And no ordinary yarn. The spun balls of yarn you see on the stairs in the Chapelle de la Condamine, in Le Vigan, France are made from twisted lengths of discarded newspaper. The knitting needles used to knit this news-yarn: five feet of PVC pipe. How did knitting newspaper with five foot needles come about for the artist Suzanne Morlock? She was invited to take part in the international exhibition L’Avenier en Papier (The Future in Paper). The challenge posed to each artist—create a work less consumptive of the resources usually used to make handmade paper.
Morlock and her husband are in the studio crumpling newspaper to make a fire—and she’s thinking about the show. Curiously, she asked, “I wonder what it would be like to knit newspaper?”
Why not use what we already have?
Newspaper. Flour. Water. An electric drill? Morlock tears the discarded newspaper into strips then glues the strips end-to-end with a flour and water paste. The electric drill spins the newspaper into headline yarn.
In the Chapelle de la Condamine, Morlock unveiled Overlay, her first installation using the unconventional yarn. She knitted coverings for the stained glass windows in the chapel gallery. Light filtering through the colored glass transformed ordinary, discarded newspaper into luminous art.
Morlock describes her work as transforming the familiar: newspaper, cloth, recording tape. “I’m interested in taking discarded objects and breathing new life into them,” she said. She uses techniques traditionally thought of as ‘women’s work’—weaving, sewing, knitting. Her intent is to create artwork that reveals beauty and whimsy, while at the same time embracing the impermanence of the work itself.
She recently traveled half-way around the world to Łódź, Poland to ‘breath life’ into her newest piece, The Magic Carpet Ride. Invited to exhibit at the Centralne Muzeum Włókiennictwa (Central Museum of Textiles), she discovered that Łódź was, until recently, a textile hub for Eastern and Central Europe. With this in mind she felt inspired to create a site-specific installation that created a new kind of textile.
An American artist and twelve Polish art students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź spin newspaper into yarn with power drills, working three to four-hour shifts for nearly a week creating a Magic Carpet that sweeps and flies through the hallways of the Textile Museum, capturing light from the glass ceilings above, and wonder from the crowds below.
Visit this site again in March to see Morlock’s next news-yarn installation at Queen’s College in New York City. Until then enjoy photographs of her work in the Gallery.
Suzanne Morlock is a mixed media artist living in the Rocky Mountain region. Find out more about Suzanne’s artwork at www.suzannemorlock.com, or follow her on Facebook. All photographs property of Suzanne Morlock.