Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Extreme Crochet

Extreme Crochet

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? 

me lying down (for scale) next to the dome 

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;

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; .

Sea Urchins was created for an exhibit in Singapore, here is a link to that one;

I was really excited to be a part of this international, collaborative project, art is universal.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2016 My Year in Garbage

Well, I finally got the whole trash quilt put together.  What started out as an exercise became a comment on 2016.  My husband's hip replacement, my Mom's death, the awful election process all ended up on the quilt.  It was displayed at the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild Quilt Show on South Padre Island, TX and at the Fiber Arts Unlimited exhibit at the Upper Valley Art League (UVAL) in Mission Texas.  It was also a topic of discussion at the UVAL pot luck dinner.  All in all it was well received.  Not everyone "got it" but I did have the chance to do some explaining at each of these venues. The grey square on the bottom has an "I Voted" sticker in the center and free motion quilting on the grey around it symbolizing the grey morass in which this election got stuck .  In the bottom right square are "vintage pop tops" that my sister and I found while cleaning my mom's garage.  They did not belong to my brothers so we figured they belonged to my dad, he has been gone for 25 years so they are definitely vintage.   They were crocheted with bits of left over crochet thread. It symbolizes the mountain of garbage that is our garbage disposal site in Texas plus it makes a nice jingling sound for the last month of the year.

Front View of Trash Quilt

The back is almost as colorful as the front,  I used a lot of old bubble wrap (18 years old) as both batting and backing.  the squares list what was used for each square as sometimes it is not obvious. My thanks to all who graciously contributed their curated trash.  I wanted this to be a thought provoking idea, getting people to think about the amount of stuff we throw away.  It is in the spirit of Cfarftivism, using crafts in an activist way.  If you would like to learn more about this growing movement pleas hop on over to the The Craftivist Collective.

Back view