Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stitch Together Anatomical Models

Max Alexander is a fiber art designer. She makes jewelry for knitters, knit patterns, and other artful creations. Among her various projects are knit sculptures. More specifically, Max knits sculptures of moths. I came across her work while searching the online pages of Make for new textile ideas.

In December, MAKE Magazine featured Max’s knit moth sculpture work. As you can see in the photos below, the moths are knitted with great detail. The article describes how the “distinctive markings on moths translate beautifully into knitted fabric”.

Knitted Moths

Max has a lot of other fabulous knit work. Head over to Max’s World to explore more interesting knit ideas.

Jewelry created by Max: Knitter’s Brooch, Crochet Hook Earrings, Skein Necklace

I chose to write about this work because I am intrigued by the level of complexity that can be modeled with fiber and textile design. It is interesting to see how realistic-looking models of biological life forms can be recreated using fiber arts. Perhaps, in the creation of physically accurate models, individuals may be able to observe finer details of seemingly mundane forms of life. I think I would like to try something like this in my own knitting - but it is clear that the level of dexterity needed for something of this difficulty level is not a skill that develops overnight (or several nights). This type of project looks beautiful but, at the moment, too difficult.

It seems that the construction of anatomically accurate models from knit may have interesting implications in education. While the maker shapes the material to make the model, the material also influences the maker’s actions. Yarn, in contrast to paper and pencil, allows for the creation of models in 3D space. Karen Norberg’s impressive knitted brain shows the level of complexity that can be achieved with stitches in model-making. Further, The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art showcases the work of Norberg and Marjorie Taylor, who have crafted many interesting models. Though these models are beyond the scope of my current ability level, I will be searching for ways to crack into this facet of knit craft while my skills develop.

Artist: Karen Norberg

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