Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: art, ICA Boston, knitting, macrame, textiles, weaving, Wool, yarn
I was going through museum withdrawal recently, so I went to the ICA in order to get my art fix. I went specifically to the ICA because of their current show: Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present. EXCITING!!! My excitement should not be surprising as I have a yarn stash the size of a water buffalo in the attic. Hee hee! (Don’t tell my husband.)
Before going to the show, and speaking of fiber, I noticed this on the windowsill:
No, not the Halloween decoration. THE TOAST. My son somehow decided that THIS would be a good place to leave his egg covered toast. Why, you may ask? Who knows. Six-year-olds work in mysterious ways…and mine typically works in ways that are MOST MYSTERIOUS.
Back on topic: the work at the ICA was fantastic. I loved the textures, the colors…everything. It was hard to restrain myself not to TOUCH the artwork, as it just begs to be poked and hugged. If you like to knit, you know what I’m talking about. I get itchy fingers in a yarn store NOT because I’m allergic to wool, but because I need to snuggle the yarn. This is frowned upon at a museum, though. Humph.
Here are a few of the works, (you will note that some would be more “snuggly” than others)…
(BTW…this blog is a “grammar free zone”…)
Alan Sheilds, Nina Got It for 100 Francs, 1971
This looked like an intricate mesh interlaced with thin wood dowels and suspended from the ceiling. LOVE IT! It isn’t clear if the main textile in the piece was created or found. It looks like a found piece that was dyed, especially if you consider the title. If I had a big, white, modern house…I’d love to have this floating in a corner. I’d sit in a white Bertoia bird chair while drinking a pumpkin latte (’tis the season), and just gaze at it for hours. I love the tension between it’s opacity and its transparency. They are so balanced. (Not to change the subject, but does anyone want to buy me one of those Bertoia chairs? No? What about a pumpkin latte? Bueller?)
And a detail:
Alan Shields, Nina Got It for 100 Francs (detail), 1971
It looks kind of childish with it’s bright colors simple construction…but it looks really great as a whole.
Another cool piece:
Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color, 1965
Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color (detail), 1965
TINY RAFFIA BRAIDS. This looks like some kind of dried sea creature. I like the colors. Small hands. Look at that texture!
Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element), 1979
And a detail:
Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element) (detail), 1979
I loved this too! This would also go fabulously in that imaginary white modern house that I do not own. It’s interesting that some of pieces in the show were very heavy, while others very light. That sounds kind of dumb and obvious, but I love the contrast. In other words…I think of other sculptural materials, such as bronze, as…well, heavy…always heavy. But look how different fiber can be! I suppose it is generally linear, but can be bundled, knotted, woven, etc. to create density or lightness.
Alexandre Da Cunha, Kentucky Pied de Poule I, 2012
I love the neutral colors here. I also love the thickness and almost Amish look to it. The most fabulous thing about that piece is that it is made of mop heads. I KID YOU NOT. Isn’t that fantastic???? No? Too bad.
Diane Itter, Color Point, 1981
Diane Itter, Color Point (detail), 1981
Oh. My. God. HUNDREDS of brightly colored embroidery threads (a guess), are deftly knotted to form a kind of textile Op Art. CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY KNOTS THERE ARE IN THIS??? Amazing. The colors are incredible, and the precision is ridiculous. It makes my inept “friendship bracelets” of elementary school look a bajillion times more inept.
Sherri Smith, Front Range, 1976
Sherri Smith, Front Range (detail), 1976
Ahhhh…layers and layers of knotted, knitted wool. AMAZING. This one begs to be touched, and yet I did not. (Wouldn’t this be a FANTASTIC sweater? Is that gauche to say so? Probably.) Again…look at the texture!!! Sigh…swoon…
Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent, 1993-2009
Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent (detail), 1993-2009
WHOA. If there were crocheting Olympics, this artist would be on the cover of a Wheaties box. How does one even BEGIN this kind of fantastic creation???? I think this artist needs to do an installation at the ICA. She needs to fill an entire room with her works. It would probably be asking too much if I wanted to snuggle some of her works, but I digress…
I need more pom poms. Just sayin’.
A trip to the ICA is always a fantastic few hours. I wish that I lived closer, or I’d just hang out there ALL THE TIME. I’m sure that they’re glad that I’m not a local.
Coincidentally, I recently started dabbling in weaving. It’s pretty fun, and works up MUCH faster than knitting. Here is my crude start:
Don’t you wonder how I can muster up the gumption to continue weaving this little thing after seeing that show at the ICA??? I do. I clearly have no shame! I like to learn new things, so I am perpetually a beginner…(and one of those “jack of all trades/master of none.”) This thing screams, “BEGINNER!” and has that tell-tale D.I.Y. aura. Oh well. At least I can snuggle it.
Filed under: Felting | Tags: arts, crafts, felting, handmade, sweater, Wool
Okay. I had a side project going that has NOTHING to do with printmaking…painting…drawing…etc. I was working on a crazy felted sweater. I JUST FINISHED IT. I was so excited, that I put it on, even though it is still DAMP! I’m so thrilled with it…even though I know that most people will ask me why I am wearing what looks to be just a big pile of yarn. Philistines! It’s wooly poetry… perhaps in an e.e.cummings sort of way. What do you think? Too crazy? Not crazy enough? I have no problem wearing this…I just wonder how many birds will be following me…trying to collect scaps for building their nest. Please excuse that I could not wait to photograph it tomorrow in daylight…so, here I am in the downstairs bathroom…
Thanks to my mother’s cousin (I believe), Ruth, in Australia, my felting today went MUCH better than yesterday. I mean MUUUUCH better. It’s smooth…the colors are nice…so, I haven’t lost faith in felting as a result. It might be the only way that I get some exercise, so maybe I should keep it up! Ruth provided me with some very helpful tips. I have seen her felting, which is lovely, so it was great to get her help.
Now that I’m doing printmaking…working with dyes…(more on that later), my hands are looking kind of gross. I mean, the edges of some of my fingernails are an odd bluish color. How gross is that? It’s so hard to get off. I always wonder if people think that I don’t bathe, or something, because my hands look so…colorful. Also, I always manage to cut myself in some way. Who knows. I know…that’s impossible to do from felting, so I must have done it when making dinner.
Filed under: Felting | Tags: craft, felt, Needlepunch and Pressed Felts, Textiles and Nonwovens, Wool
My first experiement with wet felting! The two small “squares” are the result. It was fun, but tiring. It requires some serious elbow grease to work the fibers into submission. I kept thinking, “felt! damn it!”. The results are…okay. Why are they so lumpy? Can anyone tell me? Maybe I needed to felt more. I’m going to have arms like Rambo by the time I figure this all out. It’s a very messy process, but can have lovely results. Because it shrinks down so much, I can see that I need to get an enormous blob of it to start with, in order to have a useful size in the end! The colors of these samples are a bit blech. I just got roving at Joann fabrics…so what do you expect, right? There are all sorts of AMAZING stores out there selling decadent roving (the stuff that this is made from) in stunning colors. Sigh…kind of pricey. I’ll start small, and see how it goes before I invest in tons of it.
The pink purse was needle felted. Sort of cute, right? Maybe if you’re twelve. Hey, I like it anyway. I even put snaps on it! Should I bother trimming the yarn sticking of the ends? Nah…it’s like purse dreadlocks.