“As a knitter on Maui, I’m used to people being surprised by what I do. Even though ‘Maui knitter’ sounds like the world’s largest contradiction, the knitting I do is not generally big, heavy, wool sweaters. When I tell someone I knit volcanoes, it really gets their attention.”
Lisa Louie - Fiber Arts
Lisa Louie is a long time Maui resident, and even longer time knitter. What began as a way to relax in college has turned into a passion. Lisa’s work has been exhibited on the U.S. Mainland and overseas, and she has had wearable art and sculptural pieces juried into major shows and shops on the mainland and at home in Hawaii. Her work changed about 2006 after a trip to Volcano National Park on the Big Island, where she was inspired to try to knit volcanoes. That trip was the catalyst for “Pele’s Gift: Creation and Transformation,” the cape that took 9 years to complete.
“I had to decide what I was trying to do and how to do it. Essentially, I had to learn what to do so I could create the piece. I had to start with what kind of yarn would look best, and then teach myself how to knit so it looks like lava. After that, I needed a way to assemble the cape so it was wearable.”
“In some ways, living in a place with so few knitters and not much in the way of supplies has been a good thing because it has helped me have to change my thinking. If I could just walk into a huge yarn shop and have all the patterns and yarn in front of me whenever I wanted, I doubt I would have been tempted to experiment with things such as volcanoes,” she said. “Thinking ‘outside the box’ has made challenged me to realize I’m not sure I know there really IS a box.”