fiber artist | sculptor soft sculpture, knit graffiti, knit + crochet installations and general tomfoolery. with yarn.
These soft sculptures mimic the shape, wight and feel of river rocks. They range in size from XS, that you can hold in the palm of your hand, to XL which is the size of a small boulder (but not as heavy).
They are made from clean, post industrial, pre consumer fibers that I have been working with. The outside is crocheted from various yarns including wool, cotton and acrylic blends. Some of the yarns are even a little fuzzy. Because who doesn't love a fuzzy rock?
While working on heaven for nearly a year, it became obvious that the companion piece was going to be hell. These individual sculptures, of which there were about 100 pieces in each set (heaven and hell), were knit and crocheted from the yarn my mother hoarded over her long life. They are filled with recycled foam and fabric and each contain an armature, also built from recycled materials. The size range is 8" to 7' high. This sculpture has been shown in galleries and fairs in the US since 2010, including at the URBN Headquarters in Philadelphia (2010), Verge Fair at Art Basel in Miami Beach (2011) and during FiberPhiladelphia (2012).
After my mother was given 10 days to live, she asked me to finish a scarf for her best friend that she had started, but due to the debilitating effects of breast and brain cancer, she could not finish. This was the beginning of the end of all of her unfinished knitting projects. I sat by her side for the last 14 days of her life completing projects she had not, could not.
When she passed, I could not stop. I finished every project I could find, scarves, mostly, but some afghans, some booties. Until I came to one that I could not. And that is when I began to create my own work out of knitted and crocheted yarn.
For the next two years I would crochet and knit furiously day after day creating the only place I thought she could “be”. This place had to be soft and beautiful. It had to be warm and comfortable. And what I created was my own perception of heaven.
This body of work was a combination of soft sculpture and photography. The exhibition space, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, has both an indoor gallery space, and 300 acres of forest in the city of Philadelphia. It was in these woods, in the Fairmount Park System, that the outdoor sculptures were installed.
What to do with the yards and yards of knitted and crocheted blankets that our grandmothers made? As our society moves farther away from handcrafted items for necessity and closer to a more disposable way of life, how do we remain loyal to our grand protectors? What were our grandmothers, after all, besides guardians of our families? They were sentinels in the kitchen. They made sure we had enough to eat. That we had enough love, that we were safe. That we were warm.
As I grow and see these afghans more often in thrift stores than on couches; wrapped around furniture for moving, in my own basement on a shelf, I think of what a terrible thing it is to be treating these blankets as disposable items. To pay homage to our grandmothers I have collected these afghans and turned them into physical representations of the grandmothers that created them. Their human size and form creates a warming space of remembrance of those who loved and cared for us.
All materials are recycled, upcylced and reused. All afghans were made by the artists grandmothers and grandmothers of friends. Most are made from acrylic based yarns. Stuffing includes old blankets, pillows, pillowcases and scrap fabric. The armatures are made from old cans, found wood and concrete. All pieces of work are hand sewn onto the base. The pieces are both knitted and crocheted.