crAft (with a capital A)

Today I finished the behemoth of a granny square that I began to work on the day before Super Bowl XLV. It was a project meant to be worked on and completed during the game, but as with many of the projects I take on, it required more time to finish than I had anticipated.

Inspired by Frank Stella’s piece pictured here:

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Sunset Beach Sketch, Frank Stella

I set out with the intention of creating a work in crochet that explores the difference between “Art” and, as I like to think of it, “crAft.”

I have long noticed that many of Frank Stella’s pieces could, with some effort and imagination, be rendered in crochet. The lines and the shapes, and in some cases, even the colors, fall well within many crochet traditions.

Why, I wondered, was Frank Stella’s work “Art” while a granny square creation such this one was not:

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Detail of a rescued crochet granny square afghan

And it is this question that has propelled me the last 11 days as I have worked on the crochet project inspired by Frank Stella’s sketch.

When I got up this morning, I was 5 rounds and one line of contrast color shy of finishing:

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My If-Frank-Stella-Crocheted granny square as of this morning

Shortly before sunset, after a day of fevered crocheting and very little else, I had finally finished the five remaining rounds and completed the last line of contrast:

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If-Frank-Stella-Crocheted granny square

While Frank Stella worked his piece in flourescent and plain alkyd painting, I drew from my vast stores of Red Heart Super Saver yarn to create my piece.

I was also able to achieve a gauge that resulted in a granny square which measures 69″ x 69″, very close to the 69.5″ x 69.5″ of the piece which inspired the work.

While I enjoy Frank Stella’s work and have every intention of getting a photo of Boo-Boo on Stella’s Prince of Homburg sculpture at the National Gallery of Art East Building the next time I get to Washington, D.C., this project taught me that referential “crAft” can be just as tedious as referential “Art.”