Last weekend I had an idea for a new project, and, seeing as I have all the materials I need, I started it straight away. I'm crocheting a blanket, but it's no ordinary blanket. I want to highlight how long it really takes to make a hand-crafted item. So I decided to time myself, and change colours once an hour so there's a visual record of how long it takes.
Then I started to think about what it would be like if this blanket was being created in an office environment. How many rows would I get done in a day? In a week? Also, as anyone who's ever worked in an office would know, you don't work 8 hours straight each day and then go home. Some days you might need to work back late. There are the inevitable interruptions that pull you away from your desk: meetings, morning teas, fire drills. Not to mention the everyday occurrences like toilet breaks and getting a cup of tea. Some offices even have mandated 5-minute breaks every hour, though I've never worked anywhere like that.
How can I document these occurrences in this imaginary office job? I could attach small cards to the finished blanket highlighting different events: "team meeting", "Janice's going away", etc. Of course, those colour sections will be shorter or even non-existent to reflect the time I was away from my work. I even thought about making up fake pay slips to show how much I would have been paid if I was making this blanket at an hourly rate.
I'm really curious to know how long it will take to make the blanket -- both in real time and imaginary "office" time -- and especially how much my imaginary wage will be! (Will I get paid overtime? Sick leave? Perhaps holiday leave is pushing it a bit far!) It's this conceptual aspect that pulls this project out from being purely a craft project and into the realms of art.
Will I need to buy more wool? Yes, I think I will!