About this project
Swaddle is a crochet art project exploring the ways in which women nurture the men in their lives. It looks at silent forms of nurturing but specifically delves into the way that women communicate. Swaddle looks at the positive ways that female approaches to communication improve relationships but also looks at the darker side of how differing communication styles can suffocate relationships.
It is my belief that women are encouraged from an early
age to be the solvers of relationship problems and that they do this primarily
through communication (or selective silence which is, in itself, a form of
communication). I think that this can be a wonderful nurturing thing for the
growth of male-female relationships. I also think it has the potential to
strangle and suffocate relationships, especially when women aren’t quite sure
how to articulate what they’re saying in a way that can be clearly heard.
Well, first of all, I love crochet. But here are four other reasons:
Crochet has historically been seen as a female
craft and therefore lends itself well to artistic explorations involving gender
- Crochet is made up of knots and loops.
Communication often gets tangled up and repeated so the form is ideal for
- Crochet can easily be used to create both
“female” objects (domestic objects, lace, fashion) and “male” objects (math
principles, science objects, tools).
- Crochet is beautiful! There is a small segment
of fiber artists and mixed media artists who are working to show off the true
beauty and detail of crochet. This project adds to that community voice. It is
important that this project explore many detailed aspects of crochet and not
just use basic stitches.
Why is it Called Swaddle?
Swaddling is a way of wrapping up babies to protect them. Historically
it was done in a way that was extremely binding and restrictive. Modern
swaddling is more comfortable although can still be controversial. Either way,
swaddling immediately draws to mind the image of the nurturing woman. This
project explores how women nurture the men in their lives, in ways that are
both traditional and controversial. It explores how that nurturing can help the
men in their lives and the relationship between them (as swaddling to care for
an infant can be a positive experience between mom and child). It also explores
how sometimes that communication unintentionally infantilizes men and eats at
What Types of Projects Will Be Created?
Swaddle is to be made up of 12 – 24 pieces representing the
full spectrum of positive and negative communication styles in relationships.
Examples of pieces in the collection:
Why Support This Project?
Variations on a Granny. This is a repetitive crochet piece showing how the
tiniest shift in a stitch can alter the appearance of your work. It represents
how small changes in conversations (using “I” statements is a well-known
example) can improve relationships. It also references the way that men sometimes
feel like the women in their lives are just saying the same thing over and over
and so they stop listening. The piece places 40 granny squares side by side,
each one a variation on the traditional granny square.
Takes a Village. This crochet art piece is all about how the community affects
individual relationships. Women tend to turn to other women to talk about what
is going on in their relationships with men in order to resolve problems and
get their feelings out without rocking the actual relationship. This piece
juxtaposes very frilly, feminine, soft crochet on one side with very hard,
edgy, structural crochet on the other side and shows how they blend in the
middle and run into one another.
This is a collection of crochet swaddling blankets wrapped around
representations of male figures. Some are cozy and comfortable, as we expect
crochet blankets to be. Some are strangling and suffocating. Some are too loose
and the male is exposed. This represents the core idea behind the title project.
Your support will make this crochet art project a reality. It will also:
- Support independent yarn dyers and sellers
- Support small businesses that sell yarn and craft supplies
- Encourage an emerging and developing artist
- Aid in furthering awareness about the value of crochet and craft in today's society
- Add to an important conversation about how men and women communicate and how we can improve that communication
- Allow you to participate and have a say in the creation of an art project
About the Video
Yes, I've included a lengthy video here and it's just me talking. I thought about hiring a videographer to make a really cool video for me since I'm new to working with video. And I intended to edit this video down, take out the flaws and just include the best parts. But in the end I decided that my approach to my art is all about exploring the process and honoring our genuine communication styles and that it made a lot more sense for me to just share with you exactly the way I am and the way I feel about this project.
I am a writer who has been doing crochet and collage art for awhile now but this is my first foray into a true collection of pieces around a specific theme. I write about crochet at Crochet Concupiscence and will be doing video posts about this project there. Every little bit of support that is offered to grow this project is truly, truly appreciated.
Have a question?
If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.