spinhandspun designs


Dave Cole or The Knitting Machine


Dave Cole

Dave Cole deconstructs the process of knitting itself by utilizing unlikely materials, such as extension cords and shredded American dollars in place of wool, and poles and fork lifts in place of needles. While we associate many of his materials (i.e. kevlar, shotguns, iron, and fiberglass) with pain, aggression, and violence, themes of comfort and domesticity often dominate his sculptures.

Cole’s work simultaneously evokes tension and humor. Visual puns are common, for example in Money Dress and Electric Blanket, as are flags and symbols of war. The domestic process of knitting is often exaggerated or made hyper-masculine.

In a 2008 ArtForum reviewed Cole’s solo show at the Judi Rotenberg Gallery stating, “Dave Cole blurs the lines between homespun and manufactures, innocent and subversive, nostalgic and postindustrial.” In essence, overall effect is to complicate our sense of security in the home by forcing us to confront war and capitalism in a domestic context.


Dave Cole, “Kevlar Onesie,” 2008, Kevlar (Used Gulf War Bullet Proof Vest) cut, sewn, and hand knit.


Knitting with Loaded Shotguns (safeties off), 2008. Spun statuary bronze w/ 12 guage shotguns. 72″ x 66″ 10″


Dave Cole, “The Money Dress,” 2006, one-thousand one-dollar bills hand cut and knit into continuous strands and re-knit in pattern of a Vera Wang Gown.


Dave Cole, “The Knitting Machine,” 2006, construction excavators, utility poles, acrylic felt and mixed media. Installation view from MASS MoCA.

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