Hanging, Structures and Surfaces, 2008
Ursula Suter began experimenting with felt in 1997 and undertook a more serious study of the technique at the Ballenberg Museum Course Center in Switzerland (2002–04). Her first solo exhibition, Felt Skins, was held in 2002 in Zürich. She has participated in numerous group shows in Europe and has been an annual participant in the International Felt Symposium.
Suter begins with gossamer sheets of wool batting. With a needle and thread, she gently pleats, tucks, or ruches the fiber into folds. Each fold must be covered in plastic to prevent it from felting to the background. When she proceeds to the wetting and agitation stage, which together cause felting, the folds are transformed into standing ridges and rippling surface textures. The aforementioned technique is unique to this artist.
Enhancing the Textile department’s collection of felt is a priority, and Structures and Surfaces is of particular interest to the museum’s collection because it combines felt-making and dressmaking techniques, particularly pleating. This type of hand-manipulation has a strong and diverse representation in the collection, in everything from 19th-century whitework embroidery with smocking and pin-tucks to Issey Miyake's heat-pleated polyesters from the 1990s.
This object was
It is credited
Gift of Ursula Suter.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 140 x 40 cm (55 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.)
Cite this object as
Hanging, Structures and Surfaces, 2008. merino wool, silk. Gift of Ursula Suter. 2009-24-2.