Holiday fiber arts tree

Thu, 12/31/2020 - 6:15pm

After only a few weeks of planning, island resident Sue Brown Black has almost realized her latest dream of creating a community art project that anyone can contribute to, and everyone can enjoy.

The idea was to create a tree-shaped frame and cover it with “granny squares,” the traditional crocheted square that has been the basis of blankets for decades. The inspiration was a photo of a similar tree from Italy that went viral.

Besides everyone she knew that either crocheted, knit, or wove, who were all prodded to make the six-by-six inch squares to cover the tree, Black quickly enlisted the help of Aymar Ccopacatty to help with the frame, and the former Block Island resident rose to the challenge.

The frame itself is a work of art and was designed and executed by Aymar with assistance from his father, world-reknowned sculptor Peruko Ccopacatty. For those not familiar with the name, Peruko Ccopacatty created the works of art out of old rusty oil drums that adorn the Transfer Station, years ago.

When Sue B. (as she is known) picked up and delivered the tree from the Ccopacatty’s workshop on the mainland, it wasn’t quite what was expected.

On a Facebook post, Aymar, who besides sculpture, is also into fiber arts, said: “The process changes the minute it goes 3-D from the page.”

But the four wire panels radiating out from the top of the tree and spiraling towards the bottom quickly inspired a new way of thinking for the fiber artists, including Naomi Lawrence, the master-mind behind the monarch butterfly installation last summer at Ball O’Brien Park.

This latest community fiber arts project is well underway, but not quite done. Despite the contributions of squares from Lawrence, Charon Littlefield, Sue Theve Gibbons, Rae Lynn Dutra Burns, Thea Monje, and Judy Clark, many more are needed.

Some in the group met for their first decorate–the-tree session on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at the Spring Street Gallery, where they sewed together squares until they either ran out or their fingers froze. Later they reconvened in Black’s garage, where the tree was moved to avoid the Christmas Day storm, attaching more squares.

The tree is not yet done, and anyone who wishes is encouraged to add their own squares. Or, squares may be dropped off in the bin that is following the tree around. Also inside the bin are materials and supplies for anyone who is inspired to make a square, or two.

At the time of this writing, the tree was outside of Red Right Return on Dodge Street, but Black’s plan is to move it around to varying places for the enjoyment of all.