Primarily, I work with handmade felt. It engages me because of its unique tactile qualities, which convey warmth, shelter and comfort, and through the fascinating process of how it is made.
Felt consists of sheep’s wool, unspun, not knitted or woven. It is made without special equipment, just with water and maybe soap, using targeted movement of the hands with fine feeling in the fingertips. With patience, it gets slowly more and more compressed.
It’s not surprising therefore that working with felt has been historically common among nomadic peoples. I found my personal way into feltmaking in the traditional carpets of Mongolia, Turkmenistan and other Asian countries. In the course of many international Felt gatherings and extensive travel I have been fortunate to build friendships which have inspired my own work.
I find it thrilling that from all the different sorts of wool such a variety of structures and surface designs can be created. A range of wonderful textures can also be produced through the use of other natural fibres such as silk or linen, or the incorporation of natural woven fabrics. Felt is a living medium, much like skin, and is superior to many other media in its capacity to produce
seamless 3D forms.
I prefer to produce wearable, durable and individually designed work, whether it be garments, bags or headpieces. My pieces are unique and make no reference to fashion trends. In the main they are extra fine quality, reversible and seamless, designed to feel and protect like a second skin. My aim is to produce the ultimate garment for each individual case, and a close collaboration with my customers is an important part of the making process.
Dyeing is also a major part of my creative process, and I have an ongoing fascination with developing new nuances of colour by dyeing wool and silk fibres as well as wool, silk, linen and cotton fabrics.
Inge Bauer, born 1953
Studied at the College for Social Studies, Esslingen.
Studied at the Free Art School, Nürtingen.
Since 1978 freelance textile artist and independent social work pedagogue.
Runs own studio for Textile Art and custom clothing.
Regular participant in national and international Exhibitions and Symposia.
Devises and runs educative art projects for all ages.
Lecturer at national and international workshops.
1999 – 2007: Werkraum Textil, Nürtingen.
2003 – 2006: Inge Bauer „Filzhotel“ Textile Studio, Swabian Alps.
2007 – : Tutor at the Felting School in Oberrot.