Hand spinning: DHG tempera feat. Victoria Manganiello

from Annalisa Chelli - 31 July 2017

Annalisa Chelli

Community Manager at DHGshop
Sicily and Tuscany are in my blood. Travelling, movies, music, and art are the things I enjoy the most. I love whales, tattoos, the sea, Africa, good food, big smiles, Picasso, ‘The Master and Margarita’, and ‘Marriage Italian Style’. I believe in Charles Darwin and in the proverbs my grandmother said.
Annalisa Chelli

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Victoria Manganiello at hands with temperas

Our Tempera Collection is one of our most loved colour collections. Our extra fine merino wool tops are available in these colours, they have extraordinary shades and are inspired by famous paintings, moreover we also named them after these paintings. Victoria Manganiello, artist and teacher of Italian origin who choose Brooklyn as her place to reside, with one of these colours; the Monnalisa has created a textile installation which we are proud to present to you today.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

Victoria Manganiello – cosmopolitan artist

Yes, Victoria lives in New York, the centre of the world. The city in which art, cinema, theatre, music and architecture are fused in a perfect combination. Victoria’s style is a perfect example of this metropolitan jungle, impulsive, contemporary and a strong desire to explore.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

Another thing I really admire about Victoria is her completeness as an artist, her ability to mix spinning, weaving and painting. It is not easy to find young artists capable of facing all these procedures and do achieve such results.

I adore the piece she has created with our fibres; it’s essential but makes a great impact, highlighting the beauty and versatility of our Tempera Collection. This piece is like a window looking out onto the future, an insight into the unknown. In my opinion it would fit perfectly in one of those Woody Allen films set in the big apple, wouldn’t it?

Now I’ll leave you to the story told in her own words.

Making of – Spinning yarn

The DHG Wool tops arrived to my studio cleaned, combed, carded and ready to spin. I used a top-whirl drop spindle to create medium weight handspun yarn. In order to create enough yarn to weave a full panel, I spun for many hours over a few weeks time.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

I separated the wool tops as I spun with them creating nuances in my yarn because of the variations in the wool tops. I was able to decide to focus on the browns and whites or highlight the blues and pinks depending on how I prepared the wool to be spun. The variety gave me some exciting creative opportunities both during the wool spinning and later during the weaving process.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

After I was finished spinning each skien of yarn, I soaked it in water overnight. This sets the spin so that it doesn’t unravel. I dried the soaked wool skiens in my gardens before they were ready to weave with. I wanted to contrast the soft material with something hard so I combined the handspun yarn with a wooden loom frame which remains a permanent component of the piece.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

Additionally, I wanted to provide more contrast by way of color, combining the natural variations of the wool tops with a neon frame. My work as an artist is all about the integration of different materials and the wool tops gave me a great chance to explore. After constructing my frame, I wove with the handspun yarn, integrating the frame fully into the piece as a sculpture. The light reflects upon the wool creating dimension and body in the piece.

Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello Hand spinning - Tempera Collection feat Victoria Manganiello

Food for thought

Collaboration is an essential part of my work. I incorporate different types materials and as I manipulate them in color and form, I discover the curious and unexpected results of their commingling. The opportunity to collaborate with people provides the same mystery and excitement and so my work with DHG felt both perfectly suited for my existing practice and an exciting opportunity to try something new.

The Tempere wool tops were wonderful to work with and it was because of it’s inherent qualities that I decided to utilize them in the way that I did. Originally, I sought out to weave the handspun yarn with a jack-loom but once I discovered their beauty, I instead choose to more simply weave them by hand around a wooden frame. This still allowed me to move and shape the material for by stretching and wrapping it, it is tense and linear, yet simple, elegant and approachable.

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