Textiles – Embroidery and Knit

My day job has kept me quite busy over the past few months, but I have been working on some textiles during that time!

One project I have been working on and off, my Home embroideries. I had been attempting to just capture the facade of the places I have lived via embroidery. This way I found myself looking up the apartments I had lived in, and even looking at images of my childhood home in attempts to accurately portray the exteriors. This was not very inspiring and therefore left me ignoring the project for a time. When I began working at it again, I realized that my memories of my homes are almost exclusively interior spaces, which began me working on my current embroidery. This piece is of a place I lived with my now-ex-boyfriend. It was the first time I lived with a guy, and I have a lot of wonderful, terrible, and just soothing memories. The importance of this Home was it was the first place I really felt was MY home after moving out of my parents house. I’ve found that most people have a similar place like this within their own lives, a sort of first home on your own phenomenon. A weird passage into adulthood and your individuality separate from your parents. Below are some images of my progress on this piece so far!

My memory is far from perfect when it comes to exact recreation of the objects, but my main goal is to embody the feeling that that space gave/gives me (more about accuracy of feelings than objects).

Other thoughts on this project:

I really enjoy the domesticity of doilies and I chose them for that reason. I think they just solidly reinforce the idea of a Home, whatever that means for you.

An idea I have been really interested in is individuality, identity, and privacy and how those work together – and with this project I have been thinking a lot about apartments, how you are living and making a home in this temporary space that others have done the same, and what really makes it yours as an individual. I’m still chewing on some thoughts about it, but I am really enjoying the progression of this project.

 

“Gray Area” a knitted list of people I know who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

I started a project that is working very similarly to my “Secrets” knits. I’ve been calling it “Gray Area.” I began this process by reaching out on Facebook/Insta etc. to ask people to like or comment if they have been sexually harassed or assaulted (with less public options for those who need/want). I gathered over 50 names. I then “translated” them into binary code with knit and purl instead of 1 and 0. Then, I began to knit! I am currently about halfway through the names, though I’m sure I will accumulate more before I can finish. I also plan to create this project in two other ways, experiment and see what fits best with what I want the project to do.

20190126_0139511071265552.jpg
Pardon the terrible quality of this image!

This image is approximately 15 names in. You can see that there is a border that surrounds the actual names section, which is a different texture. This creates a pattern – that technically could be deciphered – of the names, each name supporting each other to create this piece.

I chose gray for the yarn, not only because it is a neutral color, but also because so much sexual harassment and sexual assault is considered a “gray area” – hence the title.

Other thoughts on this project:

The goal is to show the extreme number of people effected by sexual harassment and assault without exposing the victims specifically. These are just people I know (and I’m from a small town, I’m introverted, and I honestly just don’t know that many people), and it is still more than 50 people – that is insane.

Another goal and just general thought about this project is the support. Each name that I knit is reliant on the previous name and the name after them to hold, they are supporting each other through the stitches. Not only that, each name that I knit requires me to think about them, give them my time and energy and I think that gives importance to those people and their experiences and struggles beyond just them being part of the 50+names.

I’m excited to see where both of these projects end up and hopefully I’ll have time to post more regularly about them!

New Projects and Birds!

I have been so very busy with my new job that it leaves only a small amount of time for artwork and often even leaves me to tired or worn out to even make anything.

But! There have been a few projects that have inspired me to work a lot harder and get some stuff made. A collaboration between the campus gallery and the campus natural history museum encouraged me to go see some bird and egg specimens, these specimens have sparked a whole whirlwind of ideas and have me trying all sorts of different things.

As you may know from my previous posts, I absolutely love birds. I had been drawing a lot of them recently, and still am, but after my trip to the natural history museum on campus I started thinking that I needed to go above and beyond those.

Below are some projects I started as well as some of the specimens that inspired me.

(I apologize for the poor image quality!)

In process: bird feather with an embroidered pattern, I am hoping to do a lot of these as I think they are wonderfully beautiful. I have been taking a lot of inspiration from the feather patterns I saw on the bird specimens.
Hand dyed wool. I hope to felt this into egg shapes around small, important objects. I haven’t felted anything in a long time so we will see how it goes!
Eggs from the Richter Museum of Natural History. I love the combo of the red brown with the white and small flecks of gray.
More eggs from the Richter Museum of Natural History. I absolutely love the coloring of the dark brown as well as the patterning of the spots, the swirling and smudging really inspires me.
The very subtle pattern on these duck feathers honestly took my breath away (yes, I am a huge bird geek) I am hoping to imitate some of this in future feather embroideries!
Feathers that look almost like leaves! I love the way the white barbs overlap the brown, absolutely lovely.
I am also trying something that I have been half-heartedly attempting for a long time; embroidering eggs. The egg has been broken open, cleaned, hand dyed, embroidered (I say with nonchalance like I didn’t cry about it) and then the halves are glued back together. 

 

Because of how eggs are structured, the french knots are actually in a way holding the egg together, which I find really interesting. Overall, they are fun little egg sculptures and I actually really enjoy making them (as frustrating as they can be!).

Anyway! I am so excited to continue on my weird, bird-inspired, adventure and I hope it keeps going as well as it has been!

 

Plants

I haven’t had a lot of time for art making with my new job, but I came across some fabric scraps I dyed a few years back and was suddenly inspired. Simple, kind of gestural plant embroidery. I am hoping to create more of these over time as I have the time, but I think this is a good start!

Secrets

Secrets is another project I have been working on. Each square is a secret that has been knitted in binary code, the secrets are either mine or ones that have been told to me. This project has been extremely cathartic, its been a way to release all this information that has been piling up, but in a way that is almost impossible to decipher. This project is currently in process, but I am really excited about it and I hope to share more as it progresses!