Celebrating 3,000 Years of Flocking

Posted inID Mag

Mutations, flocked objects for the visually impaired by N. Lewer July 3, 2008. No, it’s nothing to do with ducks or religious congregations. Flockage: The Flock Phenomenon, which has been extended through September 7 (from June) at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth, Dorset, celebrates historical, contemporary and newly commissioned objects that use powdered fibers to produce a shallow, velvety surface finish called flocking. Purportedly used by the Chinese over 3,000 years ago, modern flocking has typically been used to mimic grass in architectural models, cut down on dashboard sun glare in race cars or optimize insulation or grip friction on handles. In this show, however, co-curators Pam Langdown and Kirsten Hardie of the Flock Friendly Group (who also run the Flock Friendly Newsletter) are demonstrating how the look and feel of flock has been exploited to increase the appeal of objects ranging from decorative tchotchkes to interior design. They showcase products from companies like Cole & Son (wallpapers), Anglepoise (lighting) and even a sample of flocked flooring designed by Memphis master Ettore Sotsass for Bonar Floors. But you may also want to keep an eye out for limited-edition flocked jewelry by Zoe Robertson and, from artist Natasha Lewer, flocked ceramic sculptures for the visually impaired. . russell-cotes.bournemouth.gov.uk/hoshis.htm

Bacteria flooring by Ettore Sottsass for Bonar Floors

Flocked neckpiece by jeweler Zoe Robertson

Flocked wallpaper by Cole & Sons Ltd