Jean Hicks' sculptural felt

"On felt and sculpture

I use felt sculpturally because of its plastic and historic ties to the body. Equally intriguing to me are its metaphorical similarities and connections to skin. Felt has always provided insulation from the natural elements. Nomads used it for warmth and shelter - it can be seen in Mongolian yurts and elegant, shaped cloaks from the Middle East.

Modern felt has also taken on industrial roles including its use to absorb sound (as in the felt pads on saxophone and piano keys) as well as a filter for air, water and chemicals.

Creating handmade felt is a highly percussive process, one in which many repetitive actions serve to compact the fibers. Either soap or an acid base is necessary, altering the Ph value of the hairs to make them to bond.

All these factors cause me to see the fibers I make more sculpturally, and to place them in fresh contexts with both human and metaphorical resonance."

from Jean Hicks' site

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