Born in San Francisco, Kaffe Fassett spent a mythical childhood in Big Sur at Nepenthe – a restaurant and gathering place for artists run by his parents on a plot purchased from Orson Welles. Originally a painter, Kaffe eventually made his way to Inverness, Scotland, where he discovered Shetland wool.
After purchasing yarn in nearly two dozen colors in Inverness, he learned to knit from a fellow passenger on a train. That moment kicked off a celebrated, lifelong exploration of color across a variety of media including needlepoint, mosaic, rug making, tapestry, yarn and fabric design, costume and set design, and quilting.
A notable designer for Bill Gibb, Missoni, Vogue, and private patrons including Lauren Bacall, Ali McGraw, and Barbara Streisand, Kaffe credits his deep understanding of color to working with textiles. An advocate of small-scale sampling to discover new and unexpected color combinations, he sees his work as an exploration of color and an experimentation in color proportion through pattern.
To learn more about Fassett’s work and color theory, check out his inspiring website, where you’ll find several interviews and examples of his work. Next time you’re at WGM, be sure to visit the Textile Center Library to check out copies of his books.