I’m in a film!
I was one of the makers chosen to host two apprentices, Chris and Mark, as part of Craftspace’s action research project, ‘Apprenticeships in the Making’. Here’s some information on the project, which I have grabbed from the Craftspace website:
Apprenticeships in the Making was an action research project which took place in the run up to the current Made in the Middle exhibition. The project worked with young people who are not in education, employment or training, to discover and challenge their preconceptions of craft and to introduce them to potential pathways within the sector.
Through a series of taster sessions the participants experienced the skills of three makers from the exhibition, before progressing onto a week long residency. An aim of the project was to provoke the makers to contemplate the implications of taking on an apprentice long term and to consider what support, as sole traders, they would need to make this a viable proposition.
“I hadn’t really considered what a craftsperson did before, but working with Amy has made me realise the skill involved in knitting.” Mark
“My Granddad used to knit, he taught my Dad too. Amy has inspired me; even my Dad has started to knit again.” Chris
Chris has developed a real love for knitting! Instead of commissioning an item of knitwear (the final part of the project), Chris requested a knitting machine – so I sourced and reconditioned a machine for him. Within a couple of weeks of receiving it he’s already knitted several jumpers and is using YouTube and instruction books to learn new techniques. I’m hoping to work with him again in future and look forward to seeing how his making skills develop.
Let’s have another story in pictures – this time showing the stitch-hacking of my most recent piece, ’14GB’.
14GB is on display in the Made in the Middle exhibition, along with three other stitch-hacked pieces and my pattern-blagged Shetland lace shawl (more info about those pieces here). Here’s some information about the exhibition:
Made in the Middle is an open exhibition originated by Craftspace and selected by an expert panel. Previously showing contemporary craft from the West Midlands, this year the exhibition has been expanded to include the East Midlands and celebrate creative practice across the whole region. This exhibition brings together 35 makers whose diverse practice reflects the wealth of high quality work produced across the region and the talent nurtured in the Midlands.
The exhibition is at mac in Birmingham until 15 April, then it will tour the region for another fifteen months (further information on each venue can be found via the exhibition website):
The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, Lincolnshire 28th April – 1st July 2012
Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford 15th September 2012 – 27th October 2012
Rugby Art Gallery and Museum 15th January – 9th March 2013
Bilston Craft Gallery 23rd March 2013 – 11th May 2013
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery 25th May 2013 – 6th July 2013
At the preview of the exhibition at mac, I was delighted to be awarded the prize for ‘Best Overall Exhibit’. All those hours spent hacking and blagging were worth it…
It’s been a while since my last post… so much going on, it has left little time for reflection and communication. Anyway, to make amends, here is the story of the making of a new stitch-hacking piece, told in pictures…
ATH + Jayfor is on display at an exhibition titled WOW: wonder of wool and the art of knit and stitch, at Rheged in Penrith until 15 April. Also on display is my Knitted Engine, and work by a stellar lineup of contributors, including Deirdre Nelson, Freddie Robins, Rachael Matthews, Annie Shaw, Celia Pym and many others. The exhibition is curated by Trevor Pitt of Pod Projects.
Here’s the blurb about the piece that I wrote for the exhibition:
Title: ATH + Jayfor
Materials: Found wool/nylon jumper, nylon yarn
Stitch-hacking involves the laddering and re-forming of stitches in existing knitted fabric. This technique has been developed by Amy and allows her to create structural patterns within found knitted garments. For this piece, she has taken the text from the label of an old jumper and transposed it to the body of the garment, ’embossing’ it into the structure of the plain knitting. Amy has also recorded herself within the work, through the inclusion of swiss-darned text.
This work plays with questions of authorship and ownership. The original manufacturer made the stitches, and their information has been made dominant on the garment. However, Amy has physically made the piece her own through the attention and painstaking practical work of her intervention. Through pieces such as this, Amy wants to celebrate the craft of knitting in all its forms – industrial and domestic – and to encourage others to tinker with mass-produced objects, which we often see as ‘closed’.