Friday, January 27, 2012
MEET LOUISE GIORDANO, ‘SCARFITUP’, MY Guest Artist
Wild Thing Up-Cycle Scarf
Louise Giordano is called 'Scarfitup' because she freeranges her creativity through an incrtedible range of neck and shoulder fiber art. To call them scarves is a bit of diservice since these confections are wearable art in the true sense of the term.
Shoulder dressing for a queen
Louise and I share the same aesthetic. In fact, her creations look at lot like mine and vice-versa, as if we were cut from the same strand, knitting sisters separated at birth, yet we've yet to meet. Here's a little abou Louise in her own words:
Fiber is the fabric of life. Knitting feeds and is the key to my soul! Through my fingers and fiber flows a vision to create
functional, wearable fabric. The interplay of needles and fiber is therapeutic, tactile, and sensual. The process is all-absorbing,
the results uniquely satisfying. For me, handknitting represents passionate flirtation and experimentation with traditional techniques,
tools, and stitches with new and vintage materials to produce non-traditional work. Whether worn on the body or decorating a home,
mv pieces are an extension of my being, a source of creative expression for me, and a process that brings joy to me and to the beholder.
I am a wearable fiber artist in knit crochet and felt. But this is most definitely "NOT your grandmother's knitting!" More recently I have added
funky fabruc and upcycled tee-shirt scarves, hammered copper and nickel silver shawl pins, buttons, earrings, and necklaces to me repetoire. My work is funky, reeform , yet fully functional.
My great-aunt taught me to knit when I was eight, making the perfunctory scarves, sweaters, and vests throughout my college years. Marriage and motherhood, then a career as teacher of foreign languages, and finally a career as career counselor in higher education put time constraints on my artistic activities. When novelty yarns became popular about 12 years ago,I was bitten and smitten all over again. What began as a hobby became a passion and a successful business. My desire to express my creativity manifests itself in an exploration of color and texture. I never use patterns; each piece is uniquely designed and executed using the finest yarns, fibers and frequently, recycled materials.
I currently show and sell my work at several Southeastern NC galleries and boutiques:.
Almost all my work can be seen on flickr.
And then, of course, Louise and I dat down for our interview at separate places, different times:
JANE: Louise, when I first saw a picture of your scarves, I actually thought it was one of mine until I looked closer. It was so uncanny.
Obviously you're a free-range knitter but how did it start for you?
LOUISE: There's a story to my Bernadetta Scarves - which are so similar to your Free-Range ones. You can read about it on my blog here:
JANE: Have you always considered yourself a creative person or did it take you by surprise?
LOUISE: I come from a family of artists/art collectors, but I never felt I had any artistic talent whatsover.
When my daughters were young, at a time when mothers had few choices but to stay home, I turned to many creative hobbies for
what I termed my "sanity-savers!" I stayed home for 10 years before going back to teaching. I sewed all my own clothes and those
of my daughters, made all kinds of home decor, tried my hand at crewel, quilling (not quilting), flower arranging, macrame, and of course,
did some knitting and crocheting.
The surprise is that OTHERS now consider me a fiber artist, a term that I've been slow to accept. And the one regret is that my mother,
JANE: Do you work to a pattern at all or are you an intuitive knitter?
LOUISE: Almost NEVER a pattern. I guess I'd have to call myself an intuitive knitter, mostly because I hate following patterns.
I'm a hands-on, visual learner, so it makes sense that patterns are a challenge to me. My own challenge in designing knitwear
is to incorporate color, texture, and innovation in my designs, often using stash yarns and recycled materials.
I strive constantly to develop new styles, sometimes using unique materials, but always also using yarn, fiber,
and more recently recycled silk scarves, lingerie, and tee-shirts.
JANE: If you could give advice to anyone stuck on let's say, socks (as an example), what would you say?
Louise: SOCKS??? NEVER!!!! In fact, I don't make anything that requires TWO (no socks, mittens, gloves, or even sleeves!), so I would never dare to advise anyone on getting unstuck! But on the other hand, my basic philosophy in life, for my students, my career counseling clients, and friends and family, and also in fiber creations, consists of these three tenets:
JANE: I ask this of everyone, Louise: do you wear what you make?
LOUISE: Every single day! I can't imagine a wearable fiber artist NOT wearing her own designs every possible moment.
I have sold items off my neck/back. I get attention from strangers and I have learned to capitalize on that by unabashedly saying that
I made it and offering my business card. But this has been a long, slow process of valuing my own work and learning to market myself.
The efforts have paid off, so I am happy!