"There is a moment in the felting process, as the fibers are binding and shrinking, when the colors are the most intense, the lines are gestural, and the strokes seem fluid. In that precise and brief moment before the wool becomes densely matted, the material has the lush, saturated quality of paint. "
Felt-making is an almost-alchemical process with a will of its own, prone to many moments of chance and distortion that can add depth by subverting the intended design. The dialogue between the medium and artist, Jenne Giles, results in a playful resolution. Her intention with this work is to restore the viewer to a child-like state of play and wonder.
Jenne Giles makes each piece by applying wool as painterly strokes and fields of color to create a thick bed of fiber. Wetting this matrix with hot soapy water, she meshes the fibers together by rolling and hand-working them in a process similar to sculpting with clay. She paints lines and shapes as a final layer on the felted ground to add dynamic movement and unify her overall compositions
Jenne Giles started combining unexpected materials in 2000, when she fabricated large-scale, visionary installations at Burning Man gatherings. She turned to wool in 2005 to create sculptured textiles and wearable art. Her fiber work builds on years of training in fine arts and art history as well as folk art and design.