On Wednesday, Bernice Akamine came by for a studio visit. She is a well respected Native Hawai’ian artist who also does wire stitchwork. She just had a solo show on the Big Island and I greatly appreciate her taking the time to stop by!
There are not many other wire stitch artists so it was wonderful to talk with her. She continues to work in wire and was also chosen by Magdalene Odundo, OBE, to have wire work pieces in Hawaii Craftsmen’s Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition opening on Oct 24, 2017.
We talked about one of my newest pieces, Figure #3, and how best to move forward. My current efforts had matchy, matchy embroidery thread accents however she recommended going much darker, and try it with wire first, just to see.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
Five mis-starts later I see that the sapphire blue wire is just not going to create the look I wanted.
Then I remembered Bernice often uses a different technique in her wire work so I started out again. This time attempting a knotless knitting technique. Still couldn’t get it to look quite right.
So out came the embroidery floss in the lovely dark blue. Multiple attempts with different thread counts, different hook sizes and the best look still eluded me.
Finally reaching the best thread count with the right hook size and yet again stitching away I see the stitches are not laying well, looking too ‘backwards’ in my attempt towords a specific directionality. I want the eye to travel easily over the work, to flow from left to right.
The only way I can achieve that best look, in the direction I want, is to learn to crochet left handed!
After a dinner break with friends, I jumped back in and forged ahead with lefty stitching. Slow going but finally got the look I wanted!!
This residency is filled w/experiments & mistakes, ripping out stitches and trying yet again. Much of my time is filled with work yet little progress to show for it. The end result is that Figure #3 will eternally be a prototype, a single piece of work filled with ideas that together don’t make a great piece of art. Yet moving forward, these lessons learned will provide the much stronger work from me in the future.
And I can now crochet left handed, also =)
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