It’s a Silkie!

The Silkie chicken, at last, is complete, with several things learned and several things still to ponder.

First, back to the topic of scale and abstraction. The chicken’s individual “feathers” (fuzzy teased plies from the original strand), though they have an nice overall look, are of course still out of scale with the tiny chicken body…and that makes them hard to mold and blend into the correct shape for some body parts (the neck in particular). I will keep looking for better threads to use for feathering, and for better ways to apply them. The process of locking a strand into the body (there are several methods) creates bulk and out-of-scale artifacts that detract from the overall effect. So, more research.

Second, thoughts on photographing tiny pieces. If you search for “micro crochet” on Instagram or Etsy, you will find most images show tiny pieces photographed at some distance, so they take up only a very small portion of the frame. Sometimes hands or other objects are shown as well, for scale. I find myself always zooming in on these images and lifting up my glasses to get up extremely close. For a while I grumbled at this, wondering why artists seldom just gave us a close-up picture in first place, since everyone wants to see the details. Then I realized…it’s because the effect is much more convincing at a distance, so that you can see the overall look but NOT the super-granular details, which are ALWAYS out of scale! So today I’m posting both distant and close-up photos.

Finally, I learned a bit about the difficulty of photographing dark thread, especially at a distance. I’m using a light box setup and I kept adding supplementary side lights to improve the visibility of the dark face and eyes.

I should add, also, that all this is weirdly related to subjects I have explored with my large knitted artworks over the past several years. Image scale, viewing distance and difficulties with illumination were important topics in that work as well. Of course, Silkie chickens are familiar too…see the piece FUNKY CHICKEN in the last photo!






Leave a Reply