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Textile and Rug Artist Mary Reichert

Mary Reichert Wool Rug

“I really appreciated the really well made, strong felt…I learned that to be able to wear something or use something, it actually has to be really well made. Rug making, in particular, was something that really caught my attention…I was invited to participate in a rug making class where there were some women from Kyrgyzstan teaching…by the end of that class I was completely in love with rug making and they invited me to come live in Kyrgyzstan for three months with them and study with them and help them with their English because they regularly travelled to the United States…The design work is what I have been really influenced from.   Both the quality of their felt but also thinking about how to look at their designs and how they come from that sense of harmony and motion and movement in the landscape…I have taken from that…how they reflect that balance in life and that is something I work toward and inspires me with my designs.” Mary Reichert, rug and textile artist

Mary Reichert creates functional works of art out of wool.  Her passion for wool began in Massachusettes and has taken her across the globe to study with rug makers in Kyrgyzstan.  She has been creating bold, wool felted art ever since. Reichert has taught rug making classes around Minnesota, most recently at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids.  She’s leading a community rug making event today and tomorrow (Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8) at the MacRostie.  The final product will be a large scale wall hanging for the Keisler Wellness Center.

In this segment of Area Voices, Mary Reichert discusses her love of wool, her wool felting process and what happens at a community rug making event.

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.