For weaver and designer Jean Degenfelder, it all begins with color. Her one-of-a-kind jackets, shawls, bags, capes and specialty garments are infused with hues that can be rich, bright, and vibrant, or more subtle and muted in nature. Degenfelder blends cottons, rayon, chenille and silk in her work, and is now incorporating Tencel™, which has a silk-like quality and creates a soft cloth that drapes easily. And she is always on the lookout for what is different that will add to the unique quality of each piece. Right now, she is experimenting with silk from recycled saris produced at a yarn cooperative in Nepal. Once Degenfelder has created the cloth, its size and texture helps determine which garments she will create. One of her most popular items is one that she has dubbed “the twisted shawl,” a tube of cloth with a single twist (similar to a Mobuis strip) that produces a flattering garment which sits comfortably on the shoulders and falls to a flattering “V” at the back.
Degenfelder, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Clothing and Textiles from San Diego State University, began weaving in 1994. She has continued her training at fiber workshops, seminars and conferences in the United States and in Europe and Asia. She shares her passion for weaving in classrooms throughout San Diego County, and during the summer, operates a summer school for young artists at her studio, which is housed in a yurt at her family compound in northern San Diego County.
Her work has been shown at Contemporary Craft Market, Santa Monica and San Francisco; American Art Festivals, San Jose, San Diego, and Santa Monica; Festival of Arts, Tempe, Arizona; and Great Arts and Crafts Festival, Las Vegas, among other venues. Her work is available at La Jolla Fiber Arts, La Jolla, CA.; Weaving Southwest, Taos, New Mexico; The Weaving Center, New Hampshire, and on the internet through her website at www.jeanshandwovens.com