Knitting Art

150 Innovative Works from 18 Contemporary Artists

By Karen Searle
(Voyageur Press, Hardcover, 9780760330678, 160pp.)

Publication Date: October 2008

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Description

As some knitters craft mittens and sweaters, others find themselves taking flight into the realm of art.  Some become true fiber artists, creating exhibition-quality quilts and sweaters and shawls, yarn mobiles and sculptures and gigantic abstract installations.  An exploration of art knitting, this book profiles eighteen of the most prominent and intriguing practitioners of this craft-turned-art.  Karen Searle, herself a recognized fiber artist, examines the works and inspirations of each of these knit artists.  Numerous photographs illustrate each profile, documenting these artists’ work and at the same time offering inspiration to those who might transcend the purely practical aspect of knitting.  Among the artists encountered here are such nationally known knitters as movement founder Katharine Cobey, Carolyn Halliday, Debbie New, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Lindsay Obermayer, Kathryn Alexander, and others.




About the Author

Karen Searle is a fiber artist specializing in knit and crochet sculptural works.  Her artworks have been exhibited in the United States and abroad since the late 1970s. She has presented classes, lectures, and seminars internationally, has curated fiber-art exhibitions, and served on international jury panels.  Searle is a mentor to emerging artists through the mentor/protegee program of the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota.  A former publisher of books on ethnic textiles, she writes about the arts for several publications.  She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.




Praise For Knitting Art

 “In this colorful collection, Searle profiles 18 contemporary knitters, including herself, who create knitted objects for display as artworks. From garments to freestanding sculpture to gallery and outdoor installations, these works have a bold presence and, in many cases, an overt political or social message. Searle provides an essay of about four pages for each artist explaining the development of the personal style and practices used by each. Full- and half-page photographs of five or six works by each artist make the book particularly appealing. Because few readers are aware of this body of work and considering the book’s inherently appealing subject and accessible presentation, this is suitable for public libraries and art collections.” -- Library Journal, February 1, 2009

The knitters in this album wield their needles to create sculpture, body adornments, and storytelling fabrics.  The author, an art knitter, provides a short history of the field that serves as a backdrop for the motivations and studio practices of her eightteen subjects, who explore abstract, narrative, political, and humorous styles.

--Fiberarts Magazine, May 2009

Explore the worlds of eighteen innovative artists who use knitting to produce amazing pieces of work in which the medium is always part of the message.
--Interweave Knits, Spring, 2009

In this colorful collection, Searle profiles 18 contemporary knitters, including herself, who create knitted objects for display as artworks. From garments to freestanding sculpture to gallery and outdoor installations, these works have a bold presence and, in many cases, an overt political or social message. Searle provides an essay of about four pages for each artist explaining the development of the personal style and practices used by each. Full- and half-page photographs of five or six works by each artist make the book particularly appealing. Because few readers are aware of this body of work and considering the book’s inherently appealing subject and accessible presentation, this is suitable for public libraries and art collections.
--Library Journal, February 1, 2008

This book is a beautiful and welcome reminder of the boundless creativity and expression available to the handspinner.  It is also a challenging and diverse exploration of the tales the human soul needs to tell, and proof that sometimes fibre is the best medium with which to tell them.
--Spinners Quarterly, December 2008

The primary thing is that it’s really an ART book, not a KNITTING book. It’s about artists who use knitting as their medium, so yes, it’s all about inspiration, but not exactly about inspiration for your next sweater.  Very neat to look at!

--Ravelry.com, October 15, 2008

 

 



"Knitting Art, 150 Innovative Works from 18 Contemporary Artists" by Karen Searle (Voyageur Press, $35): Searle takes fiber enthusiasts beyond the ordinary. She showcases how the featured artists stretched their knitting skills to reach new heights, from unique designs in wearable art to awe-inspiring sculptures and wall hangings. Many used unconventional mediums to express their sense of creativity. For instance, Katharine Cobey used black plastic to knit the bodice of a gown, with a skirt made from red strips of construction tape, while others chose materials such as wire and rolled newspapers. It's certainly not your grandmother's knitting.

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