3 days into the new year and I already start with a confession: For years I only admired needlework home decoration from afar. As prolific as I am in knitting cardigans or sewing sweaters, as lazy and unorganized I am in the big field of home decoration. I am not sure how often I admired crochet blankets in vibrant colors or intricate quilt designs. But never have I managed to finish such a project. Every granny square I made was transform eventually into a garment and when I dream of quilts the blanket in my mind sneakily transforms into a jacket. So, this week’s needleworkmonday contest is a huge challenge for me and I will answer it by stretching the rules to the limit.
Is art decorative? I asked myself and started to pick up clay and yarn. And today, after I nearly finished, I am fairly sure, that the answer is “no” :-DDD Nevertheless, I will pretend my actual project was made solely for the needleworkmonday home decoration contest (and not for my upcoming exhibition about the invisibility of women after a certain age). And you dear reader, please bear with me and pretend that a smashed head and an artificial blood pool made from yarn would be the pinnacle of home decoration for you.
My idea for the
sculpture decoration was to visualize the multiple demands women are confronted with during her lifetime. Demands that often are contradictory like the societal ideal of effortless beauty: meaning caring for the appearance but not giving the impression of caring – the high maintenance in form of makeup, coordinated garments, diets, sport etc. should stay invisible). Or the still existent dilemma of being a mother and/or perusing a career. The demand of being an independent person regarding money and status, but on the same time media still presents mostly able-bodied, white, young, and slim women as desirable who are smaller and younger than their film partner. Isn’t this weird and confusing? A woman should look as if she is no threat to a man (smaller, slimmer, younger – the latter often equals less status and power) but should accomplish the same. Sigh… I will stop here before I again get the desire to change my career into arson.
After this rant, this is was I did 😀
The first layers of the sculpture are made with tin foil to save on the clay and so make the sculpture a bit less heavy. This first layer of tin foil helps to find the right dimensions and to stabilize the body. Then layer for layer the sculpture is build up. I decided to only hint at arm and legs and leave them as rudiments as the big head and the exaggerated backside should be the first the observers notice. I also decided to form a tiny waist, remembering the trend when influencers preached about „waist training“ or even surgically removed rips to slim down the waist (is this still a thing??).
At first, I thought about smashing the sculptures head (I even made a reel which you can see on my instagram art account) but the head was so sturdy – wow … I could not smash it :-DDD So, I build a funnel shaped extension for the head with the idea that all the external demands are filled into this funnel.
The next step was to crochet a blood pool. I wanted an irregular shaped roundish form in a deep red. To achieve this, I varied the height of my stitches starting with slip stitches growing to triple crochet. I grew these „wave forms“ irregular, sometimes increasing stitches sometimes staying with the existent stitch count. While writing this I notice that I find it hard to describe what I did, as I tackled this „blood pool“ more intuitively as I often do when working with free form crochet.
But the ensemble is not finished yet as I am currently working on a knitted panel (in the same red color) which will get an embroidery which will say „get this into your head“. The panel should later hang on the wall und beneath it the tiny sculpture with the crochet blood pool will be placed.
Ok, I admit, I am not convinced that this will set a trend in home decoration, but dear needleworkers, I so wanted to participate in our community challenge as I missed out on the Barbie contest. So, stop yourself to throw your yarn at me for stretching the rules, instead know I only did this because I love you all <3
If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on hive blog. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my hive blog.
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