Tag Archives: Felting

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.

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 – A New Beginning

15 Oct

tree 3” Have you seen my tie dyed trees ? ” I asked my friend Tony as I dragged him out the door of the store to see them . ” I made a bunch of theses big pieces of felt and then I tiedyed them . I made a lot of them so I could put up several at once ‘

Then I thought about what I said and I wanted to be more truthful ” Actually I made a lot of them first because they are really fun to make and I get nervous about standing out on the street and sewing them up. Even though I’ve only been stopped by police twice I still get nervous ” This is more true. Tony agreed that he too prefers sitting at his dining room table and doing his work more than  having to present it .

‘I tell myself ” This will be fun ! “Tony said ” I really try to believe it “

Sewing up these big trees is a little fun especially when small children come by and reach over and give the tree a hug. The plan is to put these tie dyed trees up all over Berkeley really quick before it rains. This is the first Berkeley tree.

tree 4Tiedyed tree 1a

Yarnbombing and Valentine’s Day – Being Encouraged

11 Feb

I was sewing this big felt heart onto my local fence when Tanner showed up . He seems to drop from the sky when ever I am doing  street art in our neighborhood.  I didn’t recognize him at first because his yellow hair is shorter and his teenage face is in the process of moving from prettiness to strength.

“I like what your doing here ” he said looking at my street heart . ” And I liked the snow flakes too. I took a lot of pictures of street art when I was traveling . I’ll show them to you later . ‘

And off he went .

The very first time I ever yarnbombed , a very little tiny knitted sock on a pole –  young Tanner came out in bare feet to tell me he like what I was doing. I love a teenager being out in the world encouraging artists to make street art . Right away as it’s in progress .  A little encouragement , it can be so little , can make the difference to so many brave , big  , ridiculous  , wavering art experiments .

I also appreciate the people who yell out their cars -

‘ Thank You  !” to me as I am sewing up .

And to the people on Facebook who tell me ” Get your hearts out there ! “

So this is a new series of street art called ‘Street Hearts ” and it is 15 big felt hearts that I am putting up all over Berkeley to celebrate Valentines Day. See if you can find them .  And go encourage somebody .

yourself too. You are so great . I like what you are doing.

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