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Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

I’ve been following the work of Margaret and Christine Wertheim, founders of the Institute for Figuring, for a few years now. I tried my own hand at hyperbolic crochet, and was invited by Margaret to contribute to her coral reef project. At one point, I had intended to make something of the collection of blue New York Times bags I’ve been collecting, but I have not had enough time to put into crafting in quite a while.

In any case, the hyperbolic crochet coral reef and toxic reef projects have continued without my participation and is now a wonderful exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center. Exhibition dates: October 13 -Dec 16, 2007. See more photos here (Chicago Exhibition) and here (toxic reef).

Finally, read more about the project on the Institute for Figuring‘s website. Excerpt:

…this collective celebration is motivated also by an ecological urgency, for coral is being devastated by global warming, agricultural run-off, urban effluent and marine pollutants. 3000 square kilometers of living reef are lost every year, nearly five times the rate of rainforest elimination. Ironically, as reefs disappear a sinister substitute is growing beneath the waves: In the north Pacific ocean the world’s plastic garbage is accumulating, fifty years of plastic trash building into a vortex twice the size of Texas and 30 meters deep. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as it is known, is a ghastly analog to the Great Barrier Reef, an aquatic “wonder” of appalling dimensions that continues to accrete. To highlight this monstrosity and our own role in its making, the latest spawn of the IFF is a toxic reef called Bikini Atoll – a hybrid assemblage made from yarn and plastic garbage. Our challenge for the future – and the reason we have chosen to exhibit this work– is to help raise awareness of this plastic problem, an ecological cancer whose stain will mar our planet’s face for geological time.

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Knitting Activism

Square from Knit A River

Today, via Bloggreen, I found out about the I Knit “Knit A River” campaign. This UK-based crafting activism project:

… is a campaign with WaterAid. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of WaterAid and their vision – a world where everyone has access to safe water and effective sanitation.

Instead of a more traditional petition I Knit is proud to be making a spectacle! Our ‘knitition’ will force world leaders to sit up and listen. The river will travel to future WaterAid campaigning events and carry the message. Our demands are simple – let the water flow!

It looks like this particular campaign is over, or at least they’re not accepting more knit contributions.  I can’t knit anyway, but I would love to see a similar campaign in crochet (which is spectacularly suited to square forms!)

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Grocery bag knit dress

Forget my puny little evening bag. Check out this dress knitted from plastic bags:


By Cathy Kasdan, who is currently finishing up a Master’s in textiles at Kent State University and her thesis is based on consumer culture.

via Craftzine.

The dress is all hand knit from grocery bags that were the result of actual trips to the grocery store. As soon as I told people I could use their old bags for a project they brought them in by the bag full, I received thousands! The plastic grocery bag came about in the 1950’s along with futuristic optimisim about America, so I made a “typical” 1950’s ensemble complete with pillbox hat and purse, not pictured. I am going to have my pieces in an art show on recycled art at the School of Art Gallery in downtown Kent along with a group of other people beginning April 19th.

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I finished the evening bag crocheted from newspaper condoms from the New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It came out pretty nicely, only problem is it didn’t use nearly enough bags and they come in at a rate of 2-4 per day!

070327_plastic_eveningbag1

Plastic bag craft is kind of an interesting genre. There are some really quite beautiful examples of crochet, braiding, and weaving with plastic bags.

Can all these craft projects make a dent in the production of plastic bags (check out the ticker at the top of this page)? Unfortunately, I doubt it. But, at least it’s a start. And, when people see the beautiful and (re-) usable things made out of trash, it may make them think twice about throwing the bags out after one use.

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Cover of The Deep

After seeing this review in Deep Sea News of The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvia, I may be forced to purchase it. I’ve been looking for some good inspiration for sea creatures to contribute to the hyperbolic crochet coral reef, and this looks like excellent source material.

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