Fiber Sculpture Five

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

Continuing from Fiber Proof Four, I made another piece in the same vein, but instead of viscerally binding raffia with wool I am binding it with (handspun) silk yarn.

Object dso#57407
David Somers, Untitled, 2016, raffia and handspun silk yarn on canvas, 10.5 × 10.0 × 3.0 cm (~ 4" × 4" × 3/4"). [Object dso#57407].

Working with handspun silk yarn is a different experience from fiber that has been industrially spun; being handmade it is less perfect so there is inconsistency in both its size and texture; is it smoother and cooler to the touch; it has a smaller average diameter than I am used to working with, and is, on reflection, the smallest that I feel comfortable using in this configuration.

For a handspun yarn, there is a level of authenticity in the fiber; it makes no pretense that it could be anything other than handspun yarn. Reflecting back to the last one-on-one and the discussion with Jonathan about the source of material being a part of the process, the handspun silk yarn takes on a more nuanced position: it originates from a woman’s co-op in India, and as such there are several aspects to be considered, especially its ethical production not only as a means of recycling waste material that would otherwise end up in a landfill but also as a way to provide employment (and subsequent empowerment) to the women in the co-op.

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