Fresh Impressionism

Wool and silk in a colorful marriage.

Inspired by her Hopkinton garden, fiber artist Annette Frye translates fresh-picked blooms into wearable art. Frye, a master gardener, understands the botany of calla lilies, dahlias and other gorgeous flowers that she redefines with colorful wool fibers. Even her Monet-inspired water lilies, first spied on a kayaking trip on Turkey Pond, became subjects for her impressionistic designs.

Using dyed Merino wool roving (twists of carded and combed wool), she shapes blooms, stems and tendrils by hand. The microscopic barbs of the wool are worked into the weave of silk chiffon with hot water and a lot of hand agitation in a process known as felting. Eventually, they become one with the cream-colored or black chiffon fabric with no need for appliqué stitching.

Frye designs and sews the flattering chiffon jackets, vests and shawls using French seaming techniques for aesthetics and durability. With their contemporary lines and bold statements they are perfect for topping the classic "little black dress" for upcoming holiday events.

Her neck pieces use the colorful felted wool and adorn the neck like a piece of stunning jewelry.

As a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, Frye shows at its annual Sunapee fair. She won Best of Show and Best of Clothing in the CraftWear Exhibit this past August.

- Susan Laughlin<

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