1" x 24"
"My artistic practice studies how to maximize the impact and communication possibilities in large, ultra-low-resolution knitted images. I began this work when I realized that digital imaging and knitting speak the same binary language, and therefore full translation between them is possible. The process I use has theoretically been available to knitters for many decades, but it has only become practical in recent years as Photoshop and other image processing software has become widely and inexpensively available.
I create my pieces with a combination of many types of artistic and craft work, from the technologically complex (creating a design in Photoshop using photos, illustrations, digital mannequins, 3D imaging, video capture, and dithering algorithms) to the moderately technical (knitting my pieces on a home knitting machine from the 1980s) to the strictly manual and low-tech (using simple materials and handwork to mount my pieces on custom-made internal frames). The result is artworks that are large and striking, crisply rectilinear but also softly textured. They also provide a dynamic experience for the viewer—from a distance they look like photos, but up close the knitted stitches add unexpected visual interest.
This piece is not just about knitting; it is a craft-crossover tribute to my daughter and my dad, who are potters. My dad is shown with his experienced fingers floating as they perfect a sharp edge, while my daughter, new to the craft, pushes hard to convince the clay to do what she wants. These works celebrate the fact that all three of us are 'makers,' creators of things with our hands. It’s the most important inheritance my dad has given us, and I can see our connection just by looking at the shapes of these very different pairs of hands that still resemble my own.
Our disparate crafts of knitting and pottery have both exploited technology (whether the computer or the motorized potter’s wheel), but the use of our hands also remains critical to both. It is through manipulating materials with our hands that we engage our brains and emotions in our work. Handwork becomes a metaphor for deeply engaged work of any kind, and indeed a metaphor for deep engagement with life itself. For me, the judicious melding of technology with handwork has expanded my creative reach and deepened that engagement."
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This piece is part of the exhibition Nuance: Craftsmanship, Imagination, Innovation, on view in the Sally D Francisco Gallery through May 19th. Purchased pieces can be picked up or shipped after this date.