Tag Archives: Mendocino

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 With Permission; The Town of Mendocino

5 Sep

IMG_1207Here in yarnbombing world we are all getting permission for our yarnbombing these days . Sometimes I have been asked to make something by a store or museum and sometimes I want to do something very ambitious and it seems more judicious to ask first. Or polite. I’ve learned 3 things from doing yarnbombing with permission.

1. People will let you yarnbomb almost anything if you ask very formally and gradually with good pictures.

2. Just because you have permission do not mean it won’t get stolen.

3.It’s a little boring to ask permission though you feel calmer when you put the work up.

As you know I yarnbombed The Mendocino Art Center this summer, The picture above is of their gallery yarnbomb. I’m using handmade felt now for my installations but I’m going to just keep cavalierly calling it yarnbombing. I thought it would be interesting to include some places in the town of Mendocino as part of the installation . I’ve always like to mark places that I love and enjoy with some of my color.

IMG_1248This is “The Moose Cafe ” , a restaurant that I revere for it’s chocolate pudding. It’s different sewing up panels of felt rather than knitting, it’s more like dresssmaking, it all has to be pinned and stretched tightly.

IMG_1249I’ve been coming to Mendocino for many years, when you vacation in the same place over and over it gives you a connected peaceful sense of time and a feeling of childhood.IMG_1269I recently found a new place to stay in Mendocino, ” Alegria “. It is heaven , I recommend you go up and stay there right away. To be able to do something wonderful for a long time you have to keep finding new ways to do it.

I yarnbombed with my handspun knitting for 2 years and i did more than any reasonable person who ever do-, ‘The Russian and I did well over 100 installations all over California. But I got tired of the problems, knitting getting taken , vitriolic arguments about yarnbombing on the internet. I also think we did everything we could think of to do. So I didn’t yarnbomb for months.

I thought a lot about what I liked about yarnbombing, how it interacted with the hardscape of the city in such a beguiling and colorful way, how you could show your art immediately with no intermediaries, how much media interest there was compared to gallery art. Eventually I came up with the idea of using my handmade felt the way I had used my knitting, make sheets of painterly felt and put them up on trees, buildings and street furniture.

I’m really liking the new look of the felt and it’s speed but I know for some people it has to be knitting or crocheting to relate. But you have to go where you feel the passion.

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