As a child, most of the gifts I received from my beloved grannie were either crocheted or knitted with two needles. Before me, she was the best craftswoman in the world. At an early age, maybe I was five or six years old, I asked her to teach me how to knit with two needles. The result: catastrophic, nothing more, nothing less. She taught me how to mount stitches, and I would unmount them, and she, who did magic with those needles and who would teach everyone, was unable to get her young granddaughter to imitate her gestures. Slippers, shawls, scarves, anything and everything, and this was just with yarn. Evidently, my interest towards developing my crafty abilities was forgotten in a drawer for quite some time, even when I have always loved handmade pieces to keep me warm all through the winter.
But what does this have to do with La Gourmandista? Well, quite a lot, because as you might imagine, a lot of what I read nowadays is about food or in some way related to it, and just a few weeks ago, as I was going through my emails and my social media timeline, I saw something that really attired my attention: crocheted food!
My challenge was to get in touch with the artist and get to know his work; his amazing work. The more I researched and found about his platters and trays, the more I fell in love with his work.
Trevor Smith learned to crochet at an early age. His mother, Jean, taught him when he was still in primary school, and although this is a hobby for him, he can devote up to 40 hours a week during the evenings and through the weekend. An artist in every sense of the word, he has been a curator of various art and cultural collections for more than 30 years of experience he has had in the field, for he holds a degree in Visual Arts and Sculpting.
Away from major cities in the far south of the State of Victoria, in the small town of Portland, in southern Australia, Trevor can crochet anywhere and pretty much anything as long as he has his hook and a ball of wool. He doesn’t even use patterns. He gets inspired; he creates. In the past, he used to crochet wearables and blankets like most people do; however, later on, he started to do tea-cosies; more sculptural pieces, yet equally functional as a sweater or a scarf.
In time, Trevor worked in soft sculptures, patchwork and quilting, and even costumes. Then, after a 25-year hiatus, crochet returned to his life and evolved. Then, he began to work on more artsy pieces, and even an exhibit. In December, 2017 he created an exhibition called ‘Cocktail Hour’ at the Michael Reid Sydney Contemporary Art Gallery where one could see retro food and appliances, household items and ‘housewife’ tea-cosies and even buy them. A real treat!
I am sure that in 2018 we’ll get to see more and more of this great story-teller, for each piece he crochets has a specific story, but is part of a bigger one as well, and hopefully we’ll get to personally meet each other.
All photographs courtesy of the Artist and Michel Reid Sydney.