Jo Hamilton, a Portland-based artist, creates realistic images of people and her environment using the unexpectedly domestic medium of crochet. Her formative training at the Glasgow School of Art was in painting and drawing but, by her own admission, she was never entirely comfortable with the traditional approach.
“My house is filled with balls of yarn, all arranged by colour on shelves. I can pull them out as I need them for my palate. A portrait can take anything up to forty or fifty hours, but I haven’t actually counted, and I spend just as much time looking as actually crocheting. The pieces evolve from the inside out. I make no graphs, plans or charts; it’s a row-by-row organic process in which I don’t always know the outcome, but have learned to trust my way of working,” says the artist.
Her method of working is more like a painter with their box of paints than a person taking out their crochet for a few hours of relaxation.