Friday, 24 August 2007
Kaffe Fassett influences
People often ask me how I first got interested in colour. I think I've always been influenced by colour in my art, the great Van Gogh, Gaugin, Frida, Australian artists John Rigby, Margaret Olley and Mirka Mora, but the one person who made me see colour like never before was the colour guru himself Kaffe Fassett
I did a two day workshop, with him about twelve years ago involving knitting, or as Kaffe refers to it, 'painting with yarn' and needlepoint. The exercises involved taking everyday things, like a patterned milk jug or teapot, a piece of fabric or a card, a magazine image, anything with colour and pattern and then turn that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.
We were even seeing colours in the bricks and paving stones, the idea was to actually stop and look into the image and see how many colours you could find and their combinations. When knitting a garment Kaffe's philosophy is 'if in doubt add twenty more colours'. I've never been in such a frenzied workshop, we all came away totally exhausted at the end of the second day, but so enthusiastic and exhilirated.
We worked our butts off in class, everyone took bags of yarn and different fibres and we spread them out on the floor, then we each took small pieces from everyone's pile, by the time we'd finished we all had at least 100 colours of different coloured and textured yarn. We each chose a card, photo or magazine image and turned that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.
The photos above are the results of my endeavours, not all made in class. I made the coat about ten years ago and it comes out every winter. The second photo shows a painting I did years ago from the piece of knitting and the pottery objects that sit on the cupboard below it. The fourth photo is a cushion that is a work in progress, three years to be exact, it goes on holiday with me and gets a few more rows added to it each time, I used a card by artist Annabel Nellist for the starting point. The fifth photo is a cushion I made using the fabric from one of my skirts as the basis for the design.
The last photo is two needlepoint cushions designed as I went along and a knitted cushion using Kaffe's Persian poppy pattern. It just uses two balls of wool that you make up yourself from scraps of wool and, voila, this is the result, no two colourways are ever the same.