Wednesday, February 04, 2009

crochet genius: helle jorgenson

i am long overdue in posting another crochet genius. way back in december i posed my five questions to the incredible helle jorgenson, whose crochet coral and barnacles could easily pass for real. she is an artist who has shown work all over the world and she is extremely inspiring. most of her pieces are made from recycled plastic bags or 'pre-loved' tapestry wool she finds at thrift stores. helle's gorgeous jewelry and art pieces can be purchased in her shop, gooseflesh, and you might also want to take a look at her embroidery and drawings. and if you want to crochet with plastic bags, she'll show you how!

1. how and when did you learn to crochet?

My paternal grandmother (Agnes Jorgensen) taught me when I was a little girl. During the last five years I have expanded my crochet knowledge by reading mostly vintage crochet books and patterns. Books from the 60's and 70's especially are fun............ it was a time when crochet design was wild and free. My favourite book is Crochet Workshop, by James Walters (which I bought for $2 in my local Op-shop). It's full of "groovy" photos and garments. This book teaches the complex fundamentals of crochet.

2. what is your favorite stitch?

The bullion stitch....... it's beautiful and lends itself to making ocean-related creatures, e.g. barnacles and sea-squirts, or Cunjevoi, as the Australian Aborigines call them. It's also makes a graceful crochet finger dance.

3. what do you love about crochet?

Its sculptural potential. Its mathematical quality. The freedom of movement provided by using one hook; it enables one to push the limits whilst experimenting. The rhythm of the hand movements (crochet finger dance) and the meditative quality of the repetition. Sometimes I find myself breathing in rhythm with the crochet movements. It also connects me to generations of crocheting women around the world.

4. do you have any special/favorite materials or tools that you crochet with?

At the moment, I'm using yarn made from discarded plastic bags to make sea creatures. The process of experimenting with unusual yarns made from recycled materials is one of my favorite things to do.

5. any interesting plans, projects, or new directions in your crochet future?

I plan to continue to push the boundaries of crochet by experimenting with materials, abstraction, scale and colour. Collecting is a big part of my practise......... I'd like to include found objects in my work and crochet whole collections. The possibilities are endless.

thanks helle!

1 comment:

jen said...

ooh, LOVE!