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Florida Fiber Artist Wins Awards

Florida fiber artist, Patti Barker has won an award with wearable art designed for the runway. She has been creating wearable art for over a decade, but it was learning about the World of Wearable Art challenge in New Zealand that inspired the creation of Wildfire. It’s a three-piece ensemble, created using hand-painted silks, merino wool and nuno felt techniques. Wildfire made its debut at the Uncommon Threads event in St. Charles, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. To Patti’s surprise, Wildfire won the coveted Best in Show award. During that same month, her submission of Stained Glass Duster to the Art Wear fashion show in Ft. Collins, Colorado won an Excellence in Creativity award.

All of Patti’s designs are produced with felted seams (no sewing). The fabric and garment are created simultaneously using wet-felting techniques. What makes them even more unique is that she hand-dyes most elements used, and often bead embroiders them.

Patti earned a BA in studio art from Western Washington University as a returning student in her 50’s. While at WWU, she participated in a travel abroad program that included a month-long residency in Auvillar, France. After visiting the ancient cave art, she began her study of felted “skins.” Patti has exhibited in juried art shows since 2010. Her work has been published in Fiber Art Now magazine and Felt Matters. She has been teaching felt-making for over ten years and is a member of the Gainesville Textile Guild.

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Article by Patti Barker, Region 18, The Americas