Shauna Richardson is a UK-based crochet artist with a background in conceptual art. She specializes in a type of crochet art she calls crochetdermy. As the name suggests, this is crochet designed to look like taxidermy. The “crochetdermy” word on Richardson’s website has a trademark symbol after it so it is my understanding that this is a term that she coined. I think it’s a great word that describes a type of crochet art that a lot of hobbyists dabble in.
See more crochet taxidermy here!
More about Crochet Artist Shauna Richardson
Shauna Richardson describes her mission on her website as exploring the theory that anything can be art by combining various themes that might be uncomfortable. She makes large-scale, larger-than-life-size, crochet taxidermy animals on commission and also sells the pieces that she makes in her studio. It takes her about one month to create each piece of crochet taxidermy art. Her largest crochet project was in 2012 for the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 (The Olympics). She learned to crochet as a child although it wasn’t until much later that she began making it the primary medium of her conceptual art. Shauna has had her work in numerous group shows. She’s also had a few solo exhibits including a show at Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center in New York and also the Chelsea Flower Show, both in 2014.
This is the aforementioned Olympic crochet project. It includes three giant lions crocheted by hand and showcased in a taxidermy style case. The lions are made using a locally-sourced wool to celebrate the rich textile history of the area. By giant, we are talking about lions that are much larger than life size – 25′! They toured the region in their own glass cubes and made many stops to the delight of lots of people.
The Power of Making
In 2011, The Crafts Council and the V&A in the UK partnered together on an art exhibit called the Power of Making. The exhibit is based on the idea that skilled creation is declining across creative industries and that celebrating innovative works will help counter this decline. It’s basically all about celebrating the act of “making”. It looks at older crafts as well as new technologies in craft with an emphasis on innovation and creativity. This exhibit had 100 different items in order to showcase all of the different ways of “making” things, and one of the things that was featured was a life sized crochet bear by Shauna Richardson. I think it’s great that crochet is being featured alongside more modern crafts such as BioImplant embroidery and 3D printing. A great mingling of the old and new and how both types of crafts can be innovative!
Other Crochet Animals
Three Baboons for the Windows of Taschen in London. Gorgeous combination of shopping and craft!
What I love about this work is that it is so incredibly detailed. I’ve seen similar stuff on Etsy and on various crochet sites over time but I’ve never seen work that was so detailed and almost realistic. Apartment Therapy explains that her “pieces are made with different wools and mohair mixes to give the animals a more realistic effect while not covering up her beautiful free-style stitching. The entire animal is done by using a single type of stitch with one size hook and changes up the angles to highlight the animals features.” She uses the directionality of the stitches (implementing freeform crochet) to create the attention to detail that makes the animals look so realistic.
Other Similar Crochet Artists
Ministry of Craft