development.

Jorie’s fascination with wool is motivated by what can be done during the migration and shrinking. Felting can achieve what no other medium can produce. The sculptural as well as dynamic images and surface elements are part of the artistic personality of the medium.

Jorie Johnson

Raised in Boston, in the home of a wool and fibre merchant, Jorie Johnson studied textile design at Rhode Island School of Design and in Finland. She opened her design studio, Joi Rae Textiles, in South Boston on the same street that was home to many of New England’s fibre brokerage firms.

Jorie was among the artists in the exhibition Fashioning Felt at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, NYC, and in the San Francisco de Young Museum’s Artwear: Fashion & Anti-Fashion show (accompanying publication by Thames & Hudson, 2005).

Since 1986 she has lead workshops in private studios and has been an invited tutor at many international felt conferences including in Hungary, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Republic of Georgia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, and in the USA and Japan.

Her work has been published in Fibrearts Magazine, Surface Design Journal, Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot, Cover, Felt Matters (UK) as well as in other European and Asian publications. In Japan she is a visiting university lecturer and international ambassador of sheep, wool, and felt. Jorie is the author of Fabulous Felted Scarves and Felt Making and Wool Magic.

Jorie continues to research, lecture, and teach. Her goal is to encourage creativity in feltmaking while praising sheep and wool fibres. www.joirae.com


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