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Oxbow, school of art and artists residency, has served as a haven for visual artists since 1910. Founded on the shores of Lake Michigan as an escape from the city, Oxbow’s campus encompasses 115-acres of pristine natural forests, dunes, a lagoon, and historic buildings. Through its affiliation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxbow offers one and two-week courses for credit and non-credit for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.
Marianne Fairbanks teaches Fibers and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.June 10-23, 2007, she taught the course at Oxbow Entangled in Chaos: From Wool to Felt. The class came to our farm shop where students purchased some of the materials they used for their projects. Gene and I attended the Friday Night Open Studio at Oxbow where the students display the work they have produced during the course. We were enthralled by their creativity and high level of skill. Below are photos of some of their work.
The felt sign hung outside the spacious north lit studio. Just inside was the life size body suit shown next, see the artist with the suit at the bottom of this page.
The blue vessels in the center of the far right photo are made into lamps.
large felt sunflower on the left (top center) had a live butterfly resting on
a lower right petal.|
The pelt shape (lower center) is made from the artist's dog hair.
Several pieces on the right are done with relief design.
The center artwork shown on the right was part of a costume for a masquerade party.
One of two large outdoor displays also used this 'cobweb' technique. The other was formed around a tree and flowed onto the ground spilling out some of natural dye plants used.
Silk fiber was imbedded in the pieces on the left. Most were visible from the front view, however the white looking one at bottom left was best seen with light behind it.
Britches on the right are part of another masquerade costume.
The following 4 photos of smaller pieces let us see the expert finishing in the details, shape, firmness and smoothness of the the felts.
This piece on the left hung from the ceiling to the floor. It is a most interesting tube shape. We learned it was formed partially around the artist.
Another view of the full size body suit with the artist standing beside it. In the background, on a table behind and to the right of the artist, you can see what is left of a 30 pound supply of carded white wool. Part of that fiber was used for both of these designs as well as many others.