toshiko horiuchi macadam

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Crochet Playgrounds by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam

Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi-MacAdam is considered one of Japan’s leading fiber artists, using knitting and crochet as the foundation for much of her work. 

Her website explains that she specializes in “creating large, interactive textile environments that function both as imaginative and vibrant explorations of color and form, at the same time as providing thrilling play environments.”

Instagram.com/WeTheUrban

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This past weekend my boy and I ran away for a bit to the mountain town of Hakone. While we were there we visited the Hakone Open Air Museum. It has a fantastic collection of art by various Japanese artists as well as artists from all over the world.

My favorite piece has to be Wonder Space II by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. It is a fantastical crocheted playscape housed in the “Woods of Nets” (a beautiful wooden structure that resembles a wooden igloo or an upturned birds nest). 

It was totally the highlight of my weekend. 

The crochet structure is constructed of various circular nets connected together at the side and layered on top of each. Children can crawl through the various layers to climb up to the top where they seemed to be having a ball running back and forth bouncing across the canopy. 

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Artists Using Crochet

Try to think of crochet outside of any preconceived ideas you might have about it. Crocheting is a just another way of constructing fiber and fiber-like materials into a structure that can be manipulated to serve your art production.

Here are some examples of contemporary artists using crocheted (or knitted) processes in their work….

Images from top:

Miyoshi Barosh

Ruth Asawa

Toshiko Horiuchi-MacAdams

Josh Faught

Alexandra Berkin

Jim Drain

Yarn Bombing Los Angeles

Sarah Applebaum

Lindsay Degen