A Big Ball of String

The idea for this installation originated with a children's book that was a favorite of my sons when they were young. In “A Big Ball of String” by Marion Holland, a young boy says, “With a big ball of string I could do ANYTHING, anything, anything, ANYTHING AT ALL. . .I CAN DO ANYTHING WITH A BIG BALL OF STRING.”  The installation has four components with a common theme.   There is, of course, a big (4' diameter) ball of string. The second component is the result of a letter that I sent to 50 people who have accomplished a great deal.  I asked each of them to send me some sort of “string” that relates to their life.   From the Collection of. . . documents the response.  The third component, 136 uses/136 strings consists of 136 pieces of rope, each labeled with a way that “string” can be used as a tool to help accomplish a task.  Fourth, there are several series of string sculptures, most of which are named according to the method I employed to give form to string that is normally limp and formless.  These titles also relate to the concept.