Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma explores the patterns of the traditional Irish fisherman's sweater in her oversized knitted rugs.
Meindertsma has been committed to reviving the artist's relationship to processes lost with industrialization, unearthing "the life and story behind the products that we surround ourselves with," she says. In pursuit of her art, she has spun wool from heirloom sheep in the countryside and harvested flax with Dutch designer Thomas Eyck (see Lighting: Flax Series from Thomas Eyck in the Netherlands). Meindertsma's work is part of the permanent collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, MoMA in NYC, and the Audux Textile Museum in Tilburg, Holland.
Inspired by the Aran sweater, Meindertsma takes the chunky knit trend to a whole other level in her Aran Rug project. She uses custom-made wide-gauge knitting needles and thickly spun wool, thick as a rope, to create rugs that play with scale and texture. The Aran rugs and other projects can also be seen at Christien Meindertsma.
Above: White Aran rugs in progress.
Above: The thick wool is strewn about Meindertsma's studio.
Above: Custom-made wood knitting needles give way to oversized results.
Above: The black Aran Rug, though decadently priced, is made of texcel (a coarser fleece suited to rugs and flooring) and wool derived from eighteen different merino sheep breeds. The rug measures seven in a half by ten feet and is $11,300 from Merchant No. 4.
Above: Meindertsma's wool-based work, like the Aran Rug and these knitted arm warmers, all feature a "Flocks" tag that identifies the origin of the sheep's wool.