I recount an experience of thermal atmosphere where the skin feels touch, pressure, and temperature. On a freezing cold April afternoon in 2016 I was at the Mývatn hot spring in Iceland. In the changing room, I put on my swimsuit. As I stepped outside, a light shower of falling hail was interacting with the hot water, making the air extra steamy. The aqua blue color of the water looked warm and tempting against the cool dark lava rock landscape. I quickly walked to the pool, already shivering. As I entered the icy blue, mineral-rich hot spring, the water felt smooth to touch. Gliding through the silky water gave me a sensation of warmth and calmed my cold bones. The pool was so opaque I could not see my submerged body through the depths of the surface. The steamy air broke the form of the surrounding physical shapes and obstructed my view of the other bathers making me feel encompassed in the atmosphere of the hot spring.
My memory frequently returns to my trip around Iceland, a connection I have tied to the sensorial effects of landscape on the body. This started an exploration into creating immersive, sensorial, tactile environments through the medium of knitted textiles. Experimentation with fibers and knit constructions led to the development of knitted fabrics that function as atmospheric building structures integrated into architecture.
Through my knitted fabrics the terms sun dappled, particles of light, airy, and dense are brought to mind. One knitted fabric structure I created consists of perforated holes and dimensional pleats. The light passes through the negative space of the holes and projects a reflection of shapes in light onto the shadowy pleats. A second fabric knit with a paper yarn functions as a screen. It hangs crisply, is light, and allows a breeze to pass through. In contrast a dense knit forms textured ridges that become fuzzy through the process of needle-punching. The moments created through the material exploration of atmosphere are ephemeral and shifting.
gouache on bristol
A palette of hand mixed painted color chips alludes to the airy, light, ephemeral quality of the sky in contrast with the physical ground of landscape.
The sky creates unexpected color shifts each day at twilight. A grid was created to capture the gradient in the sky and to explore additional colorways. Playing with color temperature creates nuance between similar hues.
Material exploration of color and texture.
Suspended In Air
Paper, cotton, silk; machine knit
Knitted paper screen. The paper yarn holds the structure and allows the fabric to hang crisply.
Viscose, polyester; machine knit
Walking through the forest, I feel the sensations of subtle shifts in light and temperature as the sun emerges and disappears through the trees and clouds. When we are inside, we are not attuned to the slight variations of outdoor weather. Light passes through the perforations projecting shapes of light on the fabric, bringing atmospheric presence to the interior space.
Wool, linen; machine knit
A cool, dry linen yarn is plaited on top of wool yarns that have a soft handfeel. Needle punching adds contrasting tactility to the fabric.
- Design Engineering
- Digital + Media
- Furniture Design
- Global Arts and Cultures
- Graphic Design
- Industrial Design
- Interior Architecture
- Jewelry + Metalsmithing
- Landscape Architecture
- Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies