Teaching and knitting are passions for Harry. In 2010, he retired from being a university professor to pursue knitting full-time, including teaching a myriad of classes at knitting conferences and fiber festivals. His extensive experience in classroom presentation and course preparation makes for an organized and engaging learning experience. He enjoys designing knitwear for both men and women, with an aesthetic that emphasizes texture and linear flow.
Check out his designs and blog at www.goodforaboy.com.
NFF Artist Statement—Harry Wells
I don’t consider myself a Fiber Artist. I prefer the term Artisan Craftsperson. That communicates a person working at a high level in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand, and that is who I am. I have always admired those who come to understand the nuances of a skilled trade, and who become ever more masterful at it. And the pieces that emerge from their hands carry a sense of aliveness.
I create because to be more fully human is to engage in creative processes. I create with my hands because it grounds me in everyday tasks of living. And I create objects to wear and enjoy, while expressing something of beauty in that as well. I am an artisan craftsperson…meaning the resultant product isn’t “a statement” on a runway foreign to everyday life. I wear beautiful utility…a sweater to keep me warm, a shawl that is lovely while functional.
My designs come to me “as a whole.” I see a stitch pattern or a texture that creates an impression or linear flow that can be interpreted into a garment. Often my pieces don’t get “named” until after they are complete, like the Rivulets Hat that reminded me of the little rivulets of water flowing over the rock dams my young son (years ago!) would build at the beach or creekside. But sometimes, I see a stitch pattern and a name springs to mind at the very beginning, to guide the garment and color design. “Moroccan Windows” was born from the arched configurations of the stitch pattern, and the beauty of the elegance of such symmetry of Islamic art wanted the shimmer of beads. I do not try to replicate something from nature…why try? Its beauty is incomparable. So I don’t try to copy the mood of a sunset, or the bark of a Redwood tree, or the colors of a bright bird. I rather let the sensibility of the emergent attraction of a stitch or color scheme tell me what to create for it.
Use your hands. Let the artisan craftsperson grow. Enjoy it for what it is. It doesn’t have to be seen by anyone…but you.