Top drawer: fashion news and views

Fiber artist Lisa Klakulak explains much about her work in the name of her business: Strong Felt Works. The felted wool in her designs is strong, as is her passion for the artistry, history, and future of felt work. Recently, Klakulak spent time in Morocco doing personal research into that country’s wool art, as well as teaching workshops to Moroccan fiber artists.

Klakulak moved her home base to Asheville last year, but she’s often on the road as an in-demand teacher. She explains that while many crafters keep an ever-expanding list of shows they plan to work, Klakulak’s list is of seminars and schools where she’ll teach her unique felting techniques.

While interest in felting is on the rise, Klakulak’s work is unusual in that instead of sticking to scarves and hats, she ventures into sculptural territory. Pieces like “Transplant,” a three-dimensional head sprouting a seedling from its mouth (all in felted wool) have attracted much attention, and Klakulak’s work appears in the book How We Felt: Designs and Techniques from Contemporary Felt Artists (2007), as well as two upcoming Lark installments. Her wearable pieces (available locally at Ariel Gallery, 46 Haywood St., Asheville) range in price depending on size and complexity. Expect to pay around $100 for rings, $120-$200 for cuffs, $80-$180 for felted earrings, and $250-$800 for handbags.

• [left] “Creviced” handbag. Photo by Tom Mills.

• [right] “Puzzle” body textile with beaded button closure. Photo by Steve Mann.

• [left] “Klimt Cuff” with beadwork. Photo by Tom Mills.

• [right] “Shaded” helmet, with inset sunglasses lenses, currently on display at the Beckstrand & Walker Galleries’ Wearable Expressions 2008 show in Palos Verdes, Calif. Photo by John Lucas.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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