My hands, wrists and forearms are sore, from crocheting. My arms are sore from lifting 10 to 20 pounds of nylon rope to move it around. Why was I flinging clothesline around on my floor? I was crocheting lace on gigantic proportions. A pie shaped wedge 12 feet long and six feet wide, hexagon motifs three feet across, how did I get myself into this?
I was in New Jersey, looking at one of my sister’s knitting magazines when I saw a picture that had to be crochet. Sure enough, it was a crocheted square folded to resemble a Dutch lace cap and it was hanging over a canal in Amsterdam. I was so intrigued with the article that I looked up the firm responsible for the cap. Choi and Shine are an architectural firm in Massachusetts, they did the lace cap (Lace) and another exhibit called Sea Urchins (Singapore). The artist Jin Choi learned crochet and experimented with different media to find one that worked for large installations, finally settling on white nylon rope. She scaled up designs to large proportions and had volunteers crochet sections. The sections are attached to a very fine steel mesh and then hoisted in the air on steel cables. A little message on their web site said to contact them if you were interested in participating a project.
Soooo, I sent off an email saying I was interested in their next project and then I received a message saying that they were behind due to a few crocheters not being able to participate, was I interested? Even though the rope and I would arrive in Texas after the due date, I was interested in participating. When I got back to Texas I started crocheting like a madwoman. Putting as much as I could aside I just crocheted and crocheted and crocheted. I was able to finish the “pie shaped wedge” which is supposed to be a part of a dome of a mosque. I got partway through a panel of repeating motifs but was unable to finish it before it had to be shipped back. I was disappointed that I could not finish (although if I counted all of the times I ripped out a motif, I probably crocheted the whole section) but proud of myself for even trying.
This project is called The Flying Mosque, it will be assembled in Brookline Massachusetts and then shipped to Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates for the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival Dec 13, 2017 to January 23, 2018. Here is a link to an article about the Flying Mosque; http://flyingmosque.org/
Here are some links to the projects Lace and Sea Urchins so you can get some idea of the scale of their projects.
Lace was the project in Amsterdam, here is a link to an article about it; http://choishine.com/TheLaceMaking.html .
Sea Urchins was created for an exhibit in Singapore, here is a link to that one; http://choishine.com/UrchinsFabrication.html
I was really excited to be a part of this international, collaborative project, art is universal.