When I first took a look at the crochet portraits done by Pat Ahern I immediately thought of artist Jo Hamilton, the only other crochet artist I know of who is doing similar work. After just another glance, selv, I could immediately tell that this artist definitely has his own unique style that sets his work apart from Jo’s despite the similarities in their design. I had to know more about him.
About Pat Ahern
Californa-based artist Pat Ahern learned to both knit and crochet from his mother during his last year in high school. He started out crochet wearables but soon learned that he especially liked using crochet to create wall art. His work evolved into the crochet portraits that he does today. He does both facial portraits and full-length, sometimes life-sized, portraits in crochet, detailed images that show expression, character and creativity. His most recent work has been in going from 2D portraiture to creating figures in 3D. I like what I see so far and am excited to see his work develop over time. Ahern also does continue to knit and crochet some wearables and other items, which he sells in en Etsy butik alongside vintage patterns.
Pat Ahern Q&A
I had the opportunity to interview the artist about his crochet portraits, the vintage patterns he sells through Etsy and more. Her er hvad han havde at sige:
Q: You learned to knit and crochet from your mom when you were young … does she still craft?
My mom will always craft. She’s a master knitter, crocheter and seamstress. In addition to selling felted purses, børn’ aprons and blankets on hendes Etsy butik, she’s the one who makes things for the whole family! Hun har designet syet opbakning til alle mine portrætter (og gjort dem alle) og hun fortsætter med at inspirere mig.
Dette er en hæklet portræt Ahern for nylig afsluttet sin mor, da hun var yngre. Han bemærker: “Lige nu er det en smule wonky - det stadig behov for at blive blokeret!”
Q: Ja, lad os tale om dine hæklede portrætter! Dette er et meget unikt område af hæklet kunst. Jo Hamilton er den eneste anden person, jeg kender, hvem der gør noget lignende. Hvordan kom du til at begynde at gøre disse portrætter? Kan du fortælle os lidt om processen med, hvordan du går fra at se på en person til at skabe deres hæklet portræt?
Jo Hamilton er forbløffende! Det er sjovt, Jeg var på udkig efter lignende hæklede portrætter et par år siden, og jeg kom over Jo Hamilton kunst og jeg kontaktede hende. Vi har været i kontakt fra tid til anden i løbet af årene. Jeg var glad for at se, at der var en anden gør gobeliner med hæklet – og det var godt at vide, at vi ikke var alene. Jo er meget talentfuld, og der er et link på min hjemmeside til hendes. Vi har begge vores egen tilgang til det, så det er godt for kunstform.
Det startede for mig med et billede af Clara Bow og min frustration med tøj konstruktion. Jeg regnede jeg kunne hækle de forskellige former ved at følge fotografiet. Resultatet var ikke så godt! Jeg var ved hjælp af crocheter s bomuld, som ikke har nogen Giv den, og billedet blev forvrænget – som en sindssyg karklud. Jeg samlet en masse uld, fordi jeg elskede farverne og fornemmelsen af det, men det gjorde mine hatte og tørklæder unwearable. Jeg begyndte at bruge mere uld og akryl, og jeg fik bedre resultater.
Folks ansigter er vanskelige at hækle fordi hvis du bruger de forkerte masker, resultatet ligner intet personen. Jeg bruger sort-hvide billeder, når jeg hækle og farvefotos som reference, sammen med en krog, der vil give mig den ønskede sporvidde. Jeg starter som regel med en ring – et øje på et portræt eller lysende punkt på et objekt. Jeg måle dimensioner og bare hæklede figurer ved hjælp mange sting efter hvad jeg kan se, overensstemmelse med min gauge. Ligesom med justering af mønstre, Jeg ændre billedet lidt – skiftende farver, sætte i andre kropsstillinger og baggrunde til at passe, hvad jeg vil. Jeg kan lide at trække det meste af mit garn ender på bagsiden af stykket, but I keep the ends out for other parts like hair and grass to give it more variation.
Q: Sounds like a complex, but fun, crochet process! What challenges are there in starting and completing a crochet portrait?
The first challenge is determining the size and the second is color. These things can easily end up 9 feet tall if you’re not careful! For me now its easier to make them life sized or slightly larger. Once I start crocheting, some things work and others do not. Human features like eyes and hands take a few versions. Creating the folding and draping effect of clothes and filling in all the spots just takes patience. The final challenges are blocking the piece and then sewing the backing. Blocking takes time, stretching, og en sprayflaske – i det mindste kan jeg hækle, mens det tørrer. Med min mor bor på østkysten, syning er udfordrende for mig, men nødvendigt, så portrættet kan hænge og ikke fordreje.
Q: Jeg kan se fra dit Etsy butik, selv om din kunst er hæklet behøver du også stadig strikke undertiden. Jeg ville elske at vide, hvordan du se forskelle og ligheder mellem de to håndværk og hvad der kan gøre dig vælge hæklet løbet strikke til et bestemt projekt.
Hæklet var den første håndværk jeg lærte, så er det rigtigt at sige, jeg er mere tryg ved det. Ved hjælp af en enkelt krog, det egner sig bedre til free-form arbejde; du er ikke begrænset til et gitter ved at have alle dine masker på nålen som med strikning. Jeg føler, at jeg kan udrette noget resultat jeg har brug for med blot en krog. The great thing about knitting is that I can always go right back to it without hesitation. The last thing I knitted was a while ago for 5 Second Films. My friend wanted me to knit some dynamite, but I told him I could also crochet it if he would like that better. I could tell he didn’t know what to say – but my brother said that I should knit it because it plays better on camera! I think more people know what knitting is, and they think crochet is the same thing. I have found that I can substitute crochet for knitting, but not so much the other way around. There is one portrait I have been working on that incorporates a knit hat I made years ago – so it still has its place in my artwork. I am a big fan of knit cabling and knitted sweaters always look nice to me!
Q: You seem to enjoy vintage patterns … what inspires you about them? Where else do you derive inspiration for your work?
Most vintage patterns are timeless. Many patterns today are reinterpretations or variations on patterns of the past. I would receive yarn and patterns from my mom’s friends who were cleaning out their closets. I liked all of the Bernat patterns and even old Workbasket magazines. These books were written in a language that only crafters could understand and it’s like being part of a club. Not to mention that some of the pictures in the old patterns can be quite entertaining!
I have met many crafters, including my girlfriend, who do not like following patterns. I never did either, but we all learn from them and now make our own patterns. The most important things I learned from my mom about crochet were maintaining gauge and the nature of stitches. These are the focus of every pattern; my tapestries are patterns. The vintage patterns are the same language, same stitches as patterns today and that is comforting. I find inspiration in yarn, familie, kunst, mønstre, and even work. I like challenges.
Q: Despite the fact that there are many amazing male crocheters today it is still widely viewed as a female craft form … any thoughts on this based on your own experience as a guy who crochets?
There should be no question that it is a female craft form because girls and women are and have been the major contributors to the craft. It is a craft that can be for everyone and has seen more acceptance with teaching children of both genders because of its benefits for hand-eye coordination and understanding math.
Desværre, throughout time I think that men have viewed it as a female hobby rather than a craft like wood or metal working. This may have worked in the craft’s favor because the women who have shaped it have been able to do so more freely. It is a unique craft because of its female dominance – the worlds of cooking and fashion design are male-dominated, even though their sole inspiration comes from their mother’s cooking and the female form. I have only been welcomed by the crafting community, women and men. We all inspire each other and that is what art is about.
I started crocheting to make stuff for a girl; I never got the girl, but I kept the craft. I did it because I enjoyed it, and it never bothered me that men would look at me weird when I would talk about it. Female crafters understood the language, so it was not an issue in the community. Gennem årene, I was concerned that I was a novelty or becoming a gimmick because I was a man that knit and crocheted. With the tapestries, I just do my own thing and I have stopped worrying about what I thought others were thinking.
Q: What a great perspective on the development of a female-centered craft. So glad you shared that! I agree that anyone who might have an issue with men doing needlework shouldn’t be someone to worry about, selv. Så … Where would you like to see your crochet art go in the next few years?
I would like to see my crochet art continue to evolve. I have been working on 3-dimensional crochet art and continue to crochet new things that are challenging for me. I would like to see my art go on more walls in the next few years!
Pat Ahern on Yarn
On his website, Ahern notes that it’s fun to explore with different types of yarn. He says:
“Yarn has many colors and textures. Many effects can be achieved with different yarns – like paint, and stitches – like brush strokes. I enjoy using wool tapestry yarn because of its rich colors and small yardage, which makes it easier to work with. Akryl garn bruges til at nå andre teksturer og effekter, såsom med tøj, og til at udfylde store områder af billedet.”
Andre Lignende Hæklet Kunstnere
Som jeg nævnte, Ahern kunst minder mig en smule Jo Hamilton da de begge gør det enestående arbejde med at skabe hæklede portrætter
Hvad Ahern gør, er væg gobeliner i hækling, så der også gør mig til at tænke på arbejdet fra Rachelle Vasquez