Felt Yurt by Janice Arnold
Amy Azzarito
Apr 24, 2009

Looking for things to do this weekend? It is supposed to be beautiful, but if you want a little respite from the sun, might we suggest that you consider stopping in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to check out the Fashioning Felt show? The Cooper-Hewitt is one of our favorite museums in the city. (We might be a little biased since we are getting our M.A. in Decorative Arts from their program!) Although we were excited to check out the felt rocks, felt furniture and felt rugs, we really wanted to see the felt yurt created by felt-maker extraordinaire Janice Arnold.

Here on Apartment Therapy, we're quite fond of yurts (See Maxwell's yurt round-up: DIY Escape: Best Yurt Resources 2008) The yurt at Cooper-Hewitt did not disappoint. Arnold, intended this Palace Yurt, specifically for the museum's conservatory, and maintained the airy feel of the space by combining the felt with silk fibers. The window seat was covered in a thick, dense, hand-beveled felt and was amazing to the touch. To us, it felt exactly as if you were petting a lamb. The space felt magical. For the slideshow above, we combined images of Arnold's sketches with our photos of the space. We loved the felt water coming out of the faucet, which was a little play use of water in the felt-making process.

There were also some amazing videos created around the show, such as a video highlighting the making of the Palace Yurt. Our favorite video in the show was of the traditional felt-making techniques of the Mongolians. (We couldn't find the exact video used in the show, but this short from the film Mujaan demonstrates the same process.) It made us want to try our hand at felt making. Have you ever made felt?

Of course, there was so much more than the yurt in the show. Many of the other items are the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition website. If you're not from New York, you should check out the video of Martha Stewart behind the scenes of the exhibition.

Fashioning Felt explores the varied new uses of felt in contemporary design. The exhibition showcases more than 70 works from a range of fields, from fashion accessories and costume design to architecture, home furnishings and product design, and features a number of site-specific felt installations.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128 212.849.8400
3/6 - 9/7

(Images: 2, 4, 8 from Cooper-Hewitt additional photos by Amy Azzarito)

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