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Hanging, Structures and Surfaces

This is a Hanging. It was designed by Ursula Suter and made by Ursula Suter. It is dated 2008 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is merino wool, silk and its technique is felted, fiber mat pleated before felting. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Ursula Suter began experimenting with felt in 1997 and undertook a more serious study of the technique at the Ballenberg Museum Course Center in Switzerland (2002–04). Her first solo exhibition, Felt Skins, was held in 2002 in Zürich. She has participated in numerous group shows in Europe and has been an annual participant in the International Felt Symposium.
Suter begins with gossamer sheets of wool batting. With a needle and thread, she gently pleats, tucks, or ruches the fiber into folds. Each fold must be covered in plastic to prevent it from felting to the background. When she proceeds to the wetting and agitation stage, which together cause felting, the folds are transformed into standing ridges and rippling surface textures. The aforementioned technique is unique to this artist.
Enhancing the Textile department’s collection of felt is a priority, and Structures and Surfaces is of particular interest to the museum’s collection because it combines felt-making and dressmaking techniques, particularly pleating. This type of hand-manipulation has a strong and diverse representation in the collection, in everything from 19th-century whitework embroidery with smocking and pin-tucks to Issey Miyake's heat-pleated polyesters from the 1990s.

This object was donated by Ursula Suter. It is credited Gift of Ursula Suter.

Our curators have highlighted 6 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Mosen (China)
  • wool.
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
  • 2005-2-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 140 x 40 cm (55 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Hanging, Structures and Surfaces; Designed by Ursula Suter (Swiss, b. 1950); Switzerland; merino wool, silk; H x W: 140 x 40 cm (55 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.); Gift of Ursula Suter; 2009-24-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Making Design and Fashioning Felt.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Hanging, Structures and Surfaces |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>