Unconventional Art Form Spotted At WSCC

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'Yarn bombing' Makes Debut on Campus

20130603 yarnbombing

Earlier this spring, many on Washington State Community College's (WSCC) campus noticed a striking addition to the campus décor; a tree in front of the Arts & Sciences Building was decked in a knitted covering—a process known as yarn bombing. While many noticed the novelty of the decoration, few were aware of its purpose.

Yarn bombing, also known as knit bombing, guerrilla knitting, and urban knitting, is an artistic practice in which a blanket or cloth is knitted and placed around stationary objects in public spaces. Trees and statues are the most typical media for this artistic practice. It is meant to be a temporary display. By and large, instances of yarn bombing are done anonymously.

WSCC art instructor John Crum briefly discussed the premise behind yarn bombing. "It really is a subtle act of dissonance," he explained. "It is a way to bring attention to bold and innovative artwork, but it is not vandalism because it does not permanently alter the original structures."

Dean of Arts and Sciences Ben Rutherford also weighed in on the artwork, which appeared during the final days of spring semester. "It is refreshing to lose focus and find catharsis during the stresses of finals week," he said, referring to the crafters of the yarn bomb.

The process of yarn bombing is quite simple, and begins with participants "knitting a sweater for a tree". Once the tree-sweater has been fashioned, the yarn bombers will take it to the site and sew or tie it around the tree. The artists may also display other items of artwork along with the knitted tree cover.

As is usually the case, no one has taken responsibility for the yarn bombing that occurred at WSCC. The artwork was removed after a few weeks. WSCC's campus is not the only location in the area that has been chosen for this anonymous art form. "There have been other yarn bombing events occurring at OU and in various locations around Marietta," said Crum. "This practice is also quite the common occurrence at larger college campuses," he added.


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