Sunday, January 16, 2005

"Seriously Playful"

During the time of the World Wars supplies were hard to come by. If you did manage to get supplies, you used them to knit or crochet items for those serving in the Armed Forces.  You made hats, gloves, scarves to help keep the soldiers warm, or afghans and slippers for the wounded soldiers in the hospital, and so on. They even had pattern books published during World War I just for this purpose.

Because supplies were hard to come by, many needleworkers got resourceful and used materials found elsewhere.  In the latest issue of PieceWork magazine there is an interesting article on how the material from bags of flour was saved and turned into garments for children. This became so popular that in the 1950s the manufacturers of flour started offering patterned prints so more decorative garments could be made. Once the flour manufacturers started offering the flour in paper, the art of saving the material and making garments went away, only to become a collectors haven for today.

This is also true of saving string from various purchases. The strings were later knitted or crocheted into something quite useful. Or not.  Perhaps it was used in some sort of Art Medium. The fun is finding when and how it was used.

In this line of thinking, if it can be knitted, it can certainly be crocheted. And even though today, here in America, we're not under the same constraints of getting supplies (other than budget constraints) many are enjoying crocheting with more unique materials, like licorice -- or even shoe laces and rubber bands.

Shoe laces and rubber bands?

Sure! Why not! And in fact, Sheila Pepe did just that! Go ahead, give the article, Strings Attached: UCSU art exhibit is seriously playful" a visit.  Then the next time you see a piece of string, think about it's potential rather than it's intended purpose.

Note:  If you opt to visit the news article, read past the part where it states that the exibit is named "Hot Lesbian Formalism."  It's not meant to offend anyone ... the artist was joking around when she named her exhibit, and I think it's well worth reading about.  I would not knowingly provide a link to any material that could be offensive, but if you have children (those under the age of 18) reading my Journal, you may need to creatively explain to them a few things because of the artist's title...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. I remember those horrid dresses from sacks; mom had pictures of them; being poor was never easy and the war didn't help.  The article was as creative as the artist; including saying she learned crochet then returned to "the needle".  ^_^ last time I looked it was a hook.   Thanks for sharing. It brought back some odd memories. And gave me a look into today's artworld. Yeahm, sometimes what's old IS new again.

freya1924 aka
Sacramento CA