I first met Lisa in the Spring of 2004 in Tennessee. She had a booth at the Tennessee Craft Fair in Nashville and I was the show judge. Her work stood out among the approximately 200 booths. It was original and still is. The craftsmanship is at a very high level, and the work expresses her interests. She’s undaunted and her business name—Strongfelt—speaks to that attitude, as well as describing a main characteristic of her work.
Lisa grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, went to college at the University of Colorado, and after graduating with a BFA in Fiber Arts, moved to Taos, New Mexico to work as the chief natural dyer for a fiber supplier. She began selling her work at Fine Art and Craft Shows.
In 2002, Lisa served as a studio assistant in a Fiber Concentration at Penland School of Craft, and later served as Artist-in-Residence at The Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN. Klakulak then made her way to back to Western NC where she has settled into a home and studio near downtown Asheville.
Lisa teaches nationally and abroad. She sells in galleries and fine craft fairs around the country and has been included in books and articles in such publications as: American Craft Magazine, Southern Living, Oxford American Magazine, Felt Matters, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fiber Arts Now, Australian Felt Magazine, Textiles Around the World, many Lark Books publications, just to name a few.
Lisa’s influences have certainly come from her life experiences and her trips around the globe. In the past ten years alone, she’s been to: Chile, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Morocco, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Spain Mali, Finland, and Russia.
If you get the opportunity to go with me to visit Lisa, you’ll perhaps have a chance to hear about some of her travels, and you’ll definitely see her organized studio and teaching center, and her body of work that includes jewelry, scarves and shawls, handbags and sculpture in felt.