Artist, performer, and professional wrestler Mikki Yamashiro creates bold, playful, and all around cool crochet works. Based in Los Angeles, California, she learned to crochet at an early age and has since experimented with her techniques, adding a modern twist to the otherwise traditional artform.
“As a teenager, I learned how to crochet from my mom, Takako Yamashiro,” she recalled in an interview with the Urban Outfitters blog. “I never learned how to read patterns. It definitely wasn’t an immediate love, I would crochet a scarf here and there, but it’s nothing serious. Then one summer, years ago, I decided to try to make matching costumes for my best friend and me. They were neon and rainbow and very short, because I got too excited and wanted us to wear them before they were actually ‘done.’ Once I figured out that crochet could be so much more than scarfs and baby blankets, the possibilities were endless. I have been consistently crocheting since then, making costumes, bikinis, soft sculpture, wall hangings, pillows, giant portraits based on the Cathy comics…”
“Crochet is a time-consuming process, so usually when I am half-way into a project, I have already gotten an idea for the next piece,” she added. “I try to challenge myself to do something new, whether it is a new technique or subject matter. Crochet is so versatile and I want to use this medium in new ways. With so much being produced by machine, ‘perfection’ is no longer interesting to me. I used to strive for the ability and skill to be able to produce physically what I envisioned mentally. But now, the changes that occur in the translation from the imagination to material, feel exciting and human. I see what is lost or misinterpreted in translation as the interesting and unique part of the magic that is created when something is made by hand.”
Indeed, her hand-crafted works are infused with the kind of magic that hand-crafted items always carry within them, making her items personal, endearing, and all the more creative. Take a look at some of her creations in the gallery below.