Collezioni / Scultura / Oggetti artificiali
Nel corso del diciannovesimo secolo la “tassidermia” ha avuto un notevole successo identificandosi con la raccolta di oggetti preziosi e intrecciando la propria affermazione con le “Wunderkammern” fenomeno già noto da almeno quattro secoli nelle principali corti occidentali. Vera e propria arte ornamentale, questa pratica si è diffusa sul territorio europeo grazie agli scambi commerciali che si aprirono ad oriente stimolando la curiosità per la raccolta di animali esotici.
Da non confondere con “l’imbalsamazione” che ha un rapporto con il corpo legato più specificatamente alla sua conservazione nel tempo, preservandolo dalla decomposizione, con finalità sacre per gli antichi egizi, assiri, persiani ed ebrei, con finalità politiche e simboliche in tempi moderni. Non è il caso dell’artista britannica Sauna Richardson che ha inventato il termine Crochetdermy per descrivere il suo lavoro che consiste nella realizzazione di una scultura animale a grandezza naturale e realistica creata con il lavoro all’uncinetto.
L’imbalsamazione è un’operazione intesa a conservare inalterato, dopo la morte, il corpo dell’uomo e degli animali. Le pratiche d’imbalsamazione, antiche e moderne, si basano essenzialmente su due operazioni: sottrarre forti quantità di acqua al cadavere e impedire o ritardare la putrefazione. Per la buona riuscita del processo, la sottrazione d’acqua è molto importante: lo dimostrano i casi di mummificazione spontanea in luoghi caldi e ventilati e l’enorme perdita di peso dei cadaveri mummificati, alcuni dei quali non raggiungono i 5 kg.
Objects not for sale
British artist Shauna Richardson invented the term Crochetdermy to describe her unique body of work – realistic life-size animal sculpture created using crochet.
Blurring the boundaries between traditional craft and contemporary art, Richardson has received international critical acclaim. Commissions include the Guardian Weekend Magazine’s ‘Very Very Unofficial Royal Portrait’ where Richardson depicted Prince Harry as a ginger baboon, and the Lionheart Project – the largest single-handed crochet sculpture in the world which toured the country in a giant mobile glass case throughout 2012. Crochetdermy pieces have become highly collectible and commissions are created for collections around the world.
Crochet (English pronunciation: /kroʊˈʃeɪ/; French: [kʁɔʃɛ]) is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word “crochet”, meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by artisans. Crocheting, like knitting, consists of pulling loops through other loops, but additionally incorporates wrapping the working material around the hook one or more times. Crochet differs from knitting in that only one stitch is active at one time (exceptions being Tunisian crochet and broomstick lace), stitches made with the same diameter of yarn are comparably taller, and a single crochet hook is used instead of two knitting needles. Additionally, crochet has its own system of symbols to represent stitch types.
Origins Lis Paludan theorizes that crochet evolved from traditional practices in Iran, South America, or China, but there is no decisive evidence of the craft being performed before its popularity in Europe during the 19th century. The earliest written reference to crochet refers to slip stitch crochet|shepherd’s knitting from The Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant (1797–1830) in the 19th century. Some claim that the first published crochet patterns appeared in the Dutch magazine Pénélopé in 1824. Crochet patterns have recently been found in the Swedish magazine “Konst och nyhetsmagasin för medborgare av alla klasser” from 1819, discarding this earlier notion. There might exist even earlier examples in publications not previously scrutinised. Other indicators that crochet was new in the 19th century include the 1847 publication A Winter’s Gift, which provides detailed instructions for performing crochet stitches, although it presumes that readers understand the basics of other needlecrafts. Early references to the craft in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1846 and 1847 refer to crotchet before the spelling standardized in 1848. Kooler proposes that early industrialization is key to the development of crochet. Machine spun cotton thread became widely available and inexpensive in Europe and North America after the invention of the cotton gin and the spinning jenny, displacing hand spun linen for many uses. Crochet technique consumes more thread than comparable textile production methods and cotton is well suited to crochet. Knit and knotted textiles survive from very early periods, but there are no surviving samples of crocheted fabric in any ethnological collection, or archeological source prior to 1800. These writers point to the tambour hooks used in tambour lace|tambour embroidery in France in the 18th century, and contend that the hooking of loops through fine fabric in tambour work evolved into “crochet in the air.” Most samples of early work claimed to be crochet turn out to actually be samples of nålebinding. Donna Kooler identifies a possible problem with the tambour hypothesis: period tambour hooks that survive in modern collections cannot produce crochet because the integral wing nut necessary for tambour work interferes with attempts at crochet.
A snip of the table of contents in Gaugain’s 1840 book. However, Mrs. Gaugain, in her 1840 The Lady’s Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crotchet Work, refers to “Tambour, or Crotchet,” then proceeds to call it “tambour” in all the instructions, indicating a strong connection believed in at the time of crochet’s beginning, and that it was, perhaps, the older name. That those hooks that survive cannot be used is the constant problem in archaeology: what was commonly used may have been usually worn out and didn’t survive. Tambour lace on fine net is commonly taught with the crochet hook, these hooks with “integral wing nuts” being an expensive item. Early crochet hooks ranged from primitive bent needles in a cork handle, used by poor Irish lace workers, to expensively crafted silver, brass, steel, ivory and bone hooks set into a variety of handles, some of which were better designed to show off a lady’s hands than they were to work with thread. By the early 1840s, instructions for crochet were being published in England, particularly by Eleanor Riego de la Blanchardiere and Frances Lambert. These early patterns called for cotton and linen thread for lace, and wool yarn for clothing, often in vivid color combinations. Early history
Detail of a Portuguese crochet table-cloth, about 1970
Irish crochet lace, late 19th century. The design of this example is closely based on Flemish needle lace of the 17th century. In the 19th century, as Ireland was facing the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849), crochet lace work was introduced as a form of famine relief (the production of crocheted lace being an alternative way of making money for impoverished Irish workers). Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere is generally credited with the invention of Irish Crochet, publishing the first book of patterns in 1846. Irish lace became popular in Europe and America, and was made in quantity until the first World War. Modern practice and culture Fashions in crochet changed with the end of the Victorian era in the 1890s. Crocheted laces in the new Edwardian era, peaking between 1910 and 1920, became even more elaborate in texture and complicated stitching.
Filet crochet by an internee at Manzanar War Relocation Center, 1943. Photograph by Ansel Adams The strong Victorian colours disappeared, though, and new publications called for white or pale threads, except for fancy purses, which were often crocheted of brightly colored silk and elaborately beaded. After World War I, far fewer crochet patterns were published, and most of them were simplified versions of the early 20th century patterns. After World War II, from the late 40s until the early 60s, there was a resurgence in interest in home crafts, particularly in the United States, with many new and imaginative crochet designs published for colorful doilies, potholders, and other home items, along with updates of earlier publications. These patterns called for thicker threads and yarns than in earlier patterns and included wonderful variegated colors. The craft remained primarily a homemaker’s art until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the new generation picked up on crochet and popularized granny squares, a motif worked in the round and incorporating bright colors. Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity, the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts and DIY, as well as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are many more new pattern books with modern patterns being printed, and most yarn stores now offer crochet lessons in addition to the traditional knitting lessons. There are many books you can purchase from local book stores to teach yourself how to crochet whether it be as a beginner or more intermediate, there are also many books for children and teenagers who are hoping to take up the hobby. Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, cro-hooking, and Irish crochet are all variants of the basic crochet method.
Bags and hacky sack tapestry crocheted in Guatemala. Crochet has experienced a revival on the catwalk. Christopher Kane’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection makes intensive use of the granny square, one of the most basic of crochet motifs. Crochet has been utilized many a time by designers on the popular reality show Project Runway. Additionally, websites such as Etsy and Ravelry have made it easier for individual hobbyists to sell and distribute their patterns or projects across the internet. Laneya Wiles released a music video titled “Straight Hookin'” which makes a play on the word “hookers,” which has a double meaning for both “one who crochets” and “a prostitute.” Materials
Basic materials required for crochet are a hook and some type of material that will be crocheted, most commonly yarn or thread. Additional tools are convenient for keeping stitches counted, measuring crocheted fabric, or making related accessories. Examples include cardboard cutouts, which can be used to make tassels, fringe, and many other items; a pom-pom circle, used to make pom-poms; a tape measure and a gauge measure, both used for measuring crocheted work and counting stitches; a row counter; and occasionally plastic rings, which are used for special projects. In recent years, yarn selections have moved beyond synthetic and plant and animal-based fibers to include bamboo, qiviut, hemp, and banana stalks, to name a few.