Frank Stella’s sculptures that I found today in the library visualize my thinking well, because of the textures and elements he uses. Metal pieces in a dynamic, bold composition that is attacking the viewer. Slver parts of these pieces represent steel, armour and machinery, the colorfull, textural parts remind me of flowers or stained glass. They are really mesmerizing. This links them to my topic and makes me think about possible textures - some yarns or fringes that would represent this dynamism is what I should try. Armour seems quite plain yet having in mind these references, the industrial mess I saw before and my grandfather's resale shop it starts to become much more textural.
Technique research: I found a really intriguing essay on the internet titled “Medieval Knitting” by C.Laning. From there I started to research Nalbinding – it is a “mother” technique of knitting and it was developed in ancient times, though popular until 19th century, especially in Scandinavia. It was a technique used mostly by Vikings therefore it’s popularity in medieval times is spread across the regions where they had their villages, so Scandinavia, British Iles and the area of Baltic Sea (Poland as well). I was trying to practice it, it seemed weirdly simple at the beginning, yet after first try I understood it is not simple at all. I still need to practice it, it is really complicated.
I also found a medieval technique called Lucet which is basically cord making.
Both techniques require tools that are not easy to get. A nalbinding needle is accessible either in Viking shops or in Scandinavia. I decided to reproduce those tools by my own to save time and to emphasize the element of crafts - making tools by myself is also a way of fulfilling the ideology of handwork, as only one piece of such tools can be made and it is done especially for this project. It worked – pictures are uploaded below.
These techniques make me think of what I was thinking of when reflecting on the origins of the Steel Mill as mass production and mass pollution - consumerism vs craftmanship. Craftmanship as a way for fashion to reduce pollution and to reduce pollution in geneal. Making objects by hand makes them last longer and be more detailed. It also gives them a personal connection of both wearer and maker. It is a real way for industry to stand against mass consumption, although it is not much known. It is probably because of the fact that not many manufacturers are left, almost everything that iss around us was created by a machine.
Also, the techniques of Lucet and Nalbinding are medieval so relate to the history of my home town and knights.
General idea behind is to use these techniques in a juxtaposition of quickly made machine-knitted garments and slow craftsmanship techniques in contrary.
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