Felt takes over at Shatford Centre

The diversity of the material that is felt is on full display at the Shatford Centre in Penticton this week.

Felt takes over at Shatford Centre

A celebration of felt making in Canada is taking over Penticton’s Shatford Centre.

The symposium from Sept. 21 to 25 includes a juried exhibition and juried fashion show.

The exhibition features work from artists across the country including sculptures, wall pieces and wearable art.

On Friday, felt clothing takes to the cat walk in a fashion show.

Fiona Duthie, the founder and president of  Felt Feutre Canada, is already in town for the symposium, setting up installations and pieces at the Shatford Centre.

She was a clothing designer on Salt Spring Island out of high school and discovered felt after a trip to the book store.

“There was a book on felt-making. It was then I realized that I could make my own fabrics and design the clothes all in one process,” Duthie said.

She has been hooked on felt-making since 1996 and travelled the world teaching and exhibiting her works.

When she came back to Canada after touring the world, she started the non-profit Felt Feutre Canada and began organizing symposiums.

“I started it in order to bring Canadians together and let people across the country know what felt-makers in other parts of the country are doing,” Duthie said. “But also promote their work around the world.”

Felt is a diverse material for creative arts. Sculptures, painting-like wall art and clothing, both very lightweight and heavy.

“The range of possibilities within that one medium is probably the most broad of any medium,” Duthie said.

The symposium includes professionals from around the world teaching workshops on felt sculpting, clothing design and more.

There is also going to be a community felt project creating a starry sky entitled Stella Motus.

The piece is made up of individual felt pieces sent in from around the world. The theme was inspired by the fact the symposium falls on the Fall Equinox.

“We decided on Stella Motus, which is movement of the stars, associating with both movement and the equinox,” Duthie said. “It started off only being a Canadian project but people heard about it and sent in work from all around the world.”

For more information on the symposium and workshops visit www.shatfordcentre.com or www.felt-feutre-canada.com.

Tickets to the fashion show on Sept. 23 are $25 and can be purchased at the Shatford Centre in person or over the phone at 250-770-7668.