Geofrey Redd remembers making string art as a kid in geometry class. He hammered a few nails into a wooden board and created basic shapes by stringing yarn through the grid of nails.
About two years ago, Redd thought about trying to put a more modern and adult spin on string art, a genre that was embraced in the '60s and '70s but has been largely dormant since. He started working on his projects secretly at first, in part because he thought people would say it was silly.
"But I just kept going and going and going until I finally started noticing myself peaking," Redd says. "And so I started challenging myself with bigger pictures, then more complex pieces, and this is where I'm at now."
Redd, who goes by Yarns & Noble when his artwork is involved, is sitting under his large, nicely framed string-art piece depicting a green snake eying a bluebird flying overhead. He has several large works hanging at BlueFoot Bar & Lounge (3404 30th St., North Park) through the end of the month.
The detail and complexity that Redd's able to achieve with wood, yarn and nails is impressive. Part of his secret is the number of nails used in every creation: There are about 45 nails in just one small leaf in Redd's snake piece, for example, and about 25 leaves total—that's more than 1,000 nails used just in the background of one composition.
Redd is coy when asked for more details about his process. Like every artist working in a relatively obscure medium, he's nervous about being ripped off. Even if his technique is eventually copied, though, his lowbrow style and weird sense of humor won't be easy to replicate.
"I like putting sharp teeth on things that don't have teeth because I think it's funny-looking," he laughs, pointing to one of his mischievous-looking, snaggle-toothed yarn birds.