Brainstorm 2.0: First Experiment.

I tried some core spinning techniques recently as an experiment into combining different types and thicknesses of fibre and other media. I wanted to see how they plied together and how this might lend itself to talking about electricity and insulation.

I was initially inspired by brainwave patterns and was trying to get that kind of imagery in the yarn that I made.

Straight Outta My Head

Straight Outta My Head

My first attempt was just a commercially spun teal alpaca yarn and an emerald green corriedale single ply that I had spun myself. It resulted in this:

Corespun corriedale wool and alpaca yarn

Corespun corriedale wool and alpaca yarn

Very pretty and all, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. There wasn’t much yardage either.

I’ve been thinking about insulation a lot and in particular, hats and gloves which might insulate for warmth. Many questions surround this: could I somehow work the idea further so that the body, head and brain could be insulated from barometric pressure which comes with storms? Could my temporal lobe be insulated so the epilepsy can’t get hold of the other lobes and spread to a full blown seizure? Could this insulation factor (for want of a better term) be part of the actual yarn as well as what I make with it afterwards? What could I spin together to do this? (Shall I stop asking questions now and show you what I made?)

Anyway, eventually I came up with a first attempt at making those ideas into a piece of wearable art. I used a good few train journeys to decide what to make and a pub quiz as experimentation time to knit it up.

Anti-Convulsant Wrist Warmer

Anti-Convulsant Wrist Warmer

It is the first attempt at an insulating anti-convulsant wrist-warmer. If only it really worked and was not just conceptual!

It featured on New Curator’s ArtFriday post a couple of weeks ago, and before posting it, Pete at New Curator asked me how it was anti-convulsant. Of course, being so close to the work, I don’t think to explain to others what I mean because it is so obvious to me.  Anyway, this was my explaination, which you might also find helps to clarify what I was trying to do in making this piece:

‘[It is anti-convulsant ] just in concept. I have epilepsy. When I have a seizure the aura (medical term for the warning a seizure is impending) travels up my left arm from my ring finger and spreads throughout my body. I was playing with the idea that the wrist warmer could be the buffer zone, insulating against the bodily electricity conducting itself up my arm. Maybe changing it from harmful to harmless electricity, if there is such a thing.’

I think that the whole idea needs more work but was a successful experiment in drawing out the concept further.

Let me know what you think. Comments, questions and constructive criticism are always welcome!

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2 responses

  1. Michele Nicholls

    Maybe you could bring in the Faraday Cage concept, and include wire in your next wristwarmer? i like the the general drift, takes ‘self help’ in an interesting new direction, too! ;oD

    28/04/2009 at 12:59 pm

    • ingridnation

      Yes: I’ve actually knitted with wire and incorporated metal into textile art about electricity before. It may be something I do revisit.

      Also, I think it is not so much ‘self help’ as ‘self observation’ (the drugs do the helpful part!)

      30/04/2009 at 10:48 am

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