Jo Hamilton’s Crochet Portraits
Crocheting is no longer your grandmother’s favorite retirement-home hobby or your least favorite Christmas present. Instead, intricate yarn work has elbowed its way into the best of the DIY art world. From “yarn-bombing” the streets of London to sending hand-knitted uteruses to Congress as a protest, crocheting isn’t dying out any time soon.
If you don’t believe us, take a gander at Jo Hamilton’s crochet portraits. The Portland-based artist creates phenomenally expressive human faces out of colorful yarn. Her work might look familiar — she was recently interviewed by Vogue Knitting (yes, that is a real publication), and her work appeared on an episode of HBO’s Girls.
Originally from Scotland, Hamilton learned the art of crochet from her grandmother. “I first learned to crochet when I was six, and my gran taught me how to make a granny square. Ten years later, a friend re-taught me, and I crocheted in a crafty way for years,” she explained in an interview with E-Junkie. After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in the mid-90s, Hamilton moved to Portland, where she thrived in the “do-it-yourself” culture.
The artist created an amazing stop-motion video to reveal her artistic process to her many fans. The video below shows the complex process of one of her amazing pieces.
She explains her process, “I work one knot at a time, from the inside out, row by row. In making the crochet portraits, I always begin in the middle with the eyes and work out from there until the piece is completed. I work directly from photographs, using no sketches, graphs, or computer imaging. Each piece is instinctively composed, handmade, and labor-intensive.”
Hamilton is a renegade in DIY art culture. Her crochet work shows that there are truly no bounds when it comes to the art world and that those crochet socks your nan gave you might not be so bad after-all.