Monday, April 28, 2014

"Hand In Hand"

A newly finished knitting -- this piece triggered the title for the art show I recently installed in PA. Unfortunately, I ran out of black yarn halfway through and, when I discovered that the yarn was back-ordered for another month, I was forced to set it aside. 

~~~~~~~    See, for me the hard part is designing an image and the fun part is knitting it. So there's rarely a time that I have more than one project cast onto needles. Usually I get that knit addiction (knitters know what I mean! Like when you're so obsessed with seeing the fabric develop that it becomes 1am, then 2am, then, dammit! Ann you're gonna hafta put..the..knitting..down!)

THEN the art show came and went without the opportunity to get this finished and included. When I found the yarn was back-ordered for ANOTHER month, I decided to go to my local yarn shop and find a suitable replacement. I was about halfway through at the time. I came to the resolution that I would knit a few rows in the new black yarn and, if it proved distinctly different enough, I would rip the whole project out and start over with only the new yarn. But LUCKY ME, it proved indiscernible and I whipped out the rest in 2 days.

In hind sight, I think this only would be possible to do with black yarn. Any other color would've been too hard to match. Not to mention, black yarn absorbs light like crazy, making it hard to knit with but great for hiding mistakes!


What do y'all think of this piece? I started out with the phone, a symbol of everyday communication (I'd love to do a great, old rotary phone with coiled cords but since no one uses those anymore, I had to go with a phone that reflected current life, current connections). I then added the toilet paper, another small shared item of domestic living. Do we have anymore toilet paper? Will you pick some up on your way home? When the two came together I found the whole idea of the image changing. What was originally supposed to be reflections on companionship turned to a more solitary feeling for me. Now when I look at this, I think of my last job and hiding in the bathroom for extended periods of time, to try and get a break, and, of course, bringing my phone since the boss wouldn't approve of email checking on the clock.

What does this image make you think of? How does it make you feel? Do you think I'm crazy? Is it funny? I believe that only 50% of the meaning in an art piece comes from the artist, the rest comes from the viewers and the way others interpret them. How do you interpret this?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Trip to Harrisburg, PA

Hello! I find myself with less to say and more to show today. Adam and I just came back from a weekend in Harrisburg, PA, visiting dear friends and installing the newest batch of art to come out of the studio. I'm so excited about this new work - I stumbled upon some new lower-cost ideas in an attempt to make art in all kinds of price ranges. The image above is part of that new series. I had some small, antique frames (I'm talking 3"x 4" small) lying around and discovered that the knitted house I was playing with fit perfectly inside them. With that idea, I took off designing more house variations to fit within each unique frame. The gratification was instantaneous since I didn't have to rely on Adam to help me build the frames. And, since the frames were cheap and the knitting small, I can put a lower price on them. They're for sale at $70 each.

Adam, working on frames for the larger pieces, in his new shop out behind the house (aka the old 2-car garage). We realized that for the first 3 knittings I ever did, it took us like 6 months to make the frames. On the second go-round, there were 5 knitted pieces that probably took about a month or two. This time, we had 7 pieces and got those babies framed up in 4 days! We both had more confidence with what we were doing - I was able to help a lot more, doing all the sanding and lacquering - and having the shop set-up made everything faster and easier.

Support for the frame getting set in with a brad nailer on the back. This is what attaches the plywood holding the knitting to the frame. We had so much fun spending our nights together in the shop; working on the frames, listening to bad radio and enjoying each other's company.

Now for some art up in Stash's space! Here you can see "Tig Ol' Bitties" hanging above the changing room. We tacked a yardage of fabric to a bit of old trim and then pinned the crochet to the fabric. I really need to find a permanent way to show these large-scale crochets. I just don't want to do anything that takes away from the fabric essence of them. This mounting was definitely hacked. There's gotta be a better way to show these!! 

I thought I didn't get a picture of the appetizer table with one of the toothbrush knittings on it but I'm glad to see it got caught in the corner of this pic. We had a little opening while I was there but the big one will be on Third in the Burg, Harrisburg's monthly art walk. 

"Dead Dead Dead"
Collaboration with Oliver Hibert
29 in x 24 ½ in

This one's not for sale as it is part of a swell trade between Oliver and myself. But I gotta show it off for a bit before it goes to live in Arizona.


Handshake Rug
7 ft x 3 ft 4 in
This monster is priced at a whopping $6,000 hehe lots and lots of work went into that one! All the yarn is hand-dyed; a great time spent outside experimenting.

More tiny houses. So happy with these guys!

19 in x 17 ¼ in

The walnut frame on this one really turned out beautiful.

"Real Intimacy (#3)"
16 in x 12 ½ in

"Your House Wife"
17  in x 20 in

An oldie but a goodie! Loved the way it looked resting over the mantle of the old storefront's original fireplace.

Also while we were there, Wayne White was an Artist In Residence at York College in the neighboring town. He has been a big inspiration for me in the pursuit of my art career. I mean, come on!, he uses text in his art and is a southern man with a beard. Thumbs UP in my book :)

A couple of my favorite pieces on display from his 13-year retrospective. So fun to finally get to see some of his work in person. We actually saw him in person at the opening of his installation but didn't get up the courage to say hey. I regret that decision now. I guess sometimes I get afraid to meet those people I have looked up to from afar. Sometimes when the bubble of celebritism gets popped and you find yourself in front of a regular person (potentially great, potentially not so great), the disillusionment of reality can be a bit to much to handle. It's like going to see a band you really love play live, and they suck, and it ultimately makes you lose interest in their music. I guess I feared breaking that bubble I had created around who I think Wayne Wayne is. Or maybe I just really didn't want to be another swarming weirdo in the crowd that was circling him.

I don't know. I guess regret is a pretty stupid emotion so how bout I just move on.

Basking in the glow of another show hung. I loved the way all the art looked with the vintage surroundings. I don't really think of my art as retro but the textiles do give off a certain throw-back vibe.

Can't wait to get these finished pieces officially photographed and up on the website to share with all of you! I would love to hear any comments of what y'all think about the new work!