Illustrations with crochet frames

One of the things I love and have experimented with is the blend of contemporary techniques with traditional elements. I always have on my mind the image of my grandmother with her white thread and the finest hooks crocheting all kinds of traditional decorative textiles.

Now, being surrounded by these objects in the place where she once lived, I use the same tools in a different way to give life to my own projects. The result feels surprisingly meaningful to me, as it connects my present with my past and gives roots to my ideas, as if to allow them grow.
Three character black and white drawings: a girl with long hair and glasses, a woman with curly hair and a man with ling beard and bird's feet

Through the last couple of years I have been drawing a series of characters inspired by people around me. I like to work on paper using my favorite medium, a 0.1 black marker. Black & white feels so right most of the time. Sometimes though, I take my illustrations to the other side, filling them with loads of color, using my favorite Letraset TRIA pantone markers, as well as simple kids’ markers. 

Colorful illustration with a dog, a cat, a fireplace, a window, a girl and plants

I was thinking how I could expose those little sketches to the world. I felt that using a common frame would affect their personality. So, I came up with the idea of crocheting custom frames. It’s been quite a while since I have wanted to combine yarns, threads or fibers with my illustrations. For my first project, I decided to limit myself in using the yarn as a framing material, rather than as a coloring tool. However, I am already thinking my next project, which will definitely be more experimental. 

Man's character drawing with crocheted yellow, purple and black oval handmade frame

I started by selecting a couple of my character designs, made on thick paper. This allowed me to make small holes around the illustration, which I used as base stitches to start building the frame. After a bit of testing, I decided to use cotton embroidery floss, without separating its threads, which I crocheted on the paper base using a 1 mm hook. I used color, which works in contrast with my black & white drawings and gives them a touch of playfulness. I couldn't help thinking that, in a funny way, these little framed portraits looked like my own little saints.

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