April 8, 2023

Program and Workshop

The Artist:

Jo Hamilton moved from Scotland to Portland, Oregon, in the 1990s after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art. She continued making art and eventually began to experiment using crochet, which her Gran taught her at the age of six. Her technique evolved over time, uniting her craft heritage with her fine art training. It enables her to create tactile art objects that reference everyday life, while simultaneously exploring conventions of western fine art and traditional craft. Her work is large scale and may appear realistic at first, but the colors, textures and hanging threads reveal her process and medium. She works directly from photos without sketches or patterns, beginning in the middle and working outwards until the substance of the representation is secured in her knots. The process is time-consuming, but slowly the images materialize knot-by-knot in rows of color and pattern, the products of tiny actions. Her studio walls are lined with thousands of balls of yarn arranged by color and tone, mostly found in thrift stores. To date she has completed dozens of crocheted works, often in series, including portraits, nudes, masks, cityscapes, mug shots, and commissioned work.

Guild Meeting/Program: Figurative Crochet in Landscape and Portrait

Jo Hamilton will describe her methods of work to depict both people and places using the crochet stitch.

Date/Time: April 8, 2023 10:30 AM (following Guild meeting)

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854


Extended Workshop: Figurative Crochet Cityscapes

Each participant will create a cityscape or cityscapes from crocheted yarn, using practical and creative techniques to create color, depth, interest, and perspective in their work. Participants should be proficient in basic crochet, i.e., chain stitch, single crochet in rounds, rows, and increasing and decreasing. Double crochet can also be used in places, as well as loop stitch may be used for trees and foliage. Participants will learn practical ways to transform a printed image into representational crochet art, learning how to describe an image and ‘paint’ with yarn using color, line, texture, stitch variation, and row direction. Participants will learn how to break down a seemingly complicated scene into manageable areas, and a variety of techniques to render those areas pictorially in yarn. We will be discussing Hamilton’s own crochet techniques, how to mix colors in order to create shade and depth, as well as how to incorporate other useful and fun patterns and approaches such as tapestry crochet, afghan patterns and even granny squares into our work. We will also welcome participants’ own ideas, input and technical experience– there really is no right or wrong to this way of working. Participants should expect to complete a small or medium sized piece (around 1-2 feet) by the end of the workshop.

Date/Time: April 5, 6, and 7 (before the Guild meeting) 10:00 to 4:00 PM

Locations: PFAG member home in Laurel, MD

Workshop Fee: Members: $240.00 Non-Members: $330.00

Student Supply List:
Image: Participants should bring at least one printed image (or more if they want a choice) of a cityscape that they want to crochet and two extra copies of each for marking up. It can be helpful to break down an image into separate workable areas before beginning. This can be a printout of a jpeg image, a photograph, a painting or drawing, a magazine clipping, etc. Choose something that is meaningful to you– it could be your own street or house, a favorite local or national landmark, building, or street scene, or an international destination or skyline.

Yarns: Bring a variety of yarns in enough colors to interpret your chosen image. These yarns will be your palette, so be sure to include lights and darks as well as your chosen colors. Yarns can have any thicknesses and any fiber content preferred–cotton, wool, silk, acrylic, mohair, etc. Thinner yarns can be useful for mixing colors, i.e., crocheting more than one yarn together at a time. Textured, patterned, and variegated yarns can also add interest.

Other supplies: Crochet hooks in the 3.25-5mm range, and larger hooks if using any chunkier yarns; scissors and yarn needles to sew in your ends if desired; pen or pencil and paper or notebook if you
like to draw or take notes during the workshop

Click here to print supply list.