Yarnbombing; Felting a House in Mendocino

2 Sep

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When I planned the installation”Mendocino Crayon Box ” I wanted the final piece and the finale to be a felted house. I wasn’t sure exactly how to do this. I wanted to felt the jam shop at the bottom of Main St. I went over and got permission from the owner and she also gave me a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam.

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Many months went by before I was ready to put up the pieces so I went back to the jam shop and asked for permission again. The owner only asked that we use push pins.

A few days later wen went over and began to put up the large felt panels . They didn’t look right at all ! Each individual panel as fine but they didn’t go together at all. Covering an entire wall is different than covering pillers. I went up and though a lot about buildings and murals. I tried to think of the entire wall as a canvas. I made several more pieces and was excited about how they looked together.

 

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The day we decided to install the wall I was excited and also felt a premonition that something strange was going to happen. Little did I know how strange.

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We began to put up the pieces. My assistant Kelly began hemming the pieces and putting them under tension so that they would look flat. I hadn’t known how to put them up exactly so I was learning from her carpentry skills. Just then a woman showed up with a phone. Someone had reported us to the property manage of the building who insisted that we take the installation down immediately. I reassured her that we had permission but apparently we had permission from the owner of the business not the property owner and the building owner. She decided to come over and take photos so she could send them to the owner. We kept installing furiosly. When she arrived she was pretty disturbed .We tried to explain the townwide installation and showed her some other pieces. She departed.

We finished installing and were overcome with how cool the house looked covered with felt.

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4 days later we had to take it all down. I have had to do this before with my street art but not with something I had permission for . {I thought } I guess you don’t just need permission you need permission permission. With much art that goes on a street it can only be experienced as a picture.

I’m glad that we put this up and grateful to have had the opportunity even for a short while. When I looked at the finished house it was so strong and full of purpose. I had never seen anything quite like it before and I was delighted to have persevered .

Brand new ideas can be explosive. Now I can sit and steady the idea. And dream of felted cities.

 

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Yarnbombing and Jazz , Mendocino Crayon Box Update

20 Jul

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When I got the idea for yarnbombing all down the entire Main St in Mendocino , Ca I thought I was being pretty aggressive and I didn’t want the kind business owners who had given me permission to wrap their pillars to feel jostled . I carefully worked out color schemes for each building that would work well with the paint on the buildings . I especially wanted colors that would look pleasing when you walked along the street and looked past the felted pillars and saw the colors of the sea . I made many blank pieces of felt and dyed the colors . I did this for weeks . I drove up to Mendocino and we began to put the pieces up . They looked beautiful and calming .
When you walked down the street you felt and saw the crayon colors and it was all very soothing . There were many many pillars to sew up and as we kept dyeing the pieces and putting them up I got a little bored . So I started Tie dyeing them . Then I started putting in some patterns .
This was taking weeks of installation and everyone seemed fine about the installation getting more and more colorful so I began to pull out all the stops and put up really complex painterly pieces .
It was tremendously fun to make the striped and dotted pieces and as the weeks have gone by the piece that began in a very ethereal way has become very jazzy . I like that if you walked down Main Street each week all summer you would see a different piece each time . You could feel the colors like they were music steadily going along from soothing into some improvisational jazz .

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Yarnbombing; The Mendocino Crayon Box – What is its Purpose ?

11 Jun

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The Edge Of The World -2 12 foot handfelted pillars.

One of the things I liked when I started yarnbombing was the immediate feedback. When you stand out on the street installing your art people stop to discuss it . You get a very wide range of comments , almost always positive. Some people say ” Oh how cute ! ‘ ,which I take as positive. Some people are deeply interested in art and look and think for a while. Children are very supportive and often comment that they also really make a lot of art.

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The Mendocino Bookstore Pillars 9 ft tall.

For this installation’ The Mendocino Crayon Box ” I am putting up 52 pieces of felt on 20 businesses. People are wondered if I am having a felting festival and I guess I sort of am. The main question I am asked is ” What is this ? What is it’s purpose ? “

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The Mendocino Hotel -7 Pillars 8ft tall.

What I have been saying is ” This is a site specific installation. What that means is – I came up to Mendocino and looked for how I could make a piece of art involving the town itself as part of the art. I decided to make sheets of handmade felt and dye each of them a solid color and put them up on the pillars of Main St so that the street looked like a box of crayons. I wanted to give that exciting feeling of opening a box of crayons and how it makes you want to make art. “

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Dicks Bar 2 Pillars 7ft.

Mendocino Crayon Box ; Yarnbombing The Town of Mendocino, Ca.

7 Jun

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Today we started putting up the 52 felt pieces that are the yarnbombing named ” The Mendocino Crayon Box “

I’ve been working on this for a year, getting permission from 20 businesses, working with the Mendocino Art Center to plan the classes, fund raising and opening, making the handmade felt, hand dying the colors, measuring the pillars and buildings, knitting and crocheting, working with The Mendocino Yarn Shop, thinking about the idea.

I followed the idea like a dream. Occasionally I would feel like I was awakening and I would think ” This is such a crazy idea ! “

So this is the idea – to cover all the pillars of the buildings with panels of felt , each dyed a different brilliant color so that the whole street looks like a box of opened crayons. The intention is to evoke our beginnings with artmaking which starts with our crayons.

We will be installing all week. The opening for the installation is Friday June 13 from 4 to 7 starting at The Mendocino Art Center. The show will be up until Aug 13.

 

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Yarnbombing and it’s Gifts

30 Dec

154673-004-0779C27AI was reading around the web about yarnbombing and I found an article in Encyclopedia Britannica about yarnbombing from 2011. There was this tiny picture of a very nice yarnbomb with a little tag on it. I kept looking and looking at the tag and yes ! That nice yarnbomb in Encyclopedia Britannica was my yarnbomb ! The Russian and I put them up in 2011 at The Berkeley Rep theater. It funny and pleasing to find out you are slightly famous and don’t know it at all. Here is the story Here

In 2011 and 2012 I did lots and lots of knitted yarnbombing and the media was trending on it so we got lots of attention and articles about us. As time went on and I began to look for new things to try I started doing installations with museums. More time passed and I wanted something more and wasn’t sure what it was. I began to apply to artist residencies and grants and spent a lot of time struggling with on line applications, portfolios and deadlines. And then I had to cope with rejections which I did not have to with my streetart. Then something very good happened to me.

I was accepted to be an artist in residency for yarnbombing at The de Young Museum for one month for Dec 2014. It was announced in The Fine Arts Magazine that comes from The de Young museum so it feels official. I found out 3 months ago.

I’m so happy about this and it’s recognition of yarnbombing as part of the art and textile world. This residency is an open studio -Kimball Studio – at the museum.I will be there knitting and felting and setting up projects that will be available to the public to participate in a museum yarnbombing installation. I hope you will come by and yarnbomb with me.

IMG_0129IMG_0156Yarnbombs from a guerrilla knitting that The Russian and I did in 2010 at The de Young Museum in San Francisco. These images were used in my residency application.

Yarnbombing ; Tie Dyed Trees #3, #4

23 Oct

IMG_1677Trees 3 and 4 , can you see the red tree in the background ?

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I really like seeing all 3 trees in a row on Colusa Ave. It turns the corner into a little stage set.

I’m always grateful for people’s explanations of what I’m up too. I was putting up another felt tree tonight an a car full of people parked right next to me and got out and looked in silence for a long time. ” Getting ready for Halloween ?” the man finally said encouragingly.

” Oh for sure ” I said relieved. Although sadly, it has nothing to do with Halloween.

Sewing up these tiedyed trees at night has felt a lot more dubious than sewing knitting onto poles or should I say I feel more criminal. I can’t tell if this is a step forward or not. Mainly I like to see the finished trees, it’s thrilling to have the nerve again.

Yarnbombing Berkeley -Tie Dyed Tree # 2

16 Oct

blue tiedyed tree 2I was having a lot of trouble getting myself to put up my tie dyed felts on the trees of Berkeley. I kept wondering what would get me to start. Time was passing and it was getting closer to our rainy season when it would no longer be reasonable to hang felt outside.

So I tried scolding myself ” Don’t be a weenie ! ” I would say every morning. That never works.

So I thought about how I could support myself and make smaller goals. I decided to load all my sewing gear, cameras , step ladder and duffel of felt into the back of my ancient Isuzu Trooper so that I would have it all if I got the urge to vandalize. Than I told myself that I could just go and try out the felt on a tree, no sewing. Then I finally started putting them up.

I seem to be able to put up one tree a day. I sew them up at night. It’s very balmy at night here in Oct and I listen to the crickets .This is my secondĀ  tie dyed treeĀ  on Solano and Colusa.

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