I went on an excursion in the rain to the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown to hear a talk by Kaffe Fassett about color. The first book I owned about mosaic was by Kaffe Fassett, and I was drawn to his use of color. Fassett has created art in many mediums from knitting, fabric design, quilting and mosaic. Someone in the audience asked him if he had a favorite medium, and he said no, that it was all a vehicle for playing with color, that he calls his studio a color laboratory. He sees color choices as an intuitive process, trying out different combinations of fabric on flannel “audition” boards until the colors vibrate or click. Fasset’s first medium was painting and painted only in shades of white! Another audience member asked if this was his preparation for moving to color, and he said yes, it was a kind of palate cleanser.
My first medium was collage, and color was my love. A friend asked if I had thought of being a painter because of my use of color, and it hadn’t occurred to me. I just wanted all the color. Looking at my photo from my previous blog post, Verve Patchwork in Orange, I recognize both a kinship with quilts and with collage, particularly the wood collage from another exhibit at the Michener, Pattern Pieces.
Look at this quilt-like patchwork of orange by New Jersey artist Laura Petrovich-Chaney. She created a series of sculptures using wood salvaged from homes after Superstorm Sandy. Watch this moving interview with Petrovich-Chaney on the Weather Channel about her project.
For a winter infusion of color and joy, be sure to get to these exhibits. The Fassett quilts are inspired by historical quilts and are laid side by side to see the new interpretation of amazing quilts from the past. I had to detour myself around the gift shop, since there were many tempting books by Fassett as well as ribbon from collection with Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett Studio. I was knitting while waiting for the lecture to start and the woman next to me said she wished they were selling yarn as well. I would’ve bought yarn.
Brandon Mably introduced Kaffe at the beginning of the lecture and told us how he helped yarn store owners learn to pronounce his name, “You have a safe assett with Kaffe Fassett.”