Dubinski explores upcycling through knit graffiti
If you were here this past spring, it would have been hard for you to miss the perfectly draped knitwear that enveloped Roy Gussow’s ellipsoidal sculpture affectionately known as “The Egg” in the courtyard between Brooks and Kamphoefner Hall. Yarn bombing, also known as guerrilla knitting or knit graffiti, isn’t something you see too often around these parts of Raleigh but Art + Design Senior Tori Dubinski saw the perfect opportunity to introduce the concept to the design community by yarn bombing a well known symbol on campus.
Q: Where did you come up with this idea? Was it part of a class project?
Tori: The knit piece I created for “The Egg” was based on the prompt of “upcycling” for Susan Brandeis’ ADN 470 Fibers Studio. I came across the concept of “guerrilla knitting or yarn bombing,” which I understand as a sort of street art graffiti movement, about a year ago and the idea just seemed to linger. I revisited the concept this semester when approached with our prompts in class and the idea just built upon itself. Susan and my classmates pushed me to explore more options for what sort of item I should cover, and “The Egg” just came about…. and I thought, that’s it!
Q: What materials were used to create the piece, it looks like several knitted pieces were knit together to make the entire piece?
Tori: There’s a combination of knit pieces. I recruited family and friends to dig up any old sweaters, scarves, and blankets. Anything they had! I also used some hand knit and machine knit pieces. The piece is a mix of synthetic, wool, and cotton fiber content.
Q: What inspired you?
Tori: The concept of upcycling is taking a used or waste item and transforming it into something of greater value. I have stockpiles of random things under my desk that I obsessively save convinced I will need them for some project one day. Since one of our guidelines for the project was to attempt to spend zero dollars, I thought it was the perfect time to dive into my stockpile and my collection of knit sweaters and scarves struck a nerve in me.
Q: Why “The Egg?”
Tori: “The Egg” seemed the perfect object because I knew it would be seen by most of the college and it was fun to keep it a secret (mostly). I did several fittings during random late night hours as not to reveal my secret. I guess it was a bit of a rebellious decision. A few people asked me if I was going to get permission but I thought that defeated the purpose of the “guerrilla” part. Susan agreed I should just do it… I told her if I got in trouble I was blaming her! Luckily it was well received.
I really love creating something of entertainment for others and I also love bright colors. It wasn’t until halfway through the project that I realized it would coincide with the Easter holiday so it became “The ‘Easter’ Egg.”