With all 3 posters done and mounted on frames, the next thing to do was to photograph them. As I wanted to make postcards and smaller paper posters of the work as well, I really need good images of it to show scale, detail, craftsmanship etc. I found this task very daunting because of the scale of the posters and the fact that they need a lot of daylight to not look scruffy.
When coming up with this idea, my plan was to not only knit, but put other elements in the design as well like reflective thread and glow in the dark ink. I did some tests with glow in the dark ink on my yarn but as it would only be visible on white wool, and the poster I would like to have it in has veeery little white wool in it, I kind of don’t see the point much. Plus, it was really tricky to put on and well, I don’t think it added a lot. The reflective thread I’ve had a couple of goes with but didn’t really love any of my experiments. I decided to incorporate it by sewing it on by hand in just small bits on the grey one but then I thought I could actually use it for all of the posters. Although trying it out on the pink one I realised I didn’t like it at all.
Knitting the 3rd poster was TEDIOUS. I wanted the pattern on this one to incorporate some sort of zig zag and waves to represent photons and how light travels. It was also going to be the more conservative of the three in terms of colour combination and the use of grey and white as new elements in the trio. Turns out, knitting a zig zag pattern takes a long long time. The design got altered along the way as well and I was planning on incorporating red but changed it to pink so it would fit better with the other two.
Having been undecided about how to mount my posters for a long time I decided to just go and buy myself some A1(ish) wooden frame bits to make my frames, so I would have the same kind you would use for mounting canvases. Having a hollow mounting solution also means that I don’t have to do anything with the long bits of yarn hanging down on the back so that’s a positive thing too.
First and second poster done! After spending 2+ weeks on the pink one, I finished the second one in just a week. This was because the knitting went faster with the bamboo needles as they are smoother than the metal ones so it’s easier to push the work on it (you don’t stop all the time). I also did it faster because I felt a bit stressed about the whole project actually as I still am unsure of how to mount it to make it look its best. Knitting faster however was not great on my wrists, fingers and shoulders and towards the end I had to wear knitting armor to be able to finish it (bandage on wrists, tape on fingers, heat patch on neck and pillow under my right elbow). Taking a break from knitting now which should be fine time wise.
The biggest struggle I have had when knitting is the fact that once you have made your loops, it’s done. It’s there. The design is in the piece and there is basically no way of changing it. When I usually design something I can fiddle about with it for the longest time but now I have to make decisions and stick with them. Not used to that! So moving on to the second poster I made way more sketches for the design than I did for the first one as I was making it.
Alterations to the design, Lisa 2018
So a few problems emerged once I started really getting on with the knitting.
- In which way should I incorporate the colours, what would look best vs. what would be least time consuming?
- How do I mount it when it’s done?
- How do I incorporate the reflective thread I got that lights up when you shine on it? (which is a different thickness than the other yarn)
I went to an exhibition at Fotografiska when I was in Stockholm last and saw Chen Man which I found really inspiring. The way the exhibition was curated was really beautiful, the dark and light contrasting, the use of lots of red, pink and blue and the way her photographs almost looked like they shone from within.
Chen Man at Fotografiska, Stockholm
Going back to my original sketches of the connections I’d made when thinking about what light is, I’d written down words such as: direction, negative space, something sharp, overlapping, framing. And I’d also drawn shapes and lines about light: how light travels, bounces, moves in different directions. And this was what I should focus on I thought. More abstract things that I could play around with more.
Sketchbook, Lisa 2018
After looking into so much photography I decided that my project would be photography based. I really wanted to make something big/ build something but I just couldn’t see it happening. I kept thinking about all the logistics surrounding it, where could I get material, would I have to buy tools, why am I even building something, how would this relate to graphic design? And I thought that, because I don’t have much photography stuff in my portfolio, that could be worth exploring. I thought about how to combine photography with light, how light affects what we see, what happens if you change the colours in an image etc. Also, because I don’t really like photographing things, I mean if I see something that would make a nice image I like to get my phone out and take a picture, but I don’t enjoy fiddling about with a complicated camera, thinking about the studio set up and shutter speed and aperture and all that, I thought this would be a good challenge for me.