Messages present and future: “Pushing the Envelope” by Annemarie Feld

The professionals at Fiberworks are experts at creating wearable art, but with her latest solo show, Annemarie Feld reminds us that artists who make functional items also go through as deeply personal a creative process as any sculptor or painter.

On display in studio 14 through early May, “Pushing the Envelope” features Feld’s striking “envelope purses,” with colors and designs clearly inspired by letters, cards, and mail. At the same time, these remarkable purses are testaments to Feld’s own experiences—and represent vital memories in the artist’s life.

“When I arrived in this country 39 years ago, all my belongings fit into one suitcase,” Feld says. “Letters were my connection to friends and family in Europe. I always felt excitement when an envelope arrived, and I remember the feeling of anticipation and joy from opening it. These fond memories were the inspiration for the design of these envelope purses.”

Feld adds that her envelope purses contain a surprise: Each one includes a message on the inside flap.

“You will add your contents to the purse,” she explains, “and it will become your own personal envelope.”

Is it difficult to sell such personal works? Feld understands why someone might ask the question, but she’s content with channeling inspiration and craftsmanship into garments and purses that make Fiberworks visitors smile.

“Basically, I like beautiful, unusual things, but I do not have to own them,” she says. “I’m extremely lucky: I’m able to come up with ideas and then create tangible art for others to wear and enjoy.”

See “Pushing the Envelope” at the Torpedo Factory in Fiberworks, studio 14, from April 2, 2014, through May 5, 2014, and explore more of Annemarie Feld’s work at www.annemariefeld.com

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