04/16/2020

Body of Work

is my working title for the performative act of scrubbing a floor with mud dyed and knitted wool yarn as well as the resulting soft sculptures.

This post will give you insight into the process of making this work and where it is going.

I am moving this work into it’s next phase. The square swatches I had been making and scrubbing with were tests and I now have enough information to move onto a larger piece.

I tested weight of yarn as well as scrubbing method.

Conclusions:

Scrubbing yields the results I am looking for when I lay my hands with fingers spread wide on the cloth then pull my fingers together, scrunching the knitting between them.

The yarn that yields the results I am looking for is actually the bobbin ends from a local mill. Ewethful Fiber Farm generously gave me these beautiful ends! I love being able to use reclaimed materials in my work.


My next step is to make a larger piece of knitting, at least as big as my body laid flat…. Well actually I need to mud dye my yarn first! I will be posting that process on Instagram as I complete the steps.

The inspiration for the work came early in 2020 when I was still working 40 hours per week at a local mill as well as keeping a household, mothering and trying to make art. The work at the mill was repetitive and echoed the tasks of domestic labor. The positive aspect of this is that it provided spaces to THINK. But also to converse with my coworker who happened to be a very knowledgeable textile artist. She once described to me a kind of mitten that is made in Scandinavia where the inside layer is made of loose roving. Over time the moisture and movements of the hand inside the mitten will felt the roving.

I was inspired by this idea.

How can everyday touch create an object?

Specifically the touch of a working body?

(I tried this process with roving but it did not work as I intended so the question became..)

How can a body performing domestic labor move or manipulate a line?

A piece of knitting is a continuous line given form by working hands.

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