On display through April 19, 2013
Public Artist Reception: Thursday, April 18, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community are encouraged to visit the gallery during its run and attend a free reception & artist discussion.
My work is a meditation on the relationship between humankind and the natural world, particularly the phenomenon of fitting nature into human constructs. In 2002 I stumbled upon a novel craft technique, and in the process of teaching myself to master its sculptural applications I found it was the perfect medium to give voice to my themes and ideas. I sculpt in felted wool, a material familiar to craft and industrial traditions with a long history of human use.
Felting refers to compressing and matting individual fibers into a united solid mass, generally in the form of nonwoven textiles. In industrial use, machines compress wool into flat sheets of felt mechanically by repeatedly plunging hundreds of sharp, notched felting needles into loose wool to mat the fibers together. I use the same tools by hand, on a much smaller scale. I begin with cleaned, brushed, fluffy wool that has been prepared to be spun into yarn. I unite the fibers together by poking the mass repeatedly with a hand-held felting needle, which causes the microscopic scales that cover the fibers to interlock and tangle together, like dreadlocked hair. In order to shape a piece I poke the wool all over and in particular directions, adding more wool, compressing the surface, and making the felt increasingly dense. The process is time-consuming and deliberate, as every inch of the piece must be worked to fasten down parts, create detail, and tighten the surface. To achieve the form I want I must continually strike a balance between the overlapping additive and subtractive processes of building up and pushing down the material. The resulting forms are largely self-supporting and seem to swell into space with the contradictory appearance of being solid yet porous, firm yet soft- and very alive.
Stephanie Metz (San Jose, California) received her BFA from the University of Oregon. Her felted wool sculptures focus on the relationship between humans and the natural world, and her unusual material blurs the line between art and science, natural and unnatural, organic and man-made. Stephanie’s work has been shown in venues including Hosfelt Gallery San Francisco and New York, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, Penland School of Crafts, and the de Saisset Museum. She teaches workshops in her unique medium, and her work is held in numerous private collections.
The Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery is located off the main lobby at the east entrance of Ohio State Morrill Hall, 1465 Mount Vernon Avenue, Marion, Ohio 43302
The gallery is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., September through May, and 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June through August.