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I am fascinated by the structural aspects of fibre arts. Obviously, most folks are familiar with the structural aspects of fabric (most obviously in stuffed toys, but less so in everyday clothes, which take advantage of the structural and flexible properties of fibres). This will, of course, include knitting, as your average t-shirt is in fact a knitted garment (so, too, are probably your knickers, definitely your socks, and most likely your pyjamas). These are machine knits, knit at an almost inhumanly-small gauge (‘almost’ because Victorians were insanely awesome at tiny tiny gauge) with small threads, and therefore have better flow and less structure than your average jumper.

When it comes to actual sculpture, it’s crochet that really comes to the forefront. Take, for example, the professional crochet artist Olek, who often makes what can only be described as sculpture-cozies, pieces that in and of themselves are sculptural yet are designed to go over pre-existing art pieces (NB: do not get me started about the BBC article that labelled her a ‘knitwear’ artist — I could tell from the header photo alone that it was crochet, and was honestly confused until I realised that the author was oblivious at how wrong he was). Or take one of my earliest fibre inspirations, Helle Jorgensen, who first came to my awareness through the Institute for Figuring‘s coral reef projects, which simultaneously makes me want to refresh my trigonometry knowledge and figure out how to crochet staghorn coral.

But what about knitting? Knit graffiti is acceptably well-known, though it often takes the form of placing knit pieces on public items, like a bike rail or a tree, and therefore often takes the shape of a parallelogram sewn into shape. Less common is putting items of clothing on statues, like Olek’s crochet work. But I haven’t found any proper examples of knitted sculpture like Helle Jorgensen’s corals. Have you?


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