TCW - Culture, Dining & Nightlife

5 Ways to Go from Crafter to Radical Artist

Our story, Radical Artists Who Work with Yarn, is just the tip of the iceberg of the cutting-edge work from emerging art who use textiles and traditional materials. The top 5 list below is a simple guide to making the transition yourself.

1.       Become a Yarn Bomber. The crafty, kissing-cousin to graffiti artists simply knits or crochets a cozy for something that doesn't belong to them.


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Decorate trees, put cardigans on nude sculptures and cozies on bike racks. Join the massive Flickr group to upload your handiwork. Tip: Fire hydrants seem to be unchartered territory, so I recommend those for craft innovators.
2.       Roll your own. The main problem with traditional crafting is that the manufactures give you the designs. Cats, cute little-girl dresses, a smiling sunshine icon - get rid of it. Make your own scrapbook accessories instead of buying the ready-made. Don't get a Cricut, get a machine that die cuts designs from your own (computer) and imagination. Blick's sells rubber pads and carving tools to make your own stamps.
3.       Focus on the negative. If you stick with the seven deadly sins, and themes related to sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, you're in the club. Murder, disfunction, gore, and fetish  can immediately replace babies, puppies, cupcakes, and hearts, and you're immediately welcomed to the club. A classic example is Patricia Waller's plush-doll death scenes.

Patricia Waller -

 4.       Eco art/ social art.  Re-use that old condom by encasing it in resin and wearing as a pendant! Embellish with tiny sperm made out of Sculpey! How cute is that? And social art - all you have to do is knit in a group as a way of ending war. In social art, you never have to explain how a group or action is going to accomplish this, the beauty of contemporary art is that you just state your purpose and ignore the details.


5.       Write a manifesto. If all the above sounds too hard, simply approach a radical gallery with your hand-knitted sock and an empty box. Write an artists' statement about how they aren't socks at all, and shouldn't be viewed as socks. State that the empty box is actually the sock. It's genius.  All you have to do is make sure your artist statement is completely incompressible, make sure you use the phrase "performative", and keep that dictionary handy! Easy peasey!



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