Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yarn about art? Art that is yarn?

I was talking with my friend Ann today, a fabulous spinner. We both share the utter enthusiasm for the variety of fibers, breeds of sheep, styles of spinning available to us as spinners. We get so excited talking about prepping new fibers and the discoveries that lurk around the corner! We see each other as our primary supports in our quest for spinning as fine art.

I seek to make the skein that is so beautiful, or so odd, or so laden with meaning that it can only be perceived as sculpture!

Ann seeks the skein that so expresses its "selfness," the twist, the color, the crimp that expresses the uniqueness that that fiber can become...often in garments. She spins yarns that cannot be found in the natural habitat of the yarn store.

Are we nuts, or something? Are we tilting at windmills? I don't know the answer to that question. But I do know that she and I will talk again soon about an idea that is beginning to form for us:

What if we formed a group of like minded spinners, who were interested in stretching the envelope of what yarn can be?

We are thinking of forming spinning group, but not just another spinning group where we eat and drink and spin. ( Even though we do like to drink and spin especially well!) We don't know what this group would look like, but we know that we want to create a more prominent place at the fiber table for spinners. We want spinners to be noticed as spinners of art, not imitators of store bought yarn.

What could we do? spin together, study together, encourage one another to stretch our skills and ideas, create exhibitions together...other stuff?

You tell me. Are you interested? Do you have ideas? Share them.


  1. Absolutely, Sue! There is a huge difference in the yarns I make, and having some sort of group to share in that exploration would be fantastic.

    Sometimes I am "craft" spinning, making yarns for functional reasons, or because I just want to zone out and spin as a form of meditation. Other projects are "art", there's a story, or a specific sculptural property, or a specific theme I want to explore to see what happens.

    Especially to talk about the logistics of how to display art yarns as a finished piece in and of themselves, while still allowing for the potential for someone to use them as a part of new creative process. There is something fascinating in creating an object that could be "done" in and of itself, but could also be a springboard to something new and unimagined. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but am drawn to the idea.

  2. Yay! I knew you would be interested. Keep thinking about this. I'll probably not do much of anything about it, other than think, until fall...but let's talk it up.