The Milkweed Project is a collaborative artwork made up of approximately 150 objects created by several hundred artists and crafters from 30 states and 10 countries. Participants from the U.S. and around the world have contributed works that are knitted, felted, crocheted and woven. They became a part of one artwork that is intended to capture the essence of a milkweed pod; its soft, ethereal beauty and its importance to the natural world; particularly the monarch butterfly.
In the lifecycle of the milkweed plant, the wind is used to carry the seeds. They float on soft, fluffy filment attached to the seeds. For this project, the internet was used to simulate the wind. Just as the wind carries the milkweed seeds from one location to another, the internet carried the project from blog to blog, blog to e-mail to message board, craft group, etc. Interested participants signed up on a page on this website.
Many of the individual works contributed to the project were themselves small collaborations within this larger collaboration.
The Milkweed Project is about our connection to one another, to nature, to the past, present and future.
Shan Bryan-Hanson, the project director, is an artist and Assistant Professor of Art at Silver Lake College.
This is the stage in the plants lifecycle that inspired the sculpture: