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Detail of punch needle art piece titled Color Study in Gray|

Faber Birrin National Color Show on View Now

Now on view in Stamford Art Association, the 42nd Faber Birrin National Color Show. Kristen has one piece on view in this exhibit, Color Study in Gray. The Stamford Art Association has been presenting this exhibit every year since 1980. On their website, they describe the inspiration for the show. “The exhibit honors Faber Birren, world-renowned color theorist and former Stamford, CT resident. He wrote extensively on color and published 40 books and over 250 articles on the subject. His color theory work was used by the Nave and the Walt Disney Company.” One of the most accomplished color scholars, Birren’s work on color now resides in Yale University’s Art and Architecture Library.

The exhibit was juried by Laura G. Einstein, manager of The Gallery at The Met Store at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In her juror’s statement, she described her selection process. “Of the hundreds of work that was submitted, I was tasked with selecting only 40 works for inclusion in the show. To reach my goal, I thought of the installation as a cohesive unit and how the artists used color to make the exhibition resonate and to tribute Faber Birren’s commitment to understanding the myriad effects of color. I hope that you, the artist and viewer, will enjoy experiencing my singular view of color as exhibited by these 40 artists.”

Color Study in Gray

Color Study in Gray

Kristen’s piece, Color Study in Gray, was created using a punch needle technique. Some of the yarns she used we were naturally dyed using Logwood, Fustic, Cutch, Walnut Hull, Kamala Yellow, and Chlorophyllin Extract.

In her artist statement, Kristen said of this piece, “Texture and color continue to occupy my space. My most recent technique to explore these concepts is through needle punching. The continual punching with the tool is very meditative, and the fact that the process can be done anywhere, especially outside, is very freeing. All colors are found in nature and the choice and juxtaposition of colors for each piece create a unique composition. Avocado, Yarrow, and Marigolds were used as natural dyes to create the pinks and yellows. The additional colors in the palette were chosen for their natural hues. The subtly and the inconsistency of the stitches create their own pattern, and the cut pile vs. loops adds an additional dimension. All of these elements combined create a simple and pleasing respite.” This piece is available for sale through the gallery.

The Faber Birrin National Color Show is on view at the Stamford Art Association from December 11, 2022, through January 19, 2023. If you can’t get there in person, you can view or purchase all pieces in the exhibit on their website.

Interested in learning more about needle punch? Kristen will be teaching a three-day workshop at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program, May 5 – 7, 2023. Register today!

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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