Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco in 1937. When he was 19, Kaffe won a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, but left after 3 months to paint in London. He settled in England in 1964.

In 1985, Kaffe launched a needlepoint project on the TV programme 'Pebble Mill at One', inviting anyone across the country to needlepoint an image of their favourite thing, no bigger that 6 inches square. Over 2,600 entries were sent forming the Pebble Mill at One Heritage Tapestry which was on show at Chatsworth House until it moved to Harewood House. In the same year, he was to present a BBC daytime television series interviewing leading UK crafts people. Since then Kaffe has inspired thousands of knitters to employ rich palettes of colour through his 6 part television series, 'Glorious Colour' for Channel 4.

In 1998, Kaffe released 'Kaffe's Colour Quest', a video looking at colour and design inspiration through his world-wide travels.

In February 1999, Kaffe presented a 6 part series for Radio 4 called 'A Stitch in Time'.

In 1988 Kaffe became the first living textile artists to have a one man show at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition attracted such crowds that the Museum doubled attendance figures during the run and has since visited many other countries including Australia.

In June 1998, Kaffe displayed his quilts from his 8th book, 'Patchwork' at the Japan World Quilt Fair in Tokyo.

Kaffe's has completed many needlepoint commissions, the first for Pamela Lady Harlech for Lord Harlech.

Since 1981, Kaffe has worked closely with Rowan Yarns in Yorkshire. Rowan Yarns insight into fashion and colour complement Kaffe's skill and together they have produced ambitious designer patterns to inspire hand knitters all over the world. He contributes to the bi-annual Rowan magazine, which is marketed world-wide.

Since 1976 Kaffe has been the leading designer of needlepoint kits for Ehrman Tapestries of London, one of the most successful mail order needlepoint companies world-wide.

The international charity Oxfam asked Kaffe to work with poverty-stricken weaving villages in India and Guatemala, to advise on designs that would be more marketable in the West. As a result, a range of colourful hand woven fabrics is being produced for use as shirt fabric, bed throws and patchwork fabric, available on an international basis through Rowan UK and Westminster Fibres, USA. Other charity work has also taken him to South Africa.

A large part of Kaffe's output is now an expanding range of fabric prints for the patchwork market along with the Indian stripes fabric and shot cotton fabric range distributed world wide by Westminster Fibres, USA and Rowan, UK.

Kaffe gives slide talks and workshops on colour in design which take him all over the world, allowing him to see how people use his fabrics and pick up inspiration.

1999 saw the release of two new books, Kaffe Fassett & Candace Bahouth 'Mosaics' and 'Welcome Home, Kaffe Fassett', part of Martingale USA publishers At Home series.

Since the Millennium major exhibitions have included 'The Textile Tradition, Then and Now' (2001) and Quilt Bonanza (2003) both at The American Museum in Bath, plus shows at Stening Slott, in Sweden (2004) and Rohsska Museet, in Gothenburg (2004).

2005 has seen a variety of exciting commissions, projects and publications. Exhibiting quilts at the Textile Museum of Canada, involvement at the Yokohama Patchwork Festival in Japan and Kaffe's contribution to two group shows, 'The Artist and Radio 4' at the Bankside Gallery and a painting exhibition at the Catto Gallery, London has seen the year end with a prestigious invitation to design and decorate the Victoria and Albert Museum Christmas tree in collaboration with Kaffe's latest book publication 'Kaffe Fassett's V&A Quilt's'.

Kaffe's one man multimedia show in 2006 at the Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde, Sweden was followed by an exhibition of Kaffe's quilts, knitting and needlepoint at the Modemuseum Hasselt, Belgium.

Kaffe's unique sense of colour and drive to create, combined with his desire to encourage others, has led to his reputation as a guru in the world of colour and textiles.

 To see more of Kaffe's work, go to www.kaffefassett.com