Monday, February 25, 2008

artiste? not so much.

On Friday, I had an appointment on the south side of Nashville, so we journeyed 75 or 80 miles (one way). After the appointment, we stimulated the local economy, buying all sorts of things we can't get near home. We were near the new Whole Foods grocery store, which drew me like a magnet. (Yes, I live in a town where one can't purchase chicken sausage or go to a real cheese counter...) Then we ate out at Kalamata's, complete with baklava to go! Yesterday, I made Meyer lemon gnocchi for the first time, because? I found Meyer lemons in Nashville. I'd never seen them before!

I find travelling and diverse cultures inspirational when it comes to my knitting designs. I like people watching, finding out what looks good, what stylish folk are wearing, and what music, art and culture affect that. A while back, I designed the below pitch in direct response to a concert I attended. I'm posting the pitch here...because, well, it never sold, I never had the time to make it up in its entirety, and it's a great way of demonstrating how this design pitch works. (I've cut out crucial bits like my name and address, you just see the arty parts.)
Now, this would have been a complicated design, and, as I mentioned in the last post, I don't often sell those. The context is that I love jazz, and played sax and sang through college in my university's jazz ensembles. Alas, after I finished school, I started teaching, had to get up early, and became an old fogey. I don't make much music anymore. For now, I offer up this as the tribute it was intended to be...on the blog rather than on the needles or my axe.
Congo Square-a Pillow or.. a Work of Art

Congo Square is inspired by the composition written by Wynton Marsalis and Yacub Addy. It celebrates Beauregard or Congo Square in New Orleans, the only place in the USA where slaves were legally allowed to gather and make music from the 1720's until 1856. It is where many of our musical traditions were born. This Kennedy Center performance, with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Ghanian group Odaadaa was so electrifying that I wanted to commemorate its meaning in my own design. The physical shape of the design represents the square in New Orleans, and the brown both represents the (likely) dirt and brick of the square, and the African-Americans who danced on it. The bright notes of red, yellow, blue, green and orange reflect the clothing of the musicians onstage and the colors of the market in the square.

The square design is ideal for a pillow, but can also be framed in a shadow box, or through the use of several squares, can be made into an afghan or table runner. The design swatch is knit with a size #6 needle out of a variety of light worsted weight wools, including Dalegarn’s Freestyle, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Knit Picks Andean Silk, and some vintage Royal Society Imported Needlepoint yarn from Great Britain. (essentially, yarns from the stash.) The color scheme is somewhat flexible, although I’d like to maintain some of the browns and bright colors that were inspired by the performance I attended. The I-cord chain should be gray or black to represent the chains of slavery.

This swatch is somewhat reduced in size compared to what I imagine the final product to look like—I wanted to give you an idea of the design, but I see the black note stems as being longer, as shown in the sketch.
Is this interesting? Annoying? Want to share your inner artiste? Comments below, please!


Blogger Mary G said...

OOOO Joanne -- I see this as a really cool wall-hanging especially if you do the notes with longer black lines ...

very cool!

Hope all is well health-wise.

February 25, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger weebug said...

i love it!

February 25, 2008 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

I think it is great, Joanne!

My BIL was just telling me about his trips to the Jazz festival in New Orleans and his experiences at
Congo Square...
I'm sure a pillow (or shadowbox) like that would be very meaningful to him, and others that attend the festival each spring.

I love it!

February 26, 2008 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Donna D said...

Very cool. I want to do more artsy knitting in the future and less pattern writing! That will probably make even less money, so on to other ideas for financing the hobby. :-)

February 27, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old-type Meyers or New Improved? (I'm *sure* the New Improved variety!) We have a probably 50-year-old Old and Unimproved growing in the backyard, and while the juice is the best thing around, the whites of them are the bitterest substance known to man and are not to be allowed to touch anything. We keep thinking we'll replace the tree and keep not doing it.

I'm guessing nobody's sold those in decades, but I don't know.

February 28, 2008 at 4:15 PM  

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