I recently realized that although I’ve mentioned Carol Hummel on this blog on multiple occasions I’ve never actually done a full profile of her work. How remiss of me! Let’s remedy that now.
More About Crochet Artist Carol Hummel
Carol Hummel studied graphic design and photography at the University of Cincinnati in the early 1970s. She later returned to school and got a BS in photojournalism and then an MFA in sculpture (graduating summa cum laude from Kent State for both degrees). She finished her MFA in 2004 and has been very prolific in her work since that time, exhibiting in multiple shows each year, earning various awards, giving various art talks and serving as artist-in-residence and visiting artist in many places. She does sculptural work, which is where you will find most of her crochet, but she also does photography, video, and writing. You can say hi to Carol on Twitter @hummel_c.
Carol Hummel’s Artist Statement
Usually an artist statement is a really long and involved piece of writing that tries in vain to summarize what the artist tries to show in her work. In contrast, Hummel has succinctly summed up her statement so nicely in the portfolio on her website that I felt like it was worth sharing in full so that my readers can better understand her work.
“In my art practice, I’m interested in connections made and the trace I leave as I move through space, time and place.”
My work is ontological in intention and traverses the socially constructed constraints of difference by exploring the ties that bind human beings to each other through culture, kinship, history, social interaction and friendship.
What emerges in her work is commentary on femininity, identity, relationships and environmental issues.
Carol Hummel on this Blog
Like I said, I’ve mentioned Hummel here on the blog before. For example, I shared last year when she completed her gorgeous Lichen It tree cozy for an outdoor arboretum installation.
You can see Lichen It as a work in progress in this video
I also did a post explaining that Hummel does sanctioned “yarnbombing” like this piece but also does some unsanctioned guerilla crochet style yarnbombing as well and quoted her in saying:
“As an artist, I think yarn bombing is a way to bring art to the people. Whether yarn bombing is done in stealth or with permission, I think it’s an extremely positive, creative, uplifting, happy experience for the people creating it as well as the people seeing it and living with it.”
I like Hummel’s work so I made sure to mention it in January when she was up for an award where she designed her idea of what future cities looked like and that included cozy colorful works of art. (I learned about this from Debi of Hooks and Yarns).
Carol Hummel Tree Cozies
Hummel has become known in part for her great crocheted tree cozies (which are crocheted using macrame cord). In addition to Lichen It, some of the tree cozies that she’s made include:
This 2005 tree cozy is one I’ve shown on this blog before as well. I love the colors!
Tribute Tree, 2012 piece designed to honor student at Chardon High School who suffered a school shooting. There is a nice interview about this piece by @Sirius_Alpacas on Alpaca Treasure’s blog.
Knitscape Broadway was a 2009 project that Hummel did working with seniors to beautify a low income area.
Crochet Palm #2 is a commissioned piece that Hummel did in Florida in 2005
You can learn more about all of these pieces and see more photos of each of them by looking at the portfolio page on Hummel’s website. I encourage you to do so!
Note: If you’re into tree cozies you might be interested in this roundup of yarnbombed tree videos.
Carol Hummel’s Other Crochet Art
Carol Hummel has a lot of other crochet art that you can find in her portfolio as well. A few of my very favorite pieces are:
Silver Island Mountain III, 2007. This is from a series of works where similar crochet macrame circles were laid out in different areas in nature. It’s a complex piece that looks at man vs. nature, man vs. woman and other contrasting ideas. It’s also just a beautiful piece.
Cozy, 2004. A jail-like large crib in beautiful colors that is both comfortable and haunting at the same time!
Dump at Steamboat, 2008. This piece reflects on the environmental issues related to population growth. It’s so intense and eye catching!
Other Artists Similar to Carol Hummel
I mentioned last week that some of the tree cozy work that Melissa Maddonni Haims has done reminds me a bit of Hummel’s work. Some other artists that remind me a little of what Carol Hummel does:
Some of Doug Guildford‘s pieces, like this one, remind me of Hummel in the way they place crochet in nature to make an environmental statement.
Alexandra Bircken does organic shaped crochet pieces and sometimes has color blocking approaches that remind me of Hummel’s work.
Magda Sayeg is another yarnbomber who does both sanctioned and non-sanctioned art on the streets and has also done tree cozies.