Mieko Asada



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Materials: Silk, and rayon yarns, raw cotton
Techniques: Hand Knitting, Crochet 
Size: H 93cm x W 37cm
Weight: 380g
Date Made: 1998

I take my inspiration from nature and my surroundings, and transfer it to my work.
This piece was inspired by one of those typical vine plants that in traditional Japanese houses spread their fine tendrils to intertwine with bamboo frames. I looked at many types of vine, such as the grape vine, akebi, wisteria, beans and arrowroot, and observed the growth pattern of the vines, carefully tracing each movement. To help me memorize various scenes, I took many photographs or drew them. I found this very useful during the process of making. When I saw something interesting I inspected it closely, over and over again, - a process I found very stimulating at those times when I would feel so stuck that my hands and brain would freeze. Bit by bit these images of vines were condensed together and took shape within my knitting.

I sometimes consciously look for specific possibilities in the shapes I knit, and at other times I simply knit casually, following my instincts. During the process of knitting, when I notice some interesting shape starting to appear, I follow this direction for a while just to see where it leads. 

It took quite while to work out how to make knitting that was like the vines with their fine tendrils. After various experiments, I chose the following methods: before knitting I dyed cotton fleece and spun it into thin threads, to which I added further twists using a crochet hook. Another method I used blended several regular silk threads and spun them together. I found this made it difficult to control the shapes in the way that I wanted, and the shiny quality dominated too much. In my imagination the vine and tendrils exist quietly in the background, and I felt that the cotton fleece matched this atmosphere most closely.