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The underlying theme of my work comes from the material I use, not necessarily the subject matter. Wool is a pleasure to work with, as well as being a sustainable, ecologically responsible choice. I am intrigued by the plasticity of natural fibers, the ease of building forms, and the challenge of taking wool to unexpected conclusions. In truth, my goal is to delight and entertain myself. I hope that joy is communicated in the work. The surprise of felted sculpture is its undeniable warmth and softness, so tempting to touch.
Blurring the boundaries between fine art and high craft, Shana Kohnstamm creates soft sculptures that are both familiar and strange, whimsical and dangerous, utilitarian and decorative. Her fascination with wool as a medium drives her to push the boundaries of what we expect of textile and fiber art, and her joy of experimentation translates to the artwork she creates.
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Shana is now living and working in Bethesda, MD. She was selected to be part of the DC Arts Center’s 2019-2020 Sparkplug Artist Collective, and is a member of the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, Washington Sculptors Groups, American Craft Council and the James Renwick Alliance.
Her passion for felting and soft sculpture began in 2010. Since then, her work has been published in Fiber Arts Now magazine (USA), Textiel Plus magazine (Netherlands), Worldwide Colors of Felt (Germany), and has been featured at the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL) and Creative Crafts Council Biennial Exhibition (Bethesda, MD). In addition, her pieces have garnered Merit awards at both the 2013 Nexus Sculpture Exhibit (Knoxville, TN) and the 2014 Fine Contemporary Craft of the Southeastern US (Raleigh, NC). Her love of the artform was actualized in October 2015 when, as curator, Shana hosted the critically acclaimed international soft sculpture exhibit “Touched” in Nashville, Tennessee. Since then, she has been regularly invited to teach Sculptural Felting at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.
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