Trend Tablet is a huge fan of Little Dandelion we asked Jacqui Fink, the hands behind Little Dandelion to tell us her story. Here you are!
“I’m a mother (41) of three children and I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in Australia with my Husband Eric, two cats and a menagerie of wildlife who visit for a daily feed. I have a law degree but am otherwise untrained in fine arts, design and textiles.
I launched Little Dandelion in 2012 after a long and intensive search for a creative outlet. I had been searching in earnest for something to call my own and I knew it needed to be creative: the need to work with my hands was powerful.
To cut a long story short, in November 2009 my Mother received a life saving double lung transplant. In the weeks that followed, I found myself in a heightened creative state culminating in a dream that was as terrifying as it was profound. In the dream, a very loud booming voice told me that I needed to knit blankets and that the knitting needed to be “big”. Okay then! The very next day I started the process of bringing Little Dandelion to fruition.
I suspect the fact that the answer to my search for a creative outlet was so intimately connected to my Mother was no accident. My Mum taught me to knit when I was quite young. Mum was and is a profuse knitter and I noticed that it was a beautiful respite for her. As a child though I was too impatient to commit to the language of knitting to be able to follow a pattern. But, I did work really hard to perfect my tension and the consistency of my stitches. I also enjoyed the respite.
Fast forward five years, some intense experimentation and the making of many mistakes, I now produce by hand oversized scale blankets, throws and installation works using naturally coloured high quality unspun merino wool and other natural fibres from Australia and New Zealand and a set of massive knitting needles made from PVC pipe.
My work is informed by three great passions: my need for sensory feedback and my love of both texture and natural fibres. At the heart of my work is the extreme scale the unspun wool allows me to achieve. For the observer, the scale provides the perfect platform to showcase the beauty and rawness of the natural fibres I use. The textures are rich, luxurious and have the ability to imbue both solace and joy to the handler. On a personal level, each piece is as much a physical challenge as a loving creative exercise and pushing the boundaries of what is possible is a huge driver.
However, knitting with unspun wool is problematic due to its delicate nature. To overcome this, I felt each piece once it has been knitted. This is no mean feat given that most of my creations weigh a minimum of five kilograms. The felting gives stability to the unspun wool and allows for a greater stitch definition. The resulting texture is both rustic and sculptural in its appeal. My self-taught process is laborious and often menial but it is equally satisfying. I suspect my lack of technical know how actually helped me push the boundaries of what was possible because I had no concept of what wasn’t.
Essentially, Little Dandelion is my quiet rebellion against mindless mass production and my loving contribution to a kinder and more conscientious world. I am currently developing my own Little Dandelion oversized knitting yarn so that others can experience the joy of slow craft and extreme knitting.”
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