Have you heard of yarn bombing? If not, check out the link, it's quite amazing. It involves covering objects in public spaces, like bike racks, light posts, trees, and benches, with knitting, usually in bright colors and patterns. Two years ago, I attended an artist talk by Magda Sayeg, yarn bomber and founder of Knitta Please out of Austin, Texas. The talk was at my undergraduate university, and the fiber arts class that semester (I had already graduated, sadly!) knitted cozies for all of the cigarette disposal containers around campus.
I've always been interested in fibers, and since taking a fiber arts class I've wanted to include more in my "serious" work (for so long I separated my "fine art" from everything else I made, but I see so many connections now). I did a few pieces with yarn and fabric last quarter and I see more in my future. Alex, my friend from home who was interning here this summer (she's going home today!), also uses fibers in her work. We wanted to do something collaborative while she was here and tossed around the idea of a yarn bombing project, but neither of us are proficient enough with yarn to cover a large area in the time we had.
One day, it hit me that we should use fabric instead of yarn, since that's the material we work with most often. It occurred to me that if we braided strips of fabric, we could cover a large area pretty quickly. So we decided to "fabric bomb" something in the city during her last week here. After purchasing fabric from my favorite thrift store, we decided to each pick one object to cover, then photographed the process for one another.
The image above is a close-up of my installation, which actually I did not leave up at this point. I plan to install the same piece multiple times, adding more fabric each time.
I chose a park in the middle of the city very close to where I live and wrapped my braided rope around the skinniest tree since I had just 40 feet to work with for this first install.
It looks so small, but that actually represents hours of cutting and braiding and 20 minutes of wrapping. I think yarn bombing would take even longer! My project will be more impressive when there are successive photographs and the fabric coverage grows and grows. I can't wait!
Alex covered a bench downtown which looks out over the Scioto River. These benches are actually swings--pretty fancy. They seat four people, so to make her project stand out, she wove her braided rope in and out of one of the four seats. We passed this park weekly on the way to our jewelry class, so it was significant to her time in Columbus.
And! We actually saw this little yarn bomb on a telephone pole as we left the park where my piece went up. I love the colors and the way the crocheting is in circles instead of straight lines.