SUSAN J SPERL BACKGROUND

BIOGRAPHY

Susan J Sperl brings a lifelong involvement with textiles and 25 years as a dancer to her feltwork. Beginning in 1982 she apprenticed with the late Roberta Myers, the first milliner at Minneapolis’ renowned Guthrie Theater. From Roberta, she learned all aspects of couture hatmaking which fueled her desire to create her own felt. A dancer's interest in line and shape, movement and stillness, as well as grand and small gestures influences the sense of movement and asymmetrical balance in her work. Susan lives and works in North Minneapolis, Minnesota.

MATERIALS

In addition to the wool and other fibers used in the felt-making process, the collections incorporate materials such as mohair, silk, beading and semi-precious stones. The allure of wool, besides its superb tactile properties, is its sustainability as a natural material.

BACKGROUND

COLLECTIONS

CONTACT

PRESS AND EXHIBITIONS

 

Copyright © 2002 Susan J Sperl
Website Photo Design © 2006 Jessica J Behm

FELTING PROCESS

The felting process dates back several thousand years. With the aid of water and soap gel, fabric is literally created under the hand through a lengthy process of massaging, rolling, and handling techniques that enable the fibers to open and entangle permanently. To account for the fibers coming together, 30-50% additional fiber must be factored in when planning for the size and look of the finished work.

Because feltmaking is both a painterly and a sculptural medium, the possibilities for technical and artistic expression are infinite. The fluid process in which the scales of the wool fiber come together allows for spontaneous decisions which affect the look and feel of the final work. Adding to its appeal is the fact that felting is an environmentally sustainable activity which can be done solo or in community.