Article in Third Way magazine

Clare’s article about Particulart and the wider craftivism movement has now been published in May’s issue of Third Way magazine with the title “Knitting and other revolutionary acts”:

As competing political voices reach election crescendo, could it be that artistic, home-spun forms of activism are more positive and quietly persuasive? Clare Bryden hails the rise of ‘Craftivism’ and explains how knitting can change the world.

It’s available on Third Way website, unfortunately behind a paywall. Update: it’s now also available on this site.

Pint of Science

On Monday, I took Particulart into the unfamiliar territory – The Ship Inn in the middle of Exeter – as part of the annual worldwide Pint of Science festival.

The talk was one of three on the theme of Sustainable Science, to a goodly crowd squeezed into the Ship’s upstairs room. The pub claims to have been Sir Francis Drake’s favourite watering hole, but I’m not sure what Drake would have made of our talks on solar energy, knitting and cellulose. Maybe he’d have related them to navigation, and the Golden Hind’s rigging and timbers.

Particulart also provided one of the interval activities, as the audience were challenged to assemble molecules from piles of coloured disks nobly cut out by a volunteer. That was followed by a nigh-on impossible quiz about the three subjects.

A key feature of the evening was of course the trip to the bar beforehand, during the interval, and afterwards, which enabled some good discussions. This is one of the main points of Pint of Science, of course.

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting, fun, relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – all in the pub! We want to provide a platform which allows people to discuss research with the people who carry it out. The main festival takes place annually over three days in the month of May simultaneously in pubs across the world.

Next year’s festival will be on 23-25 May 2016.

Comments – “A Stitch in Time”

Bristol-comments

Here are a few of the responses to “A Stitch in Time” left in the comments book:

I love the concept of this and recognise the need to have these conversations. Thank you for blending science and religeon/spirituality [sic].

Excellent, Outstanding. No other words to say.

I absolutely love yarn.

I wish we’d had something like this at school. I’d have learned a lot more. Knitting is so visual and much more accessible than the ball and stick kit we had in chemistry.

This display is great! I never could have imagined Lent can be so modern if not this display! Thank you!

I glad people seem to be engaging with the exhibition, and that it is provoking thought and conversations. I hope it continues!

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It’s all go!

Clare got some excellent news this morning. Exeter City Council have approved a small arts grant towards a Particulart exhibition.

The exhibition will be entitled “Up in the Air”, and will take place at the Glorious Art House from 11-24 July 2015. It will have a number of aspects:

  1. 3D knitted representations of a series of the greenhouse gases that are most implicated in climate change. The particles will be hung in the main gallery space, with their positions determined by three pieces of data: concentration in the atmosphere (width); lifetime in the atmosphere (depth); and Global Warming Potential compared with carbon dioxide (height). The public will be welcome to touch and interact with the particles.
  2. Variants of the games ‘Top Trumps’ and ‘Happy Families’, using data and information about greenhouse gases and their constituent atoms, giving the public another opportunity to participate and interact with the installation, ‘learning through play’.
  3. An inflatable globe showing the physical geography, as a reminder of the fragility of our one planet and its atmosphere, which can also be used in play.
  4. A free knitting workshop, date to be confirmed, open to the general public.
  5. Posters providing the data and more information about each knitted greenhouse gas, and interpretation of the installation, including some guidance on “So what can I do?”.
  6. A book collecting responses to the installation.
  7. A website, which will be both a source of information during the exhibition, and a legacy. It will include: more information about climate change and the data presented in the exhibition; downloads of the posters and games; and after the exhibition, publication of the feedback gathered from the book and an online survey.

The Diocese of Exeter has also confirmed £100 sponsorship of “Up in the Air”. The particles will make a guest appearance at a meeting of the six Dioceses in the Southwest in September.

Exeter City Council Diocese of Exeter

In other news…

The “A Stitch in Time” exhibition in Bristol Cathedral has ended. Clare is speaking at Exeter Pint of Science on 18 May, and has an article on Craftivism in Third Way Magazine in May. She may also be making an appearance at the Small is Beautiful festival in September.

Photos – “A Stitch in Time”

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Our venue, Bristol Cathedral

The exhibition in the South Choir Transept

"Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all"

'Water' is the theme of the Carbon Fast which the Church of England in the South West ran during Lent 2015 - see ecochurchsouthwest.org.uk for more

Water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas

The greenhouse gases were flanked by photographs by Chris Dobson on the theme of 'Water'

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Timings of “A Stitch in Time”

“A Stitch in Time” will be exhibited at Bristol Cathedral from 6th March to 6th April as part of its Lent carbon challenge. The Cathedral says:

Each Lent churches in the Diocese of Bristol set themselves an environmental challenge. This year the challenge is all about saving and conserving water and we have developed a free exhibition to explore the issues further. Bishop Mike and BIshop Lee recently went on a trip to Uganda, which is linked with the Diocese of Bristol, and saw at first hand the issues communities face with gathering and managing their water supplies. Local priest, Rev Chris Dobson, who was travelling with Bishop Mike took photographs of the local community and we are also featuring photographs which show the beauty of water as a natural resource. Alongside that we also have a ‘Particulart’ exhibition entitled ‘A stitch in time’ which helps people visualise the carbon particles in our environment through a display of knitted particles, which has been developed by Clare Bryden. We are very grateful to both Chris and Clare for helping us with this exhibition. Admission is free – come and visit the south choir aisle.

To download the Carbon Challenge click here. To find out more about ‘Particulart’ click here.

Reflections on Particulart

Clare has written a blog post reflecting on the development of Particulart, from the initial spark of an idea in conversation with Diana to the exhibition in Real Food, and the responses it provoked both in her and the visitors to the exhibition. We hope you enjoy the read.

Last night, at somewhat short notice, Clare also gave a St Michael’s Lecture, entitled “Particulart, or the art of knitting, chemistry, meditation and gentle protest”. She liked the title so much, she changed the strapline of this website.

Comments – “Particulart”

An independent café, where time is slowed and the audience is relaxed, is the ideal location for an encounter with a bunch of knitted chemistry with a message. Here are a few of the comments and tweets we received:

I do like a bit of #knitted art over coffee.

I was drinking my tea at Real Food, when I noticed a knitted particle on the table, then I realised I was surrounded by organic chemistry.

Had a sneak preview. Looks amazing. Do go along and see something you will never have seen before.

I wish I could adequately describe how happy I am that knitted molecular chains are an actual thing.

Diana and I invited the Incinerator’s Liaison Committee to our launch, which led to one of the most positive responses we had to the exhibition. One of the subcontractors told us they were used to attending ‘shouty’ aggressive protests, which did little beyond alienating them. Our gentle protest made him much more interested in engaging, and he liked the potential for educating the public.

Pattern – “A Stitch in Time”

Download this pattern as a pdf

See also the patterns for the atoms and bonds between atoms.

Colours

Hydrogen
Carbon
Oxygen
Nitrogen
Fluorine
Chlorine
Sulphur
White
Black
Red
Sky blue
Light green
Medium green
Deep yellow

Particles

Carbon dioxide

CO2

 

Atoms

1 carbon
2 oxygen

Bonds

4 carbon-oxygen

Nitrous oxide

N2O-1

 

Atoms

2 nitrogen
1 oxygen

Bonds

2 nitrogen
2 nitrogen-oxygen

Alternative version
3 nitrogen
1 nitrogen-oxygen

Water vapour

H2O

 

Atoms

2 hydrogen
1 oxygen

Bonds

2 hydrogen-oxygen

Methane

CH4

 

Atoms

1 carbon
4 hydrogen

Bonds

4 carbon-hydrogen

Tetrafluoromethane (PFC-14)

CF4

 

Atoms

1 carbon
4 fluorine

Bonds

4 carbon-fluorine

Fluoroform (HFC-23)

CHF3

 

Atoms

1 carbon
1 hydrogen
3 fluorine

Bonds

1 carbon-hydrogen
3 carbon-fluorine

Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11)

CCl3F

 

Atoms

1 carbon
3 chlorine
1 fluorine

Bonds

3 carbon-chlorine
1 carbon-fluorine

1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134a)

CH2FCF3

 

Atoms

2 carbon
2 hydrogen
4 fluorine

Bonds

1 carbon
2 carbon-hydrogen
4 carbon-fluorine

Sulphur hexafluoride

SF6

 

Atoms

1 sulphur
6 fluorine

Bonds

6 sulphur-fluorine