Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kaffe Fassett

Last week I went along to hear Kaffe Fassett speak. I have admired Kaffe since the 1980s when I first heard of him whilst living in the UK. I felt I'd found a kindred spirit as I longed to knit in vibrant colours and move away from very "traditional" knitting and Kaffe was paving the way being completely innovative in his approach to the creative process where wool was concerned. I admired him for many reasons, his use of colour and pattern and turning the knitting world on its head with a great injection of energetic colours and designs. This was my first experience of sitting and listening to him - of sitting and listening to any designer I've admired. It was a very low key casual chat about his creative process and how he draws inspiration from the world around him, from tiles at the local underpass to road works to nature to shapes. The projected images drew gasps and sighs from the audience. I felt so completely normal sitting there!! I was amongst those people who just "get it". They too see a quilt or other creative project as they enter a bathroom and see a particular configuration of tiles, or a repetition of colour and objects in a shop window. I had never seen a knitted picture (I make my own) and Kaffe has made them too! It was so reassuring to listen to him talk about his creative life. He's a lucky man to be living such a creative life and able to make a living out of it. I'd taken along one of my Kaffe books for the book signing and was looking forward to meeting him. Unfortunately I found that a very deflating experience after the talk. He was so disengaged. He didn't ask your name, just signed your book, handed it back and looked to the next person. I've been to several book signings and always engaged with the author, so I was very disappointed. Perhaps a sign of his age and fatigue from 2 months on the road and the heat in Perth? Anyway I'm glad I've seen him - it's something I can cross off the list - but I wouldn't pay again.

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