Big Fiber: Human Tools
Part of Big Fiber/Human Tools I, installed on Museum
Hill, viewed from the parking lot. Photo courtesy the
Museum of International Folk Art, DCA, Santa Fe,
For more than twenty years, Tracy Krumm’s work has been
exhibited internationally at numerous venues. She is currently
a special assistant professor at the Kansas City Art Institute
in Kansas City, Missouri. Several summers ago, she completed
two large-scale textile-based installations, Hand/Crochet and
Finger/Knit as part of Big Fiber: Human Tools for the Museum
of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When artist Tracy Krumm developed a site-specific collab- orative artwork with
the Museum of International Folk
Art in Santa Fe, Aurelia Gomez, the
museum’s director of education, interviewed her for SchoolArts.
Aurelia Gomez: How can you summarize your work?
Tracy Krumm: My work incorporates the histories of both sculpture
and craft. It includes the traditions
of women’s work and the history of
metal arts. It is a juxtaposition of
gender identified processes, crochet,
blacksmithing, and a synthesis of process, technique, and materials.
AG: What are your inspirations?
TK: Environment, always. Particularly
the natural environment; and because
I work with found objects, my work
always has an association with place.
There’s always a reference to history
and place and use, in both the materials I use, and the pieces when they are
AG: What is the Big Fiber/Human
Tools II project?
TK: This was a project that taught the
public to use textile techniques to create giant, site-specific public art pieces
that were installed on Milner Plaza,
at Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New
Mexico, in conjunction with the exhibition Needles and Pins: Textiles and
Tools at the Museum of International
Folk Art. We created two installations
using flagging tape to finger crochet,
and a rubberized plastic lacing to
finger knit structures that were suspended from and tied to architectural
structures on Milner Plaza.
The next year, we made interlacing
and knotting structures out of flag-
ging tape that were wrapped around
and attached to more architectural
elements. The main thrust of the proj-
ect was to demonstrate how textile
production is reliant on the physi-
cal use of the human body. Creating
large-scale textiles helps people to
understand the elements and process
of textile construction in a dramatic
Aurelia Gomez is the director of education
at the Museum of International Folk Art
in Santa Fe, New Mexico. aurelia.gomez@