On the Fence + New Pattern Alerts!
October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
This article recently ran in the Denver Post. Just goes to show you how a tiny bunch of creative people can bring joy to so many!
A fence blooms in Denver with the help of rogue crocheters
Her street name is “Esther.”
She and her masked, hook-wielding crochet cronies have taken responsibility for the yarn bomb along a block of 16th Street between Wewatta and Union Station in Denver.
Her gang of five, also known as the Ladies Fancywork Society, made a chain-link fence warm and fuzzy, covering it with 30 panels, each 12 feet long and some 8 feet high, of crocheted flowers and garden creatures.
Blooms of vivid pinks, reds, yellows, greens, blues, purples cling to silvery metal.
It took six weeks to make the handiwork and 20,000 zip ties to attach it.
The rogue crocheters were previously on the lam for illicitly crafting leg warmers for Jonathan Borofsky’s 60-foot-tall “Dancers” near the Denver Performing Arts Complex and for fitting colorful cozies on public bike racks — before disappearing into the night.
Now they have done for their city what only hardened crocheters could do. They have made a construction-zone fence into a garden with 2,775 pieces of soft art, including petals, ladybugs, ants, spiders, bees, a bird and even some smiling clouds.
“Normally we’re not asked to do what we do . . . tagging public fixtures,” said Esther, whose alias is actually her grandmother’s name.
Completed in late July, the yarn project will stay up until December, Esther said.
The society ladies, in cahoots since 2007, decided to participate when the city asked for proposals for artwork to gussy up a really long, ugly fence.
“It surprised the hell out of us, but we got it,” Esther said.
They received $25,000 in funds dedicated to public art through the Central Platte Valley Metropolitan District and the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. Most of the money, she said, went for materials, insurance, permits and fees.
“The five of us did manage to take home a little bit of cash,” she said.
Bugged by thefts
Esther and her crew occasionally return to do maintenance. Some creatures have been stolen. The ladybugs and bees were first to disappear.
“We’re trying to keep up,” she said. “We garden.”
It seems to be a hit with the pedestrians who stream by because of the nearby light-rail station and bus terminal.
“It was fantastic to walk down the street and see a garden bloom along a fence,” said 77-year-old Eileen Moore, a visitor from St. Paul, Minn. “I have never seen anything like it.”
Voices and double takes
Nor has she heard anything like it because this garden, with the help of sound artist Jim Green, talks to you.
“That’s a great outfit!” a resonant, disembodied voice booms out in surprise salutation.
There are 17 affirmations in very friendly male and female voices, which come from solar-powered speakers triggered by motion sensors.
“Hello there! You look good today!”
There is always a double take. Some jump. Often a hand flies to the mouth or throat. Some people say thanks or give a wave of their hand.
“It creates a very positive energy, yet it’s kind of edgy and odd at the same time,” said Green, who also received $25,000 for his sound installation.
Denverite Monali Sarkar, 34, walks along the fence every day with her Norwegian elkhound Hilda. “Have a beautiful day!” the fence instructs her.
“It’s very cool,” said Sarkar, who hasn’t tired of it.
“It is unexpected,” said a slightly bemused Ron White, 35, after the fence told him: “You make me smile. See you later, Alligator.”
Bridget and Salvador Vazquez, from Durham, N.C., took photos fence side with their little girls Brianna and Natalie.
“I think it’s beautiful,” said Bridget Vazquez, a Denver native who is home for a visit. “It does cheer you up.”
But not everybody loves it.
Esther said she overheard one man say: “What a waste of zip ties.”
Did you see that Be Sweet has added some new patterns to our repertoire?
Check out the new “T” Things patterns:
From our Fingers + Toes patterns:
We now have over 110 patterns available on Ravelry! Go check out all we have to offer!