Miniature magic at the Nth



Article Published: Sep. 30, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
Miniature magic at the Nth

Artist Katie Boyette poses with one of her hand-knitted miniatures, on display at the Nth Gallery in Boone this Friday.

Photo submitted



Katie Boyette. Sculptor, knitter extraordinaire, author and mom.

Friday, she adds miniature magic maker to that list of titles as her newest showcase, "Miniature Show," transforms the Nth Gallery into a curiosity museum.

"I got the inspiration for the show when I was traveling in London a couple of years ago," Boyette said.

There, she happened upon the Victorian Albert Museum, complete with its hall of miniatures.

"It's a long hall with, I think, 2,000 tiny portraits, and they give you a magnifying glass," she said.
Boyette teamed up with more than 20 artists to recreate the experience at Nth Gallery, but with a dose of High Country savvy.

"The mediums are all over the place," she said, "lots of little paintings, etchings, drawings, some tiny sculpture ... one guy carved a little refrigerator out of marble."

To Boyette, whose first knitting book, "Knitwits: Twenty Projects for Seasoned Knitters and Beginners," hits stores nationwide this week, it gave her yet another opportunity to hit the needles.

"I knitted some tiny little robots, and I knitted a tiny boom box," she said.

Boyette expects the exhibit will do more than showcase High Country talent. She hopes it inspires others the same way the London exhibit inspired her.

"People love things that are miniature," she said. "There's just something about the longing to have something kind of tiny and precious."

The pieces, however, are no miniature feat.

"Just because something is very small doesn't mean it takes any less time or any less inspiration," she said. "Sometimes, I think it's harder to make something tiny."

The miniatures are just Boyette's latest project. An Appalachian State University sculpture grad who only learned to knit three years ago, she's become a fiber fanatic, and, with her new book, the passion isn't dying any time soon.

"It's been a little bit of a whirlwind," she said, "but it's been great to make at least some of my living out of the work."

And her projects aren't your grandmother's doilies. Take the patterns in her book. You won't find that reindeer sweater, but you will find patterns for an alligator eating a woman, a three-eyed pirate and a Cyclops wearing a bunny suit.

"My kids (13 and 6 years old) not only inspire it, but they really enjoy it," she said.

Her book is available on sites like Amazon.com and will soon hit the shelves of Black Bear Books in Boone.

"Miniature Show" opens Friday for the Downtown Boone Art Crawl at 7:30 p.m. at Nth Gallery and Studios (683 W. King St.), an independent art venue that showcases emerging and established arts in the High Country.

Exhibiting artists include Amber Brown, Jason Anders, Liz Roberts, Peter Oakley, Nobu Tanaka, Dave Kaminsky, Jamie Goodman, Jonathan Ryan, Katie Boyette, Tommy Lee, Jennifer Barron and Brian Lee.

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