You don’t need to search far to see that fiber arts are a huge news trend this year. Profiles in The New York Times, Woman’s Day, and New York Magazine are talking about how yarn-bombing is 2011’s hottest art form. As they’re discovering, and as we here at Lion Brand have known for years, yarn just might be the most chic-yet-comforting medium that an artist can use!
Over the years, we’ve featured many textile artists from around the globe; here are some of our favorites. [As always, highlighted text are active links.]
We’ve been a longtime fan of Nathan’s; he’s even displayed some of his knitted taxidermy on our very own Lion Brand Yarn Studio Gallery Wall. Seen above, his current Bellevue Arts Museum installation, “Locker Room,” was created from more than 200 skeins of yarn! We love how all the different stitches can create a world of lifelike texture.
Our collaboration with Robyn began in 2008 with her outdoor installation, “The Knitted Mile.” Most recently, at the World Maker Faire, she yarnbombed the fairgrounds’ rocket ship with handcrafted, flame-like extensions. Afterwards, the “yarn flames” were removed to be recycled into afghans to donate to Warm Up America.
Amy is well-known in the textile arts world for Pseudo-Sod, a grass-like material that she makes from Fun Fur. Her material of choice not only looks soft and snuggly, but also is flexible enough to cover taxidermy, landscapes, and even a car!
Looking for upcoming yarn-bomb installations? This Canadian homesteading collective will be creating a yarncrafted installation at the James Street North Supercrawl in Hamilton, Ontario this fall. We can’t tell you the details, but you can read about the collective’s day-to-day adventures at their blog.
Want to learn more about the hottest trends in fiber art? Episodes 45 and 60 of the YarnCraft podcast feature interviews And if you live in the NYC area, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to take a look at our Gallery Wall. We feature a different artist every month!
Earlier this year, we featured a photo of our Amazing man, a sculpture made with various colors of our Amazing yarn that was featured at the CHA trade show. If you want to see him in person, you can visit the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in San Jose, CA starting this week. Both he and his couch will be part of the exhibit, Primary Structures from May 17 to August 7.
Here at Lion Brand, we believe in supporting the next generation of fiber aficionados and artists. That’s why we support programs at universities like FIT in New York City and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel.
Last month, Mindy Tchieu, a grad student at NYU Tisch’s ITP program whose work incorporates yarncrafted elements, shared with me the following clip from her classmate Matt Parker, whose graduate thesis project is a 3D volumetric display (it allows a 3D image to be projected):
You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with yarn?” Well, Mindy wrote:
[M]y favorite part about Lumarca is that it’s projected on YARN! Honestly when I saw the videos, I thought, “Wow this is cool,” but it wasn’t until I saw it in person at school and realized that it was white yarn, that my mind was blown.
Thanks, Mindy, for sharing this very cool usage of yarn with us! It’s always cool when low-tech materials like yarn can be used for high-tech purposes.
Have you seen some amazing uses for yarn? Share them with us by leaving a comment!
Each month at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are lucky enough to have a special guest join us. We have had wonderful designers, fiber artists, authors, and teachers who come in for our free special event night. The store is closed and customers who RSVP’ed fill the audience for these great talks, presentations, and trunk shows. With all the yarn, stories, and yarncrafting, a great time is had by all.
Since not everyone can join us here in NY, we film an interview and put it up on YouTube so the whole world can join in on the fun. Here’s a playlist of interviews so far (click the left and right arrows to browse all the videos):
Planning a trip to the NYC area? Be sure to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s blog for upcoming free events! We hope you stop on by!
If you’re going to be in Berlin from April 6 to 10, stop by the Pictoplasma Festival–an annual celebration contemporary character culture–to see a whole solar system made in yarn!
Our friend Anna Hrachovec, the amazing knitter behind the popular blog Mochimochi Land and the book Knitting Mochimochi, will have a new installation called “Mochimochi Worlds” held at the Smallspace gallery. Learn more about the project on her blog.
We wish Anna a great show, and we hope that if you’re in the Berlin area, you’ll check it out!
Recently Lindsey blogged about a video of artist Olek covering the famous Wall Street bull sculpture with a crocheted cozy. Catching the eye of the culture blog Flavorwire, her work inspired the blog to post an artist round-up: 10 Artists Who Use Yarn As Their Medium.
This interesting blog post includes Tatyana Yanishevsky (whose work can currently be seen at the Brooklyn Art Museum in NYC), Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please (whose work we’ve blogged about previously here and here), and Dave Cole (whose giant knitted pieces have been featured in such exhibits as Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting). Click the title of the article above to learn more about these 10 artists and their work.
With fiber art garnering more and more attention, it will be interesting to see what 2011 brings! Do you have a favorite fiber artist? Leave us a comment and tell us about him/her!
Winter always makes me think of ski lodges, roaring fires, pine trees, and knitwear. In that vein, artist Rachel Denny‘s work combines a classic ski lodge staple with yarny goodness for a look that’s unexpected, cozy, and perfect for winter decor.
Made of foam, wood, and yarn, these beautifully carved deer heads have a touch of whimsy. In addition, Rachel’s yarn-covered work extends beyond just deer, with rabbits made of angora yarn.
In the last year, we’ve seen artists decorate everything from cars and bicycles to driftwood and fences with yarn. What do you hope 2011 will bring from the world of fiber art? Leave a comment and let us know!
Via 2Modern Design Talk.
We love to see the creative things that people yarn bomb. It’s always fun when artists add knit or crochet to existing statues, such as Robyn Love’s “Memorials/The Doughboy”. New York City’s newest sweater clad statue is the iconic Wall Street Bull. Olek, the same artists who brought us the crocheted bicycle, crocheted this fabulous cozy. You can see her putting it all together in the video below.
Tell us about the fun places you’ve seen knitted and crocheted art near you.
NeSpoon, a Polish artist, adorned her favorite beach with beautiful doilies. Her street art often involves using lace as a stencil to to create ceramics and paint public spaces, but for this project she decided to use the actual lace. The delicate doilies were photographed and moved about by beach goers before eventually giving in to the salt air and disintegrating. If you could decorate anywhere with yarn, where would you decorate and what kind of adornments would you use?
This month, we’re highlighting various fiber works and projects taking place currently around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist, exhibit, or event, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!
From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program worked on the “Finding Home” project, a textile mural designed by Josh Saranatitis and Kathryn Pannepacker, assisted by Shelby Donnelly, aimed at raising awareness about homelessness. During that time artists and volunteers working in homeless shelters and cafes throughout Philadelphia worked together to weave the pieces of this mural. After this project, the studio re-invented itself into the Arts Street Textile Studio: handmade with the homeless. Staffed by fiber artists Kathryn Pannepacker and Leslie Sudock, recreation specialist Rachel Gucwa and muralist Mary Newsom, it’s a space that offers lessons in weaving, knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery in an open studio space for a nominal contribution. The studio will also serve as a gallery featuring the works “of individuals who, though stigmatized as homeless or life-challenged, nonetheless identify as artists and want to work productively as artisans.” In addition, the organization–which is currently working to obtain non-profit status–has also initiated an outreach program to invite homeless women and children to participate in knitting, crochet, and quilting circles.
Stating that “art is a social service,” they are encouraging members of their community to come learn new skills and support this effort. Donations and contributions of materials, tools, and equipment are always welcome. Learn more by contacting Kathryn Pannepacker (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leslie Sudock (email@example.com).
Arts Street Textile Studio
626 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday – Sunday, 3 – 8pm
For more organizations doing good in the world through yarncrafting, click here for our Charity Connection.