Saturday, March 12, 2011


I’m happy to announce that my article Yarn: the Art of Twist is in the Spring 2011 issue of Fiberarts Magazine, due out very soon. It is gratifying to have an outlet for writing about yarn as art, and I consider it a privilege to feature the work of handspinners I admire very much.
The word count was limiting, however, and too many things were grappling for inclusion, so I will write a bit more here, thoughts provoked by the finishing and photographing of my Rust yarn.
Each step is so distinct: the palette selection, the prep, the spin, the skeining… then, the shoot.  It’s hard to overstate the value of the photography, when one’s work is primarily being shared online. 
This is true for any artist, of course, but yarn is a unique animal in that its personality manifests differently depending on how it’s shown.  On the bobbin or in the skein, hanging loose or piled onto itself, stretched taut, in strands, in extreme macro – all these glimpses tell a different story. As a sculptural piece, the yarn contains movement and energy, and these elements are manipulated along with the fiber, to different intended (or maybe unintended) effects.
For me, it is always a suspenseful moment when I photograph the yarn.  Will the colors show true in the light?  Will the yarn cooperate?  Will it work with me, and say what I was hoping it would say?
It is not an exaggeration to say that the way the yarn photographs affects whether or not I consider it a successful piece.  Several factors determine whether I think of a given yarn as an artwork, and how it behaves in front of the lens is a big one.  
I guess this means the photos are a part of the work….. which would not surprise most of the art spinners I know, many of whom have been known to wish for wall-size enlargements of certain yarn images.
This yarn is based on the glories of rust.  The rich colors, the corrosion, the unexpected beauty of something disintegrating over time.  
In this case, I think the yarn and I are getting along well.


Laverne said...

Congratulations on the article! I didn't know what to make of it when I saw the title of your blog post. What fun looking at your yarn and it so beautifully photographed. I agree some of those shots would look fantastic enlarged on a wall. I love autumn tones and this art you have created and I am not an art yarny kind of person at all!


Tracy said...

Thanks for the comments, Laverne! I'm so glad to hear that these images drew you in.

Mardi said...

This yarn is too beautiful for words. Absolutely a work of art on its own, and your photos commemorate is essence perfectly. Totally thumbs up!

Laura said...

What can I add as a special praise for this yarn - if one cares to call it just a yarn. These are fibers joined in the most beautiful way - probably finding themselves as you twist the spindle, acting with your input and a mind of their own.

Laura said...

... and please, could I have a copy of that article?

Tracy said...

Laura, you are so great. Thanks for your thoughts. I have to confess that this one is wheel-spun (would not get all that extra-super-twist otherwise.)
I have written you on Ravelry about the article.