[Linda Scharf’s yarn-as-art creations are featured in the article “Yarn: The Art of Twist” by Tracy Hudson on page 34 of our Spring 2011 issue. Here she tells us a bit more about her creative process and inspirations for spinning poetic and kinetic sculptures made of yarn.]
My current work, spinning fibers, grows out of twenty-plus years of exploration in many media. When I found spinning, I was looking for forms that were a hybrid—more than painting, different than sculpture.
Spinning fibers satisfies my desires to manipulate form, but even more, it is very direct. Much like working with pastels, it allows me to work with energy as media that gets transformed into color, texture, form, and expression.
Above:Linda Scharf, Cloudy Day Sunny (with detail); 2010; wools, string, fabric; 35 yd.
Working with abstract concepts as inspiration allows my brain and hands to work in a completely uncensored way—total freedom from any restraints that the "I" of me might reign in, knowingly or unknowingly.
Above: Linda Scharf, Forest (with detail); 2010; wools, string, silk, plastic flower parts; 50 yd.
"Ugly" is one such concept. It can be such a charged idea—we're often so afraid of ugly, but a deep engagement with it can allow a change of mind and heart, so that which was perceived as "ugly" and all that it implies might be seen in a pure, nonjudgmental way; it may be seen as "itself," whatever that is.
Above: Linda Scharf, Beast 2; 2010; wool; handspun on a spindle; 35 yd.
I'd like the "ugly" yarns that I create to work their magic on those who encounter them, so that when those individuals next look at the world and all of the forms of life here, they might be perceived as beautiful.
Above: Linda Scharf, Warhol, 2010; string, suri Alpaca; 120 yd.