Tracy Krumm is a unique crochet artist. Instead of crocheting with yarn, she typically uses crochet techniques to work with metal, creating found object sculptures. Of course, crochet jewelry artists do the same thing but her pieces aren’t always as delicate as just working with wire. She really works to blend the very feminine art of crochet with much more masculine metalwork like blacksmithing. As with many crochet artists, her work makes a statement on feminism, personal identity and what it means to be a woman.
About crochet artist Tracy Krumm
Tracy Krumm’s interest in crochet and craft art is rooted in her love and appreciation for both of her grandmothers who engaged in crafts like crochet and sewing. She also has a strong interest in 1960’s urban culture and crochet did play a role in that (although it really came into its own in the 1970’s.) Her work has been written about in American Craft, Surface Design Journal and Interweave Crochet. It has been displayed in places as varied as the Museum of Fine Art in Houston and Bloomingdale’s in San Francisco.
Smart collaboration with John Bonick
Tracy Krumm currently has an exhibit at Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco that is a collaboration with artist John Bonick. SF Gate has a nice article that explains how this exhibit really combines art with science and math. This makes a lot of sense for crochet, an art that has great potential to be math-based if you care to pay attention to that part of it. John Bonick does abstract paintings that are quite different visually from Krumm’s crochet work. Despite this, their collaboration works because at the root of both of their expressions is a theme of interconnectedness. It’s about “entanglement through and through”.
Other examples of Tracy Krumm’s crochet art
I love the above piece because it almost looks like a great wearable piece of art but it also stands as a hanging piece of art on its own.
That image comes from Krumm’s website. I encourage you to check it out on the site where it’s larger and you can really see it!
In 2007 Krumm participated in art installation called Over, Under, Around and Through at the Southwest School of Art in Texas. What a perfect name for a crochet show although not all of the work was crochet work. That show was voted one of the year’s top ten exhibitions. Krumm had five crochet sculptures in that show.
This is one of a couple of Krumm’s pieces that is featured in a book called Textile Techniques in Metal: For Jewelers, Textile Artists & Sculptors by Arline Fisch. Worth checking out even though it’s not entirely about crochet.
How Krumm explains her crochet art
This comes from the same SF Gate article and explains how Krumm herself sees her crochet art:
“The work is always about balance and accommodation for me,” she says. “There is the static and the flexible, the heavy and light, the delicate and almost ephemeral, and then the solid and the weighty.”
And then from her artist statement we learn a little more …
My work is grounded in the histories of sculpture and women’s work. It involves the investigation and juxtaposition of historically gender-specific techniques, such as crochet and blacksmithing, to question and comment on identity, duality, relationships and beauty.
Food for thought
What do you think about mingling the traditional “feminine” art of crochet with the more “masculine” art of metalworking? Do you think it adds to each or takes something away from one of them? Share your thoughts in the comments!