Art Yarn: what is it?

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Art Yarn: What is it? is a question I’m often asked, followed by ‘What do you do with it? Over the next few months I hope to answer these questions in a practical way at my Tuesday Workshops. We know art yarn when we see it, but to define art yarn we need an understanding of what we mean by ‘ART’. Not easy. Art is different things to different people.  The only definition I can come up with that makes sense throughout the arts is  ‘Art is a personal response to something’ . If you like paint then art may be a painting, but a sheep in formaldehyde has made a lot of money in the  art world – and then there are performing arts… – but to get back to  art yarn…

My view  is that art yarn is my personal response to fibre, colour, texture and touch. It encompasses colour, yarn structure, fibres and material ingredients, as well as feel and provenance; there is such a lot to draw on,  But without the relevant skill-base how can anyone make that  personal response to something which results in a work of art? A spinner needs knowledge and understanding of colour theory, yarn structure, as well as the ability to prepare fibre and turn it into yarn…Yes, you could have a happy accident if you experimented with fibre, dye and a wheel for long enough – but the chances are you’d run out of enthusiasm long before you got any  satisfying result.

And talking of results – what do you do with art yarn. I loved this art yarn produced by my pupil Jacqueline, who  only started spinning in October, that I just wanted to wear it….IMG_1141

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