Monday, February 17, 2020

Strands to Stitches

Let me introduce you to Ithaca fiber artist Saundra Goodman. Her colorful crochet creations are currently on a show in State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca.
I first noticed these three pieces through the window and from afar the first thought was - are they quilts? When I looked closer, I could see very fine crochet stitches.
Then there are these sculptural pieces.
On Saturday February 15th I went to Artists talk. I was curious to learn about Saundra's practice. 
Since she was a child she was fascinated by knitting and crochet because that was a way to create something tactile.
In Saundra's hands strands become her palette and she is creating her own colors by combining these various strands.
These two pieces originally were like the previous one but then Goodman decided to make something more interesting and she cut them to create quilt like pattern. Cutting crochet work? That is really something brave! Even after Saundra explained me how she did it I don't know if I will ever try to do it with my pieces.

Currently Saundra is experimenting with stitches what she calls vertical crochet - she created this technique to be able to make more three-dimensional works and have more adventures with crochet.

Saundra Goodman was born in New York City. Soft spoken and very kind, it is hard to believe that she is a former Woman Marine who served in Vietnam War. She holds a degree in psychology from University of North Florida, studied drawing and painting in School of Visual Arts in NYC. You can learn more about her work from her website

Monday, January 27, 2020

Memories and dreams too

Several years ago I received a big box with yarns and some unfinished projects. The box was sent to me by a caretaker of 92 year old Latvian woman who came to US at the end of WWII. All her life she had worked as a nurse, often taking night shifts since she didn't have a family of her own. During those long nights at the hospital she was knitting and crocheting. As many of us know - we dream up of the project, buy yarns, start it, then something interrupts us, and we put our handiwork aside to finish later. At the old age the woman was losing her eyesight and realizing that she is never going to finish to go through that box. She asked it to be sent to me. I found a beautiful soft white yarn in the box, and the first thing I did was to knit a shawl for her. She loved it. And when she passed away few years later her wish was to take that shawl with her. I have used yarns from the box over the years. And what was left now were six neatly crocheted strips. I put them all together - her dreams, my memories...
Let me know how you are doing with your projects...

This is description of the project (instructions are in the previous blog post)

Dreams and Memories

If we have a dream it can’t get lost. Could be that some dream just turns into a memory but nonetheless had made us more secure and stronger in order to move forward. What was a dream yesterday may turn into a reality tomorrow. As Albert Einstein once said: “A person with big dreams is stronger than that who has only facts.”

And it’s okay if some dreams are not fulfilled but instead are turned into memories. Memories are the collection of our life experience. They hold our successes and losses, joy and sorrow. They, like glue, hold our lifeline together. With years passing by, our memories might fade but they never age.
We cannot always express our dreams to others with words. It may be easier to give our dream or memory some tactile form through crochet - to re-purpose a scarf that still keeps the loving memory of a beautiful moment or some hidden tears; from old tape we used to listen when we were happy or sad, some T-shirt, plastic bag, or whatever.

We will join this all together – each piece in a single color. In the spring I will sort them by color, then we will see which is the most popular. But for sure they will all make one big collective blooming work at Riga Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dreams and memories - for RiBoCa 2

I am happy and proud to announced that I have been invited to participate in 

The 2nd Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art
and suddenly it all blossoms

16 May – 11 October 2020
Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel

Please consider joining me in my project Dreams and Memories by crocheting hyperbolic plane using whatever material - preferably something recycled. In one color only! (The reason for this is to be able to incorporate your creation in the whole installation.) Your name will be included in a list of contributors. However, you should know that there will be no way for me to return your contribution after the exhibit. It will stay permanently with the installation. Contact me when your submission is ready

You may crochet hyperbolic plane as you have done before or you can follow more relaxed directions (see previous post) by starting with a larger circle or initially crocheting around some curtain ring or something like that and using double crochet stitches. Like this:
If you still have plastic bags, you can use them (one color please)
You can use old audio tapes -first I used single tape
But then I found that using two at a time works better
I will try to use some old VHS tapes which I have digitized first to save memories recorded on them.
There is no rush to crochet right now - end of the year, everybody busy. I will wait for your contributions until March 31, 2020. 

Why Dreams and Memories

crocheting makes our fingers to move but our thoughts can travel from memories to dreams. Those thoughts are invisible but they follow the thread we are using creating something that grows and that is why the form which grows - crocheted hyperbolic plane. For me this is project is very personal - crocheted hyperbolic plane was created at the workshop led by my late husband and it will always remind me our time together. Crocheted hyperbolic plane has connected me with many people around the world and that has been unforgettable experience. Dreams? There are dreams which now are memories and there are dreams which may happen.