"Bend the Knee Dragon Coat"

“Bend the Knee Dragon Coat” is Raeus Cannon’s entry in the 2019 ArtFields competition. It is a more-than 7-pound, full-length coat that incorporates 36 colors. It was created with three different processes: hand knitting, pin-loom weaving and Talpa Sculpting.

LAKE CITY, S.C. – Raeus Cannon vows to let her own ingenuity and creativity – not a pattern – guide her work as a fiber artist.

“I think we’ve kind of lost some of our sense of doing it on our own and creating something on our own,” Cannon said.

Cannon notices the everyday details such as a landscape while she drives down the road or a flower while she hikes a nature trail. Then, those everyday details inspire her work in knitting and pin-loom weaving. Her wearable pieces are not exact representations of what she saw in the everyday details, but they are often the foundation, the basis of her inspiration.

The challenge to put down patterns and rely on her own creativity began in 2015, when Cannon attended a knitting retreat. A presenter told attendees that knitters often lack creativity. Knitters tend to see patterns and create facsimiles of those works, the presenter said. Cannon viewed the statement as a challenge and ripped apart her current project.

“I promised myself that day that I'd do my own creations from then on,” she said. “After that, I never looked back.”

Cannon’s current creative process was recognized when she was accepted to the 2019 ArtFields competition. This is Cannon’s first time at ArtFields.

“I literally was jumping up and down and doing a happy dance,” Cannon said. “I really didn’t expect to get in.”

Cannon said that being a part of ArtFields is an honor, and she plans to savor every moment of the festival and take part in the daily activities.

Cannon’s ArtFields piece can be viewed at the TRAX Visual Art Center. “Bend the Knee Dragon Coat” is a more than seven-pound, full-length coat that incorporates 36 colors. It was created with three different processes: hand knitting, pin-loom weaving and Talpa Sculpting.

“I started out making what I thought would be a scarf; then 20 months later I had a full-length coat,” Cannon said. “The images kept coming, and different ideas kept coming.”

Cannon said this metamorphosis of a project is common for her. She has an idea but does not know what the end result will be until she is almost finished.

“I like to lose myself in a piece,” Cannon said. “I tend to dive into a piece and stay with it for as long as it takes.”

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Cannon is the founder and CEO of REO LLC, which stands for Referral Excellence Organization. REO is a membership association for business owners. Cannon’s business provides consulting and coaching about how to get more word-of-mouth business.

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