How were you first introduced to felt?
I have been interested in the fulling and felting properties of wool for a long time. In the mid ’90 I tried to full some work I had woven, with little success. In the meantime I was asking for felt around. In ’95 in a gallery in Kiev I had been told that in Hungary there was a place were I could lern the techinque. I was excited: but where in Hungary? Internet was of no support, then!
In 2000 a friend invited a german/italian feltmaker named Alexa Invrea to run a workshop in Florence. it was my first experince.
What are you favorite wools with which to work?
I love using berschaf, a strong wool from the alpine regions between Italy and Austria. I also use merino tops, prefelts, etc. Recently I have used some 80% merino 20% nylon. It might sound not ortodox, but it felts well and the material suited my projects.
From what do you get your inspiration?
I get inspiration from many sources, not one in particular. I can be inspired by the material, by curiosity, by a theme provided by someone else (a call for entries, a commission).
What is your background? (feel free to discuss family, education, prior artistic experience, whatever you care to share…)
I have been ‘exposed’ to art and museums since my very early years, because of my mother’s studies and interests. I attended the art and crafts college in Florence, specialising in textile design. Later I studied at the University of Bologna, contemporary art, aiming to become an art critic or curator. I weave since 1977, have designed prints, textile forecasts and wovens. Since 1993 I design and teach Jacquard weaving. In 2001 I founded the Italian handweavers guild, with a few friends. Imediatelly the guild opened to feltmaking and other techniques and to textile art.
I have organised a number of exhibitions of contemporary textile arts, and functional art.
Since 2006 I organise Feltrosa, a feltmaking conference.
What are you favorite materials to combine with felt?
At the moment I’m combining felt with hemp. Long fibres and soon also insulating hemp panels.
What would you like to try that you have not done before? (installation art, books, wearable’s, teaching, dyeing, raising your own sheep..or even a new artistic field or media…)
I have an idea of a felt-video installation, since a couple of years. I have a good friend who is a video maker: I hope that sooner or later the idea will take shape. I also had spoken with a contact about filming sheep using micro video cameras. For the moment these are just ideas.
Are you currently working on a special project that you would like to share?
I have to implement my hemp-wool experiments. And complete a body of works on lightning and felt. My time for studio work is little.
Can you share with us 5 names of inspiring artists or work, not necessarily in the textile field.
Beato Angelico, Diego Velasquez, Bill Viola, Bridget Riley, Anni Albers
If you could set up an exhibit (group or solo), where would you do it and what would it look like?
I like places that have a strong caracter. old industrial sites, medioeval building for site-specific projects. Or very clean spaces, like galleries have. A white wall.
The overall in my opinion must be rigorous and spacious.