Meet Erez Solo Rimon
A freelance artist and textile designer who started using knitting as tool of self-expressionism from the age of 15. Erez moved to Great Britain (originally from Israel) in 2014 and as soon as he arrived in the UK, he immediately started displaying his work in galleries across the country. Since then, he began developing new ways of expressionism through some of the most basic knitting techniques.
We have asked him about his passion for yarn and the deeper meaning to each piece of work he produces and here is what he had to say….
You started knitting from the age of 15. Why at that age and has knitting always stuck with you since?
This is the age when I started studying in the art department in high-school. Studying sculpture, drawing, painting and art history, I found myself attracted to craft and handwork and taught myself how to knit and crochet from books. Quickly it became a part of my creative process. However, knitting stayed mostly as a hobby when I was in my mid-twenties and was starting my BA in Textile design. Only then I professionalised my craft, I started working as a craftsman for fashion designers and knitting became the centre of my art.
You have talked about your personal language to express the mid-point between being a designer and an artist. Can you elaborate on this?
Working as a designer and craftsman and having a high-level knowledge of the technique with having a strong artistic and conceptual view, aided me in bringing together a unique collaboration between the design view and artistic one. The hands lead the material and the designer’s way of planning and working allows me to be free in my creative view and conceptual way of creating an object.
Do you consider yourself to be an artist or a knitter with a huge imagination?
I see myself always an artist first. The craft is the tool and the medium I choose to use. Art is my way of self-expressing and knitting is my technique. As a creative person I was intuitively attracted to this technique thanks to the pleasant feeling of the knitting process and materials, and to the repetitive meditative action. My subject is not knitting as much as the subject of most painters is not painting – but what they paint.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from all around, visual and conceptual ideas. Sometimes inspiration comes from a specific material, sometimes from an image or a feeling.
Do you focus on a specific style of your work? i.e same genre and style or do you try to have a variety of different styles?
I feel the style of my work is engraved in my aesthetics and my DNA. Most of my works are abstract and whether it’s installations, prints, framed pieces, knitted or any other method, I bring my visual language and focus on expressing that.
How do you plan your new project? Do you choose the yarn first and then decide what to make of it or do you have a vision of your piece and match the ingredients after?
Usually, my projects start in a very organic way. I can sit for weeks in the studio, make swatches, have ideas in my head and try different materials but nothing comes out of it. After playing around for a while, a clear idea will form and then I start working on it. My projects develop organically piece by piece to a series. I start with materials that I have around the studio or go for a material hunt to get inspiration, and only after I have a definite concept I purchase the specific materials and the quantities of them that I’ll need to create my piece.
What do you like/dislike about knitting and crochet? Which one is your favourite technique and why?
Knitting with two needles is like working within a grid that is based on a set of rules and structures. Since 15 I’ve found he n a repetitive movement, a sequence of knots to creating an object therapeutic. In this simple and basic knitting process, the relationship between those elements is essential, the action is based on the touch and contact between them, the friction and the tension. An artist that uses this technique has to work intuitively to utilize it for their vision. Like sculpting in clay or with other crafts or mediums, hand knitting is a technique of creating with your hands, the hands are in control, and they are leading and navigating.
The knowledge of the technique and the practice of the hands to know how to move correctly are important for the outcome to be stable and consistent. To be able to be creative an innovative conceptual piece, it is important to master this hand knowledge. It can also allow you the ability of knitting without looking at what you are doing, trusting and relaying on your sensorium, subconsciously. On the other hand, the rules and structure of knitting limit the creativity, bounding them into a frame of expression. As hand knitting lets my conceptual and visual ideas lead the way, it’s a very slow process, and not very creative. In comparison, Crochet is much faster, sculptural, easer to manipulate and gives much more creative freedom.
My go to is hand knitting, I find it more challenging on one hand, and more fitting for my thinking and creative processes when I come to plan and design a project.
What tips would you give to our C&H customers when it comes to choosing the yarn and colours for their new projects?
I believe the process before starting a project is the most important, doesn’t matter if its big or small. A good pre-plan will give you the best results, and the freedom to enjoy the making process. I recommend first getting a few different materials, one ball of yarn of each colour/material. Making small swatches, deciding on the density, yarn, color, pattern, combination of materials, and only then buy the amount of material you will need for the whole project.
You have mentioned that you often shop at the C&H in Brighton. Do you ever plan your shopping trips with a specific list of items you need, or do you prefer to visit the store and decide on the spot?
Sometimes I come to the shop with one or two things I need, knowing before exactly what I need. Sometimes I come to C&H to explore materials to get inspiration. Coming to C&H is great because not only the variety of yarn is great, I also have around me a whole department of different materials, crafts and ideas to use and be inspired from.
With the online shopping taking over the high street businesses, do you feel that there is still a need of going to shops or are you also a fan of buying online?
Yes, it’s very convenient to shop online and order your supply home, and yes, I often do that. But nothing will replace going to the shop, especially when it comes to yarns, fabrics and other craft materials. Touching the materials, seeing the colours in real life and having different materials around you, different options inspires you. I continue to shop in the high street shops because of that important human and creative reasons to get inspired by peoples’ recommendations and the patterns around me.
Erez official website: https://www.erezsolorimon.com/