I was so inspired by my interview with Tumaini and Chason, which appears in my monthly “Crochet Heals” column in Issue 38 of Happily Hooked digital magazine. These creative artists are so incredibly inspiring. Here are some photos and questions that didn’t make it into the original article …
Who are some crochet artists/ yarn bombers who inspire you?
Chason: There are some seriously insane crochet artists out there, and I find that I am constantly being inspired. A couple of months ago Ann Mondro held an exhibition of her work called Intertwine which consisted of extremely intricate anatomical replicas of internal organs crocheted with wire… what!? Now I’m obsessed with her. I like Dee from @OffDHookCreations and @My_Kinda_Thing who both create customized dolls for girls of colour. I’ve been following both of their work for a while, and they pay such attention to detail; their doll making game is on point. Ernesto Neto and Olek with their larger than life crochet installations. The list goes on forever…
Tumaini: To be honest, I am always the most inspired by the people we have taught to crochet or that we crochet with. Whether someone dedicates themselves to learning something new [crochet], chooses to come to connect with others, or comes to the craft with their own intentions – it marvels me. Firstly, that they are trusting me enough to go on that journey, but also the bravery it takes to challenge ourselves to grow in unfamiliar ways. It is endlessly humbling and encouraging. The inspiration is that synergy, the collective growing and learning together.
What is the number one reason that you crochet?
Chason: The number one reason I crochet is because it makes me so unbelievably happy.
Tumaini: It is technical and creative versatility. I like the technicality of the skill and how it can be used in whatever ways I want. Whether as a tool of community connection, a kindness and love movement, to develop education tools, to look fly, as mindfulness meditation…knowing the skill of crochet provides so many creative possibilities. The longer I crochet the more that unfolds to me, including my personal growth.
Excerpted from the article … When asked about mindful crochet, something they’ve done together in workshops, Chason said (in part): “We both understand how meditative and restoring crochet can be, and when facilitating workshops we would always say, “crochet is a great way to lose yourself; to think about everything that’s going on, or to think about nothing at all and just focus on the craft.” I think the idea was there from the get-go, and thanks to all of the stress-management, and anger-maintenance crochet workshops we’ve facilitated, we knew that crochet was an answer. The amazing people at The 519 Community Centre allowed for this idea to finally come into fruition, and gave us a space so that we could practice freely and give people a place to learn to cope, connect and be mindful.”
Where we can follow your work?
Read the full interview in Happily Hooked to learn how each of these crafters learned to crochet, the story behind Acts of Kindness, tips for teaching crochet and more about the benefits of crafting in community.