Henriette Stoehr is renowned for her beautiful scarves; constructed from silk and felt, sometimes thousands of pieces of material are incorporated into the finished pieces.
I went along to Henriette’s current demonstration at the Open Eye Gallery and found myself, accidentally, drawn into the process! Let me explain… I was sitting near to this remarkable woman as she began to show us her technique. Using a large sheet of bubble wrap as the base, she was working with silk chiffon, very soft wool and polyester – and, surprisingly, washing up liquid, boiling water and hand-pressed sheets of bamboo.
As Henriette continued to layer the materials, she gave me a piece of woven wool to cut into a shape for the creation. Out of the vivid blue wool I cut a triangle, which I described as the ‘eternal triangle’ and placed a strip of light green wool across it. Who said blue and green should never be seen?
Henriette then added the layers and using boiling water and washing up liquid ‘set’ the piece by rolling the bamboo over and over the work. This part is very strenuous as Henriette told us the procedure normally had to be repeated around a hundred times – all by hand to produce a unique scarf.
Indeed the scarves are beautiful and each one is a wearable work of art. Later by chance I met a girlfriend who told me in the course of our conversation, ‘I just had to buy one, they’re so beautiful.’ I hope you will agree with the examples we show here.
This is the gallery’s first textile exhibition running til 27th March.
The Open Eye opens from 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. The address is 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 62E, telephone 0131 557 1020
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