Jorie Johnson enjoys designing, producing and wearing her unique handmade woolen felt creations. Introduced to the traditional textile technique in Finland, in 1977, by learning to make Scandinavian felt boots, Jorie was immediately enchanted by the magic and power of felting.

Jorie grew up in the household of a wool and fiber merchant and studied textile design for industry at RISD (USA) and KOTO (Finland). While on a whimsical 3-month tour of Japan in 1987, she decided that twelve weeks simply was not long enough, and she’s lived there ever since. It was in Kyoto, Japan, that she re-established her textile studio and trademarked the name Joi Rae.

After studying industrial textile design (weaving and printing) for fashion and interiors Jorie found her compatible expression in fiber through the traditional medium of feltmaking.

Her combination of rich colors and layering techniques, working various materials such as silk, rayon, and mohair into the felt product, results in warm, one-of-a-kind autumn, winter and spring clothing and accessories for the discerning collector.

Jorie has developed her own innovative expression of the 8,000-year-old central-Asian technique of feltmaking–felt being the first textile created by man. Jorie exhibits her contemporary feltworks in galleries, shops, and museums around the world.

Jorie generally takes time off from her studio work during the spring semester to lecture at various institutions. She holds a part-time lecturing post in the Textile Design Department of the Kyoto University of Art and Design. During the summer months, to escape the heat and humidity of Kyoto, she travels on research expeditions to learn more about traditional felting from different cultures. She attends international felt symposiums and gives workshops about contemporary surface- and design-technique developments in feltmaking.

Selected Resume


1983-1984The Aalto University of Art and Design (formerly Helsinki University of Art and Design UIAH), Finland, Department of Interior Architecture (Finnish Nat. Scholarship)
1977-1978Pohjois-Savo Polytechnic, Kuopio Academy of Design (formerly KOTO), Finland, Department of Textile Design (Finnish Nat. Scholarship)
1976-1977 Rhode Island School of Design, RI, USA; Department of Textile Design
1972-1974Wheaton College, MA, USA; Liberal Arts including Studio Arts, Early Childhood Education, French

Significant Milestones

2000-presentKyoto University of Art (and Design), adjunct lecturer, Department of Textile Design; Feltmaking techniques.
Also presents seminars at Tama Art University, Tokyo; Tohoku University of Art & Design, Yamagata; Tokyo University of Art & Design, Tokyo; Bunka Gakuen Tokyo
2007Co-author of Fabulous Felted Scarves, Lark Books, Sterling Publishers, USA
2006Feltmaking and Wool Magic, Contemporary Techniques and Beautiful Projects, English edition, Quarry Books, Quayside Publishing Group, USA (Estonian edition, Tormikiri 2009)
1999Author of Feltmaking – Wool Magic, Seigensha, Kyoto (third printing 2001.5)
1997-1999Kyoto College of Art, adjunct lecturer, Departments of Textile and Fashion Design; Feltmaking.
1997JOI RAE TEXTILES trademark received, Japan.
1988-presentResiding and working in Kyoto, Japan. Textile design studio and production of works for exhibition; lecturing and teaching various feltmaking workshops for institutions and private students in Japan and around the world; researching Japanese traditional and contemporary textiles.
1985-1986The Aalto University of Art and Design (previously UIAH), Helsinki, Finland. Printing Master and Teacher’s Assistant in the Textile Department. Overall management of textile printing studio.
 1984-1985 Kuopio Academy of Design, Savonia University of Applied Sciences (previously KOTO), Kuopio, Finland. Full time teacher of textile design for woven and printed fabrics, including silkscreen and special printing techniques instructor.
1979-present Principal of Joi Rae Textiles established in Boston, MA, USA. A textile design studio concentrating in unique handmade fabrics, accessories and carpets.
1978 Marimekko Oy, Helsinki, Finland. Work/study program for fabric production in a variety of color ways with professional assistance and construction into final garments.
1977 Cone Mills Marketing Co., NYC., USA Work/study program in the Women’s and Children’s Wear textile design studio; drawing techniques and color-ways.

Private Collections

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, NYC, USAKansai Yamamoto Inc., Tokyo, Japan
de Young Museum, San Francisco, USADenver Art Museum, CO, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USANuno Corporation, Japan
Iwatate Folk Textile Museum, Tokyo, JapanVictoria and Albert Museum, London, UK


Please refer to Publications.

Selected Solo Exhibitions (current update in progress)

2013“Wind Shields,” Jorie Johnson Exhibition, Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto
“Intertwined, Jorie Johnson Exhibition,” Gallery Kikyu, Higashi Okazaki, Aichi
2003 “Jorie Johnson,” Gallery Sofu, Shizuoka, Japan
2002“Wool Magic,” Gallery Sou, Sendai, Japan
“Passion,” Wacoal Ginza Art Space, Tokyo, Japan
“Principles,” Ecru + HM, Ginza, Japan
2001“neXus,” GalleryGallery, Kyoto, Japan
“Jorie Johnson,” Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Japan
“Seamless,” Wacoal Ginza Art Space, Tokyo, Japan
1999“Color Form Expression” Wacoal Ginza Art Space, Tokyo, Japan
“Travel Tales,” Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Japan
1998 “Felt Hats and Accessories,” Hipotesi, Barcelona, Spain
1997“Welcome Winter,” Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Japan
1996 “Opulence in Camouflage,” Wacoal Ginza Art Space, Tokyo, Japan
1983“A Rug for the Wall or a Rug for the Floor,” Stockmann OY, Helsinki, Finland

Selected Group Shows

2011Animal Fibers: Art Informs Shibori, 8ISS, Hong Kong Design Institute
2002Japan Creations 2003, Textile Contest, Tokyo, Japan “New Waves: New Techniques, New Materials,” (First Prize)
HGA Convergence, Vancouver, Canada
“Felt Crossing Borders,” Art Life Mitsuhashi, Kyoto, Japan
2001Japan Creations 2002, Textile Contest, Tokyo, Japan
“Secret Messages, Sacred Portals,” Santa Fe Weaving Gallery’s 20th Invitational Show, Santa Fe, N.M., USA
Japanese Crafts 2001 Exhibition (also 1993, 1996 & 2000) Tokyo/Osaka/Fukuoka, Japan
2000Japan Creations 2001, Textile Contest (Japan Textile Designer’s Association Award) Tokyo, Japan
2000-2003“European Felt Art,” an international exhibition traveling in Germany and Finland
2000-2001 “New Directions- Art of the Feltmaker,” an international exhibition traveling the UK
19996th International Textile Competition (ITF), Kyoto Cultural Museum, Kyoto, Japan
1998“Small Expression,” Atlanta International Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, USA”Virtuoso Fabrics Exhibition,” Atlanta, Georgia, USA
1997“In-vestments,” and “The Body Eclectic,” Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA, USA
1996“Hat Toss: A Celebration of Hats,” Joanne Rapp Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
“Regards sur le feutre,” Le Musee du Chapeau, Chazelles-sur-Lyon, France
“Headlines” Contemporary Headwear from the Functional to the Fantastic, Collins Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
“New Visions of Feltmaking,” Anne Kaiser Gallery, Chur, Switzerland
1995Textile ’95 Miniature Works, Contemporary Art of Japan, Gallery Gallery, Traveling Exhibition Japan, Canada, Australia
1994“Felt Exotica,” National Exhibition Centre, Castlegar, B.C., Canada
“Felt Directions,” Collins Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland and Mouzon, France
1993(’90) Asahi Modern Craft Exhibition, Osaka, Tokyo, Japan
1992Textile Miniature Works, Contemporary Art of Japan, Gallery Gallery, Japan, Belgium, Canada
“Ceramics, Felt, Metal,” Itami Crafts Center, Itami, Japan
1992 Itami Craft Competition (’91,’90) , Itami, Japan

Shops that Carry Works or have represented Joi Rae Textiles

Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Japan
ECRU + HM, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Sake no Utsuwa Toyoda, Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan
Design in Textiles by Mary Jaeger
InStore, LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, NY, USA
HunderwasserKunstHaus, Vienna, Austria
MAD (formerly American Craft Museum) Shop, New York, USA


2002New Waves: New Techniques, New Materials, (First Prize) HGA Convergence, Vancouver, CanadaNew Materials, (First Prize) HGA Convergence
2001Japan Creations 2002 Textile Contest (First Prize) Tokyo, Japan
2000Japan Creations 2001 Textile Contest (Japan Textile Designer’s Association Award) Tokyo, Japan
1998Virtuoso Fabrics Exhibition (First Prize) WGA Convergence, Atlanta, Georgia USA
1993Takaoka Crafts Competition (Judges Award) Takaoka, Japan
1993Farmer’s Fashion Design Competition (Outerwear Fabrics Top Award) Tama, Japan
1993New Zealand National Woolcrafts Festival Exhibition (The Wool Board Award for the Best Work in Wool) Wellington, N.Z.


2012Textile Society of America, Textiles & Politics, Washington D.C., USA, workshop leader
20118th International Shibori Symposium 8ISS, Technology Shaped by Creativity, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, invited workshop leader, exhibition co-curator of Animal Fibers: Art Informs Shibori
2001International Felt Symposium and Exhibition, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
2000“Felt Works- Entering the 21st Century,” Invited tutor, lecturer, and exhibition member, Skals, Denmark
1999“Felt Wandering of the Midnight Sun,” Invited Tutor, Jamsa, Finland
1998International Textilfest, Invited tutor, Waldviertal, Austria
”Hat Variation’s,” Invited artist and exhibition member, Lenzen Filtz Manufaktur, Lenzen, Germany
1997“Make Friends,” First Georgian Textile Symposium, Lecturer and exhibition member, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
1996 International Felt Symposium participant, Chur, Switzerland
1995Artists and Ethnographers for Mongolian Felt II, Invited tutor, UlaanBaator, Mongolia
1994“Felt, From Nomadic Tent to Office Oasis,” Invited tutor and exhibition member, The Nederlands Textielmuseum, Tilburg, The Nederlands
1993 “Felt Crossing Borders,” Invited tutor and traveling exhibition, Hamar, Norway, Kuopio, Finland
1992Berliner Filtz Symposium I, Artist-in-residence, Lenzen Filtz Manufaktur, Lenzen, Germany
1991“Experimental Felt Works,” Musee de Feutre, Invited artist, Mouzon, France
1990International Felt Symposium and juried exhibition, Aarhus, Denmark; International Felt Camp, Korro, Sweden
1987 International Felt Symposium, Keckemet, Hungary
1986International Felt Symposium, Keckemet, Hungary
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