Collaboration: A Canvas

a canvas s

a Canvas

Its motions are chary and deft.
Stitch by stitch. Right to left.
I’m a warp. You’re a weft.

Time weaves a life canvas…


© All rights reserved 2014

Tetiana Aleksina’s poem of last December proved the perfect muse for an idea I had in the back of my mind at the time.  I arranged and cross-stitched it onto one of the working graphs done during my many years as a knit designer.

I probably have several hundred of these graphs, along with knitted swatch samples, that I haven’t repurposed or discarded yet (I threw out many of the graphs and now I’m regretting it a bit…).  What to do with them?  I’ve made dolls and pillows and masks from the swatches, but haven’t done anything before with the designs on paper.

Tia (aka Unbolt) always provides vivid images in her poetry.  She also enjoys collaborations.  Her poem”A Canvas” takes fiber work and puts it into the larger human context.

i'm a warp s

My sister-in-law (a weaver) and I went to an exhibit at The Drawing Center last fall called “Thread Lines” that explored the connections between drawing and fiber.  I was familiar with some of the artists but many were new to me.  And, as always, I did not agree with the curator on the validity of all the selections.  Several of the works represented took working patterns for weaving or knitting and made them into art.  The one I had the most problem with in that situation was also the jump start to an idea about my own knitted designs.

Robert Otto Epstein

Robert Otto Epstein

Robert Otto Epstein took a graph from a knitting book and copied it “by hand” in pencil.  OK…maybe he is making a political statement about the fact that designs are not done by hand any more, but on the computer?  If so…couldn’t he even come up with his own design?  or combine it with a computer-generated one?  or make it more interesting, exciting, thoughtful, beautiful?  It didn’t resonate with me, that’s for sure.

one of my working graphs

one of my working graphs

My knit graphs (all done “by hand” and designed by me), and those of the many designers (mostly women, paid a pittance) that I worked with over the years, seemed much more suitable for framing and hanging on a wall in a gallery than something copied by a philosophy student from a knitting book.  So I began thinking:  how to present them?  What could I do to enrich the work I had already done?  I thought first of quotes that related to the design, and I may do some of those too, but Unbolt’s poem actually got me working.  I work slowly (as I have often lamented), and cross stitching on paper is also slower than on fabric, but I was pleased with the (months later) finished result.

Thank you Tia, for your inspiration!  And for those of you not yet familiar with her blog, check it out here:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

17 responses to “Collaboration: A Canvas”

  1. unbolt says :

    Oh, Kerfe ❤ ❤ ❤
    I'm happy! I'm in heaven!
    You're a sorceress! All, what is touched by your able fingers, is pure magic…
    I would send you a million kisses and hugs!!
    Thank you! THANK YOU!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. createarteveryday says :

    This is beautiful!!! Wow, and so unique. Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kirkistan says :

    Really intriguing: the words over the images and the “graphiness” of the whole thing. Cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks! I’d like to try something that’s harder to read, too; maybe using a color close to the ground so it looks more abstract. Which reminds me, I like the back of it too (which is abstract threads). I ‘ll have to photo for a future post.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. memadtwo says :

    Yes, you have really created something great. I love the way your mind works.


  5. unbolt says :

    Reblogged this on unbolt and commented:
    Method two madness

    I follow this amazing blog from the very first days of my blogging. I’m a faithful fan of Kerfe and Nina… two wizards of the artworks.
    Yes, I do love handicrafts and I can do many things by my hands (oops… let me don’t make mention of my half-finished scarves and a sweater without sleeves)… can you imagine my enthusiasm when I got a letter from Kerfe? No, you can’t! I was truly happy that I can become a part of this creative celebration! WOW! JUST WOW!
    Please, enjoy! It’s worth to be read… and seen!

    Method two madness
    Don’t miss this blog, guys! I never cheat you, my dearest Readers. I’m not going to cheat you this time too. It’s really great!!

    P.S. My private favorites are mandalas. Stunning, fantastic and unusual mandalas created by Kerfe… OMG! I’m in love!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. markrenney1 says :

    Works brilliantly,love the perspective with the words.

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Collaboration: A Canvas | unbolt - May 11, 2015
  2. Unexpected Calligraphy | method two madness - July 28, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: