Crochet Talent Served Up on a Plate
Artist Kate Jenkins Crochets Food Too Cute to Eat
By Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence
UK-based crochet and knit artist Kate Jenkins started crafting yarn-y food installations in 1995. Her work has steadily gained recognition over time but a series of new installations has really caught the attention of the media, giving a global focus to this well-deserving crochet artist. Jenkins puts a playful twist on classic foods in exhibits that make people smile.
UK’s Fave Foods in Crochet
Jenkins specializes in taking some of the UK’s favorite foods and turning them into beautiful works of crochet art that are eye-catching and just a little bit cheeky.
Various versions of the classic Fish and Chips plate are a terrific example of this theme in her work.
Above, Kate gives a light yarn twist to a classic heavy meat and potatoes dish popular in the UK.
What is dinner without dessert? Kate has also done a series of crocheted sweets that are cute enough to eat, like the goodies above.
American Crochet Foods
As Jenkins gained attention for her work and began exhibiting in the United States she turned her focus to the classic foods that Americans love. Her New York exhibit called Kate’s Diner featured whimsical twists on eggs and bacon (above), among many other foods.
Kate’s Crochet Market
Although Kate’s individual crocheted plates are special, what she really does best is create entire impressive installations. Her displays include huge banquets of food or the aforementioned diner installation. In 2011 she tackled the idea of a marketplace and created a London display of packaged foods like "crocheted" tomato soup, baked beans with "tomato stitches", and ketchup (labeled "tomato stitchup").
Humorous Crochet Art
One of the things people really love about Jenkins’ art is that she infuses a sense of humor into her pieces. One way she does this is through the titles of her work, for example playing off of the stitchwork by calling a piece “String of Sewsages”, below.
Likewise, she’s done several pieces like French Fries (above) that give French faces and style to the foods. Love those tiny berets! Other times, it’s just the unexpected that catches viewers off guard, as is the case with her Can of Worms In Wool, below.
It’s Not All Funny Business
Jenkins may please us now with her humorous crochet food but she has extensive experience in crochet and knit work with a more serious side. She is a knitwear designer who sold her work to many well-known labels over the years including Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and the Missoni brand. Eventually, she decided to create her own fashion and home decor line called Cardigan (her hedgehog pillow is above). Beautiful graphic prints are combined with some cheekier pieces that infuse fun into home and personal style.
Kate has also taken on some large projects including the decoration of the Hotel Pelirocco knit and crochet hotel room, a 2008 exhibit called Soft Smokes that made a statement about the region’s then-new smoking ban, and a crochet garden exhibit called Cardigan in Bloom (below) rich in bees, butterflies, and other bright creatures.
Additionally, Kate has taken on collaborations with others including Pommery Champagne, Macmillan Cancer Support and cult comic authors Modern Toss (below). One of her most amazing collaborations was work on a crocheted landscape in the shape of a sheep that just recently went on display at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.
Coming Up from Kate Jenkins
Kate’s work will be displayed in the UK in May in an exhibit of five artists called The Illustrated Recipe in which “5 artists re-interpret the delights of the Regency banquet in 5 very different ways”. Kate’s art is sometimes on sale through The Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London.
If you enjoy crochet art then you may want to check out our previous posts on artist Arlene Fisch who has a new display of crochet wire jellyfish, who does wire knit art; Susanna Bauer, who crochets around leaves and other organic materials; and Yvette Kaiser Smith, who crochets with plexiglass.