photo by Laure Joliet
This week’s crochet artist profile is of Kristen Wicklund, an artist and designer who works with fiber, pottery and recycled plastic bags. This combination of materials has led to an interesting body of work rooted in natural, simple designs.
About Crochet Artist Kristen Wicklund
Kristen Wicklund is a New York based artist known best for her porcelain lace work. This crochet work has been featured on Design Sponge and in Brides Magazine. Kristen recieved her BFA in graphic design, studied ceramic arts with Kathy Erteman and was the resident artist at Greenwich House Pottery in Greenwich Village for two years. She is now a faculty member of that Greenwich Village creative space. She had her first solo exhibition in 2010 in California. Wicklund makes beautiful ceramic pottery but we’re going to focus on her crochet work for this profile although I should note that most of this work dates back to 2010 or before; her most recent work is primarily pottery including some adorable berry baskets that she sells through Etsy.
Crochet in Kristen Wicklund’s Body of Work
There are currently two different bodies of crochet art in Wicklund’s portfolio. Her porcelain lace gets the most attention. Design Sponge explained that Kristen uses a unique process that she created; she crochets cotton lace shapes then dips it in liquid porcelain, fires the piece in a mold to burn away the fiber, effectively leaving behind crocheted porcelain. Each individual piece differs from the next but the art has some similarities. The porcelain lace is done in white and then set against a single, bold colored background (often, but not always, a wall). I like the natural feel of the work as well as the interesting use of background color.
This work can definitely be appreciated just for its simple beauty, but there’s a message behind it as well. Kristen herself explained it to Hand Eye blog by saying:
“I am very interested in time-intensive craftwork created by women for use in the home,” she writes. “Doilies are fascinating to me because they were typically made not to be objects of art themselves, but to draw attention to whatever was placed on top of them. In the 1950s-60s, doily patterns were clearly marketed towards middle-upper class women supporting their husbands’ careers by entertaining –and impressing—in the home. To me, the doily is a metaphor for the women who made them; dressing up in order to showcase someone else. In creating this work, I encourage people to see crochet in a new way.”
The other crochet work that Wicklund does is taking plastic bags that she finds on the streets of New York and crocheting them into textiles. I haven’t found as much information about this, yet.
Favorite Crochet Art Examples
Porcelain Lace Crochet:
Untitled 2010 Living Room Installation.
Queen Anne’s Lace New York Installation, 2009.
From Kristen’s 2010 solo exhibition
Other Similar Crochet Artists
When looking at the porcelain lace work by Kristen Wicklund, I can’t help but reminded of Catherine Carr’s crochet glass:
And the ceramic doily art of NeSpoon:
But the plarn crochet reminds me more of the art of Julie Kornblum:
Do you find yourself more drawn to Wicklund’s porcelain lace pieces or her recycled plastic bag crochet?