Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Professor Aly Ogasian
Professor Marino Forlino
2022 Sophia R Frye
With a background in Italian Studies and fiber art, my project converses with the gendered nature of textile labor, textile production, and the ways in which these interact within Italian culture, relying on my hands-on childhood that fostered my interest in materials and processes. In my thesis, I am annotating Italian Baroque fairy tales to fill in the gaps of the historical discourse around textile production and women’s invisible labor. I utilize the technique of needle felting to connect tactilely with fiber and to reimagine traditional methods of textile crafts and fiber in a non-utilitarian context.
I, like many generations before me, learned fiber crafts from my mother. My family raised angora goats, who serve my source of mohair for this project. Given my interest in fiber art, I am intrigued by the depictions of textile labor in Giambattista Basile’s Baroque fairy tale “La Faccia di Capra” which this needle felted tapestry is based upon. In this story, a servant in a king’s castle processes flax fiber, which Basile describes in detail, contrasting the main character Renzolla’s protest and disgust at engaging in the work. While the character and the labor is in the background, it deserves to be highlighted.
By building upon the traditional practices in textile work and representing women’s labor, I hope to reconnect viewers with a quotidian material and foster more appreciation for its history.
Frye, Sophia, "Women's Work: from Baroque Text to Textile Craft" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2135.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.