Kaffe Fassett’s Upcoming Projects
The name Kaffe Fassett is synonymous with colourful designs across a range of decorative arts. Colour is his medium, whatever the substance he uses. He fell in love with colour when, on a visit to a Scottish wool mill, he noticed the beautiful colours that framed the landscape. He bought 20 balls of Shetland wool and some knitting needles and on his train trip back to London he learnt to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine!
by Mindy Cook
Kaffe has gone on to present TV shows, tutor at workshops, design Elizabethan-themed costumes for a Ballet Theatre, written and contributed on numerous books on needlepoint, patchwork and quilting, knitting, mosaics, patterns and colour, and his work has been exhibited across the world. He has recently finished his latest book Quilt Grandeur, due for international release by Taunton Press this September 2nd. We managed to steal a few precious moments in his busy schedule.
Into Craft: How do you make colours, which are at everybody’s disposal, so unique to you? Or is it simply instinctive?
Kaffe: I’m afraid I don’t have any ready-made formula to hand you regarding my approach to colour. As you indicated, I just keep trying combinations until I arrive at ones that make me excited.
Into Craft: People come and go from our lives, some leave more of a mark than others. Who are you currently inspired by and why?
Kaffe: My greatest inspiration at the moment is the African artist El Anatsui. He makes massive patchwork cloths by wiring together foil labels from wine and whiskey bottles. His mosaics consist of old gold and really haunting colours. He has covered the front of The Royal Academy with a brilliant piece to advertise their summer show.
Into Craft: What challenge do you have your eye on next?
Kaffe: My newest challenge is my next book, which I’m finally getting to. I’ve dreamed of its subject matter for years so it’s exciting to have it in my sights. I can’t divulge the subject details just yet, except to say it involves quilts and needlepoint ideas.
Into Craft: What do you see and hear in your workshops as being a crafter’s major stumbling block when facing new challenges?
Kaffe: The biggest stumbling block for most people taking on a new craft is over-thinking their approach. I’m always encouraging my workshop participants to work faster and tune in to music that I play to them. The music helps them switch off or bypass their conscious thoughts that can often hold them back. Using our instincts as children do simply makes for the best results.
Into Craft: Complete this sentence: I can’t live without …
Kaffe:…. inspiration! And that comes from museums, books, films and so much more.
Kaffe has kindly slipped us some preview pics of the quilts and quilt fabric designs that will feature in Quilt Grandeur.
Title: Quilt Grandeur
Publisher: Taunton Press (2 Sep 2013) Available from September 2nd, 2013 at Can Do Books.
Image credits: Front cover image and quilt image for Quilt Grandeur: Debbie Patterson.
All other images of Kaffe’s fabrics were supplied by Kaffe.
Images of El Alatsui art were kindly provided by October Gallery Press & Media department, who are running the exhibition: Masters of the Transvangarde until August 3, 2013.