Collection: Crochet

Granny Squares

Status: In progress

During the height of the pandemic, many people, especially women, especially young women, took up crochet or knitting. I was one of them. This community developed on social media, specifically TikTok, of people sharing what they were creating and the patterns they were making. There is a lot of collaboration and building upon each other's work. A supportive and beautiful creative community was formed based on this centuries-old medium through a contemporary platform. 

I took to crocheting quickly and learned through Youtube videos and blogs. The skill was in me - my maternal great grandmother crocheted and my paternal grandmother knitted. 

As I continued this practice, questions around artistic validity of the medium began to form. Fibre or textile arts are not as easily considered fine art compared to painting or sculpture due to their historic relegation to the realm of "woman's craft". Textile art connects to the adjectives associated with feminine in a fundamental and physical way: soft, approachable, delicate. Fine art in its physical form is masculine, and defies those feminine elements. Fine art is hard, often intellectually inaccessible, always physically inaccessible (no touching!), and strong. How do I modify crochet so it possess the qualities of hardness, inaccessibility, and strength? How do I make crochet unapproachable? How do I make it impossible to touch?

Granny squares are a quintessential stitch and bring to mind the 70s for me, when my grandmothers were parenting my parents. Given the name, it is impossible not to associate this stitch with femininity. In this project, I will be making a blanket out of granny squares. Typically a granny square blanket would be created by stitching together many granny squares. However, to create a crochet work that is hard, inaccessible, and strong, I will be encasing each granny square with resin, and connecting each square with metal hooks. By intercepting the process of making a granny square blanket at the point of joining each square, I am able to access fundamental elements of fine art, transforming a soft, accessible blanket into a hard and untouchable piece of fine art.

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