I came across this photograph of hands with huge knitting needles on Pinterest awhile ago. The image stuck with me and reminded me of my friend Alisa Dworsky, who creates artistic installations of crocheted rope.
It took some sleuthing to find out to whom those hands and needles belonged. It turned out the photo was from an article about Ineke Visser—a Dutch fiber artist—and her home, which she occupies with her husband and three children. Her puffy stools seem to be her trademark piece. They make me think of storybook mushrooms and I’d love to sit on one while someone reads to me aloud.
More about that soon. Bear with me.
Both Alisa and Ineke use large implements and ancient techniques to create unique works of art: Ineke for the home, and Alisa for exploring landscape and space. I love the idea of these two women wielding their large needles and hooks and weaving furnishings and environments that comfort and stretch us as human beings.
Alisa lives in Montpelier, Vermont, most of the year, but in the summer she and her family occupy a handmade home of their own in Tunbridge, Vermont. She and her husband, Danny Sagan, designed and built the house. Both are trained architects and have years of collective experience in green building here in Vermont and across the US. Together they own and run Terra Firma. They host a great party. And tell good stories at the table after dinner. Down the hill is my favorite swimming pond in the universe. To read more about their house, go here.
But back to huge needles and hooks. I am getting sidetracked.
Recently Alisa had a one woman show called Drawing Strength in Burlington, Vermont at BCA. In addition to large scale crocheted forms suspended from the ceiling and rising from the floor, there were intaglio prints of shapes and forms that suggested movement, land mass, and airflow. The suspended rope forms were filled with river rocks. Now another of her installations, Taper and Counterweight, is in a show of Vermont artists at the Galerie Maison Kasini in Montréal. In 2007 she surrounded entire trees with her crocheted rope art for an installation at the Fleming Museum in Burlington. She’s even crocheted a gradient cover for an entire column of the Bennington Museum (approximately three stories high) for her exhibit Transfer/Transform last summer.
Ineke, across the ocean, is creating items to live with using chunky wool, hewn wood and other fibers. The article that I stumbled upon features her house in Holland which is a wonder of natural materials and handmade charm.
I include some of my favorites photographs from the article (written for a Danish magazine) and you can see the rest here.
All Visser photography by Morten Holtum.