Confidence in Crochet

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was younger, maybe around 11. The first project I ever made was an afghan blanket with a chevron pattern. It was a cream color with maroon and navy stripes and it took me ages to complete. I struggled to get it just right- dropping stitches here and there, not sure exactly how or why that happened when I swore I was counting every 12 stitches. It wasn’t until 2015 that I started creating a garment business from crochet- selling scarves and headbands. In 2016 I went as far to really start branding myself more as a small business- expanding my product line, creating a specific style and texture within each scarf/garment, using a specific brand of yarn throughout each piece. It wasn’t until as recently as 2017 that I actually started considering crochet as a medium to also create fine art objects.

I entered graduate school in the Fall of 2016 yearning to combine craft and photography. Not sure exactly how I might do that, I stumbled through my first year of graduate school until finally Molly Burke, the Assistant Graduate Director, looked at me and said in so many words, “why aren’t you crocheting?” At that point in time I didn’t have an answer. Crochet for me had always been a hobby and a side hustle that made me some extra cash throughout the holidays and winter. What would it look like to create fine art objects via crochet? What would it look like for me to be a craft/fiber artist? Could I combine crochet and photography in some way?

Since last Spring, I have began to more heavily investigate these questions. My love for crochet has only grown and I have come to really appreciate the beauty of a stitch, as well as the object that is created when all of those single stitches come together for a greater whole. Although I am still adjusting in being a more full time craft/crochet based artist, I’m growing more confident each day as I continue to work in this medium. Crochet has a strong sentimental value to me and what more appropriate for the work and content I am currently trying to navigate which so closely surrounds my family dynamic

Using a craft taught to me by my mother, I am using crochet to create objects that investigate the relationship I have with my father: creating conversation about his career as a firefighter, the pride in his work, and something he loves most by using what I find pride in, love most, and have chosen as my career. I labor over these objects in a similar way to which he labored intensively as a fire fighter. A very different kind of labor/work and yet still the diligence and excellence of my work is what drives me in paying homage to the very same diligence and excellence that he required of himself.

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More WIP …

I came to graduate school with a project proposal stating I wanted to incorporate craft and photography. I think I’ve finally found the craft … not quite sure where the photo is though.

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Cats and Collages 

I am officially a crazy cat lady. Finally we’re back in Columbus after a wedding weekend and some time spent at home to see family. I’m still in an odd place with my work. Not knowing what to make or how to bring it all together. Nonetheless I am trying my best to create something and I am starting with collage. 

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The beginning of the end.

I haven’t posted in about two weeks.. whoops.  And I also have realized a lot of my most recent work is not posted!  Stay tuned!

Thanksgiving break has come to a close and with it has come a bit of anxiety with a side of stress due to time (or rather, a lack thereof).  There are only 3 more weeks left of the semester- I’ve almost made it through my first trial of graduate school!  (I don’t want to get too overzealous though, there is a lot of work to be done).

This weekend I also am participating as part of the on campus art show.  I have been prepping like crazy for it, making scarves and other craft oriented things.  As much as I am looking forward to it on Saturday it has been a major distraction to my current photographic practice and I am keen to get it over with and get back to my main focus.

This week I am going to be experimenting with some hand stitching on larger photographs that I printed last week on campus.  During my critique, some of my peers suggested that within the work I presented that I should combine my notions of collage, large printing, and hand sewn/craft elements into one and see what I can come up with.  I am excited to spend some time in my studio this evening and do a bit of sewing on some of the larger images.  I definitely need to grab some more embroidery thread though.

While thinking about the digital collage prints, I was wondering how else I could incorporate craftwork into these images, different than that of the more rigid, documented interiors of the domestic space.  Immediately my mind went to quilting.  I quilted a photograph once before and I truly loved the process, as time consuming and frustrating as it could be.  I’ve been thinking about printing these large domestic interior images on fabric and then collaging them in a manner similar to that of which I have done through digital processes but now with sewing.  I am excited to give it a shot and think it could really elevate the imagery in a way that I have been hoping for.  My main concern is finding an outlet to print them on.  Because the images are all mainly at 24″ to 44″ wide, I cannot adhere the fabric to a piece of poster board and feed it through the Epson 9890 as I usually would.  They’re just too large  The fashion department does have a brand new fabric printer so I am waiting for an email response on gaining access to that as a resource.  I don’t think outsourcing the prints at this point will work with the time associated with shipping and what not, but I may have to splurge on costs and order from spoon flower with expedited delivery.

Cheers to new ideas and exciting work to come!