People

Maria Roth

i. I work as a: textile artist and designer

ii. I do this creative work because:
I love wool as a medium, and the tactility of working with it – the transformation from fragile wool roving into a felt fabric is always a magical moment. It is also a relatively low-impact medium which is both durable and fully biodegradable.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Ability to hyperfocus over a long period of time and a good eye for design and colour.

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Space to work in. My studio is my home, which creates big limitations for experimentation (I can’t leave sketches or explorations out) and production (I am limited to felting 80 bowls at a time). I’ve managed workarounds, but is has been especially challenging for the larger felted works (such as long scarves or wall hangings).

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
None. I learned how to do a lot of things (draw, crochet, photography) but nothing ever really took. I was too busy playing outside and obsessed with books to sit down and create.

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
So many! A few specific to textile arts include Claudy Jongstra, Sheila Hicks, Louise Bourgeois, Altoon Sultan, Maiwa Handprints and Anni Albers.

vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
It has been indirect – visual art (colour theory), graphic design (line and form) and museum anthropology (years of studying textiles from around the world).
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Not getting started.

ix. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Play with materials and ideas separate from commercial expectations, and connect with other artists and makers, whether online or in your community.

x. A professional goal I have for the future:
To release a new line of felted wool goods – merino wool scarves with graphic stripes and flower designs in beautiful but simple colour combinations. Typically, felted wool scarves contain layers of merged colours and a lot of texture. My scarves diverge from this, and it’s taken a while to figure out how to create flat, graphic designs for a functional object using wool roving. I will be doing a small launch of the work this fall at this year’s First Pick Handmade and at Circle Craft Market.

xi. If you want to see my work, go to:

instagram: Poetics of Matter
web: mariarothdesign.com
upcoming shows: First Pick Handmade (necklaces and new scarves, Sept 14-15)
Circle Craft Market (home goods and accessories, Nov 7-11)
vancouver retail store: WALRUS (3408 Cambie)

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