We recently hosted Katie Jo for another successful Crochet workshop in the studio. You can follow her on Instagram 
Recently we’ve started interviewing our guest tutors for our blog…So here goes… 

Tell us a little about yourself, what’s your creative background?

I have always loved the arts and in recent years: textiles and crochet. My Art History final degree show centred around ceramic sculptures in the form of hybrid creatures and ever since then I have created art that is unusual with a touch of humour too.

I have been a crochet designer and maker since 2009. My designs include quirky amigurumi (Japanese Crochet) characters from literature and history, mini cacti gardens and jewellery, as well as personalised wedding couple commissions. I set up KatieJoHookandSew last year and I have taught crochet for almost two years.

What’s the workshop you’ve been running?

My most recent class was a Crochet Necklace Workshop. The group was small and friendly and everyone went home with their own bead and crocheted necklace, along with the skills to recreate more at home.

And how did it go? 

It was lots of fun, this particular group were all beginners, I particularly enjoy starting new crocheters on their creative journey. Learning the basics can be tricky and require lots of concentration, but  there was a very light-hearted, jovial feel to the workshop, lots of laughter while we worked.

What challenges do you face as an artist?

My creative work is very bespoke so it only appeals to a small niche market, this means I have to work hard to market and promote my wares (not a task I particularly enjoy). Also artists and makers are up against the mighty competition of cheap consumables that saturate the market place.

What brings you the most joy about your work?

Seeing the delight when family or friends receive a unique crocheted gift or when someone I’ve taught learns to create something for themselves with their new-found skills. I also enjoy the community spirit experienced when collaborating with others. I have previously been involved in various projects with authors, local yarn/stitching groups, community groups and, earlier this year, assisted an amazing international textile designer to run two workshops in Brighton.

How do you incorporate environmental issues and sustainability into your work?

My work is sustainable in that a lot of my tools and materials are recycled and/or reusable. Crochet hooks will last for years without needing to be replaced, often bought originally from charity shops, as well as buying and using recycled yarn.

What do you do to gain inspiration? 

I find that my ideas often evolve out of other projects or pieces I’m working on. Inspiration for me can happen when I’m browsing patterns online and discussing ideas with other designers. Also if I can find the time in my busy week a peaceful couple of hours in my little garden studio can usually put me in a good creative frame of mind.