Layer upon impending layer of typed utterances, tidings and remarks prudently interlaced. A fresco of hexagonal eyes framed in sapphire with untamed tassels at the base in opposition to the clean, tight geometry of the summit. Azure, fawn, azure in intricacy, and then pops of ornamental color: lime, rose, lemon, camel make up a stunning woven tapestry by textile prodigy Allie Felton.
The textile artist is one that exists without boundaries—there is no limit to what she can create, cover, expand upon, cut down, construct, and so it becomes a craft that is as liberating as it is trying. However, the constraints of imagination and structure do not stand as hindrances for Felton. It seems the craft in itself is a matter of great assembly as much as it is of abandon, and she has managed to discover and define the elusive balance between the two.
“I’ve loved textiles since I was a kid,” Felton states. “Growing up with two very art-focused parents, I was always encouraged to be outside, and to make things. Watching my mother sew the most amazing Halloween costumes, and witnessing my great grandmother crochet tirelessly even after losing her vision were definitely influential experiences to my passion. Although my parents protested, I went to college for textiles. I began to love it all, from the science and building of textiles, to the manipulation and deconstruction of fibers. While textiles might not always be my main focus, it will always be my love.”
Stemming from a desire to just create, Felton also maintained a need to make things that are useful and wearable. Her ideas initially translated into garments “without purpose,” but have since transitioned into integrating recycled or repurposed textiles as well as a new frame of mind.
“It is definitely an outlet for me, as many art forms are for everyone. However, now, I feel that my purpose has changed. I not only aim to inspire myself, but to inspire others, and to give them reliability in a product as well.”
In her portfolio, you’ll see no lack of crafty intellect, as she features, in addition to woven tapestries, torturously detailed, hand-knitted goods, stitched and embroidered curiosities, and elaborately handmade leather and fabric camera straps.
“I became interested [in camera straps] when I made one for myself, and realized that I had so many friends that enjoyed taking photos. Be inspired, go outside, and outfit yourself with reliable tools and materials.”
A quintessential element of Felton’s designs is a vintage feel—for materials to be strong, but maintain the essence of a past life and a sense of history.
“I don’t like things to look new. I want things to have character, to be strong, and to tell a story. Many of my designs come from a nostalgic aesthetic, as well as trust and love for old school materials.”
In repurposing used textiles, she opts for quality in longevity, not only in worth for the current owner, but to continue the tale.
“You can’t beat cotton or wool, and I want to create things that will last a lifetime, perhaps beyond that, that will carry a story to the next owner. The wear that natural materials can show is not sad, but more so adds to the personality of each piece, and the person that carries it. Along this thread, I’ve been enjoying custom requests—working with thoughts, ideas, and imagery from others to make something that they love has been a huge inspiration as of late.”
Time stands as her greatest foe combating boundless inspiration. Her current creative stimulus is wandering.
“Through this year, I have been more motivated by what is around me than anything else. Seeing patterns, studying flowers, and happening upon materials has made me the most inspired. I also have so many inspiring people around me, including my friend, Aleksandra Zee, longtime friend and photography guru, Eric Benjamins, and keeping in touch with former teachers, Victor De La Rosa and Angie Wilson. It’s always best to have wonderful folks around you to keep you motivated and stoked. Thanks, friends!”
Felton sustains strength in love for what she does, but at the same time delves into the realm of opening up and being exposed to share that with others.
“I own what I do, and what I like. The beauty of being creative is that it is yours, forever, and the choice to share it is what makes you vulnerable.”
At the same time, art to her is a community—it’s a matter of self-impetus as well as creative provocation in others in the physical realm and to push further in imagination and vision. She asserts the importance in art is:
“To inspire yourself and have some place to put your thoughts; to inspire others and give them the desire to create or to do; to communicate ideas in another dimension.”
Her goal now is to make something everyday, to own a loom of her own…and to have more pen pals. “Snail mail only. Let me know,” she says.
And we had to ask: So, can you make anything?
“Out of textiles, yes. On OKCupid I got this question a lot. Weirdest one was a dinosaur codpiece—I declined, but I definitely thought about the logistics.”
Something interesting about her that no one else knows:
“I probably want to touch your sweater. I also have ASMR (Google it).”