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Interview with a Yarn Bomb Artist: Jenny Brown's Snowy Day

Keith Kesler, Social Media Librarian, Public Relations Department,
a colorful yarn background with the text, yarn bomb artist in the foreground

A yarnbomb depicting Peter from Snowy Day is currently on display at the Silver Lake Branch Library until November 30, 2017. 

When we posted the art on social media the response was overwhelmingly positive and many people wanted to know more about how a snowy day happened upon our library. We got in touch with artist Jenny Brown and she provided background on the art and discussed its cross coast journey.


How did the art come about being shown at the Silver Lake Branch Library?

I originally made the Snowy Day piece for my local library in Iselin, NJ.

 

Peter and me #thesnowyday #yarnbomb #yarnbombing #crochetersofinstagram #instacrochet #crochetofinstagram

A post shared by Jenny Brown Super Crocheter (@hijennybrown) on

I've done a few yarnbombs there because they have a nice big fence, and I love making things specifically for kids.  

After hanging it, I was chatting with artists Alyssa Arney and Liz Flynn - who make fiber art as Thread Winners in Southern California - and one of them made a joke about borrowing it. 

It was too good an idea to let go. I shipped it to them, and they made arrangements for it to be displayed at the Corona Public Library then at Silver Lake.

Where else has the piece been featured? Where will it be next?

I made it first for my local library in Iselin, NJ, then it headed off to the Corona Public Library before stopping at Silver Lake Branch Library. Next it's being shipped to Kansas Public Library in Eastern Oklahoma, then it will go to a school in Philadelphia. 

Do you have a goal for number of locations showcasing the art?

I never expected it to have a life outside Iselin! I'm so happy that it's traveled from one coast to the other, and I'll keep finding opportunities as long as it holds together. 

Can you describe the interplay of the art and the location where it's being showcased? For example the work seemed different in the photo where it was hung outside as opposed to in a library.

I first hung the piece last year in late December and planned to leave it up until it snowed. I really thought it "needed" to be surrounded by snow to bring it to life.

 

The Snowy Day, indeed. #yarnbomb #yarnbombing #thesnowyday #crochetersofinstagram #instacrochet #crochetofinstagram #ezrajackkeats

A post shared by Jenny Brown Super Crocheter (@hijennybrown) on

I have to say I was a little skeptical about whether it would look "right" in the window, but the folks at Corona did a great job hanging it.  It was great to see the light streaming through each tiny stitch. I never would have imagined it in a window, but it looked wonderful.

Then I saw it pinned to the wall in the Silver Lake Branch Library, and I couldn't get over how soft it looked. I always get a cozy feeling from "The Snowy Day" - and the way the piece is hung here evokes a warm, cuddly blanket perfect after a day playing in the cold, wet snow. When it's pulled tight, especially outside, it doesn't give you that same feeling. 

How is the art traveling around the country? 

I really have to give all the credit to Liz & Alyssa - they are the roadies that are making this tour happen! They've cleaned and shipped this guy from library to library. Once it gets to Oklahoma, the libraries themselves will take over.  

Did Snowy Day have a special meaning to you growing up?

I have a hazy memory of looking through it in my elementary school library. Last year, I remember waking up thinking "I need to crochet the Snowy Day," so I don't know if I had heard something about it in the news (this was around the time Amazon was developing the series and the book A Poem for Peter was coming out.) or that memory from childhood just cycled through my dream. 

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and I remember a lot of snowy days likes Peters: playing with my sisters in the snow until our gloves were soaking wet, then running inside to peel off our cold clothes and jump in the tub. 

Do you have any fond memories of libraries?

I remember how much I loved my elementary school library, especially the section where our librarian would read to us. I loved her choice of books and the rhythm of her reading.  

I had a small cozy library in my hometown.  My sisters and I would dig through the packed shelves for Dr. Seuss books to torture our mom, who hated pronouncing the silly creatures and places.  

I think a lot of people share these happy childhood memories about libraries, and that's what makes doing these yarnbombs so fun. Kids can relate to a character from a book they love now, and parents can reminisce about their own childhood and what it was like to first discover books.  

I wanted to mention that I had help with the Snowy Day from my friend Erin Markan (@fcollected), who makes the most beautiful, colorful ripple blankets (right?)

She graciously agreed to crochet the yards and yards of sparkly snow and a couple of plain buildings. My husband also helps install everything (and he gives a LOT of sometimes unsolicited advice about colors and shapes). 


For Further Reading on Yarn Bombing and Crochet


 

 

 

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