Craft

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Art Craft

Social Issues and the Climate Crisis Intertwine in Subversive Crocheted Works by Jo Hamilton

November 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

“I Crochet Portland” (2006-2009), mixed crocheted yarn, 63 x 114 inches. All images © Jo Hamilton, shared with permission

From a mix of wool fibers and yarn made from plastic waste, Scottish artist Jo Hamilton crochets large-scale portraits and architectural landscapes delineated with dangling threads. Her knotted pieces push the boundaries of art and craft traditions, bringing the two together in subversive portrayals of powerful women and metropolises marred by production. Unraveling at the edges, the textured works reflect on interlocking issues like unchecked capitalism, social disparities, and the increasingly urgent climate crisis.

All of the materials Hamilton uses are recycled, whether sourced from estate sales and resalers or created in studio. A few years ago, she started turning grocery bags, videotapes, and other household items into skeins of yarn-like threads—the artist shares some of this process on Instagram—as a way to reduce her impact on the environment, explaining:

We tend to glorify nature as an eternal and everlasting idea, separate from ourselves and our real-life actions. We’ve held on tightly to these ideas during the last few decades in the throes of late capitalism and globalization, and if we don’t change our thinking, policies and behavior immediately it will be too late. So I channeled my anxieties about over-production, pollution, and climate change into my work, using plastic in some of the works in contrast with the yarn.

If you’re in Portland, stop by Russo Lee Gallery to see Hamilton’s most recent works as part of her solo show Transitory Trespass, which closes on November 27.

 

“Cherry Steel Above and Below” (2017), mixed crocheted yarn, 68 x 122 inches

“Shinig Mountain Eclipse.” Photo by John Clark

Left: “Masked Metamorhic.” Right: “Masked Marbled.” Photos by John Clark

“Death Star PDX” (2018), mixed crocheted yarn, 45 x 52 inches. Photo by John Clark

“Isaac Montalvo” (2008), mixed yarn, 23 x 22 inches

“Head & Neck Dietician” (2016), mixed crocheted yarn, 29 x 27 inches

“Groucho Gia” (2013), mixed crocheted yarn, 51 x 36 inches

Hamilton with a 2019 outdoor crocheted mural project on SE Foster Road in Portland. Photo by Kevin McConnell

Hamilton with a 2019 outdoor crocheted mural project on SE Foster Road in Portland. Photo by Kevin McConnell

 

 



Craft

Vintage Objects and Driftwood Form Minimal Animal Sculptures and Quaint Seaside Scenes

November 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Kirtsy Elson, shared with permission

From hunks of driftwood and tins with chipped paint, Kirsty Elson (previously) assembles minimal sculptures of animals, homes, and methods of transportation. The Cornwall-based artist highlights the raw simplicity of her found objects and lets the materials drive the works, manipulating cragged planks or bent hooks just slightly to achieve their intended forms. Presenting her sculptures as full scenes or single creatures, Elson transforms boxes displaying vintage logos into a fleet of trucks, an oil can into a friendly cat, and rusty nails into sailboat masts. She plans to release new pieces on Etsy on November 11, and you can follow future shop updates on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Knotted Systems of Red Thread Dangle from Fabric Books and Letters by Rima Day

November 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rima Day, shared with permission

Bound with loose threads and inscribed with sinuous lines that crawl across the page, the textile works created by Tennessee-based artist Rima Day evoke the Japanese good luck charms called sennibari. Translating to “thousand person stitches,” the Japanese amulet was developed during war times when women would ask friends, family, and even strangers to make a knot on a piece of fabric, which was then gifted to a soldier for protection. Some of the collectively made works depicted “animals such as a tiger, meaningful kanji, a picture of the Japanese imperial flag, or just geometrical patterns,” the artist tells Colossal, and often were stitched into vests or sashes so they could be worn.

In Day’s iterations, the loose threads hang from letters and books with translucent pages, two objects emblematic of communication and knowledge sharing, with winding systems puncturing their surfaces. “Red thread symbolizes human connection in Japan,” she says. “My fascination with the similarity between nature and the human body manifested in matrixes that resemble blood vessels, root systems, and tree vines.”

Day’s work is currently on view as part of a group craft exhibition at Tennessee State Museum. She shares a variety of her fiber-based pieces on Instagram and sells stitched cyanotype prints and other sculptural objects on Etsy. You also might enjoy the sprawling words of Janaina Mello Landini. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Craft Design

An Adorably Eccentric Cast of Googly-Eyed Characters Exude Joy and Whimsy

November 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Lidiya Marinchuk

The quirky troupe of characters crafted by Kyiv-based doll designer Lidiya Marinchuk sport a wide range of emotions from surprised three-eyed monsters and gloomy rain clouds to sly foxes in polka-dotted socks. Sometimes leaving them as soft, plush creatures and others painting their bodies to create sculptural forms, Marinchuk instills each with a dose of whimsy and play. You can find more of the wildly emotional cast on Behance, and shop available pieces on Etsy.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Innumerable Cuts Transform Single Sheets of Paper into Exquisite Flora and Fauna

November 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Pippa Dyrlaga, shared with permission

Cutting ornate lace patterns, spindly roots, and scaly chameleon skin with meticulous detail, Yorkshire-based artist Pippa Dyrlaga (previously) continues to turn single sheets of paper into elaborate works. Her process involves drawing a design that typically features a floral motif before slicing each component by hand with a scalpel. Once the excess paper is removed, the resulting works unveil intricate patches of wildflowers and painstakingly sliced fur and fins.

Dyrlaga’s works will be included in an exhibition in Paris next month, and she’s in the midst of a collaborative project with origami artist Ankon Mitra. To add one of her exquisitely cut pieces to your collection, check out her shop, and dive into her process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Documentary

In 'Raw Craft,' the Late Anthony Bourdain Visits the Bay Area Press Utilizing 19th-Century Bookmaking Techniques

October 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

Regardless of its unabashed tech culture, San Francisco remains a hub for analog artforms, hosting an annual festival that uses a 7-ton steamroller to print linocuts and housing one of the last remaining publishers of its kind. Arion Press is dedicated to the age-old practice of bookmaking, and with a small team of type casters, proofreaders, printers, and binders, painstakingly produces artist publications entirely by hand.

An episode of Raw Craft, a film series produced by The Balvenie distillery, visits the publisher with the late Anthony Bourdain as host. For three seasons, the beloved chef, writer, and travel icon toured the U.S. visiting tailors, metal casters, saxophone designers, and myriad crafters devoted to traditional techniques. On his stop at Arion Press, Bourdain explores all steps of the bookmaking process, from using 19th Century technology to print each letter with metal type, proofing the text by reading out loud, and stitching each page by hand.

Dive into the publisher’s process in the episode above, check out some of its latest projects on Instagram, and browse publications, notebooks, cards, and other goods in its shop. You also might enjoy this film chronicling the last day of hot metal typesetting at The New York Times.