I know that I’ve been a terrible blogger and haven’t written here since December, but I spent Nov 2019 – June 2020 developing and working on my first crochet installation. I also left my job in social media and now work full time helping a company create video content for artists and makers. But let me tell you all about the installation “Sucre Fleuf!” now on exhibition at Sweet Tooth Hotel in Dallas, TX as part of a group fiber art show called Intangible.
This is the first year that the Craft Yarn Council has offered an artist in residency for a handful of amazing female fiber artists to unleash their dreams and creativity in yarn. I’m so honored to be part of this!
As I mentioned, we have all been working on our spaces since late 2019. We then met up in Dallas in March for a week to install our pieces, get to know each other, and check out each other’s works in progress. In the show, you’ll find crocheting, knitting, tufting, weaving, latch-hooking, all manner of art in yarn form! It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
I’ll share photos of the other artists spaces later (check out Sweet Tooth’s Instagram), but for now, I thought I’d let you know what I worked on for 8-9 months. I know you will ask if the patterns will be available, and yes, that is my next project. I want to try self-publishing a little book of crochet patterns filled with bread, cakes, and pastries. Right now my patterns are in a really rough form with not-so-great photography. It’s really re-making the projects and taking photos that makes pattern-writing a whole time-consuming production!
Here’s a little video walk-through I made on my phone when Manda and I visited the show in June. Due to Covid 19, we were very careful, and were only in Dallas for less than 24 hours before coming home. I felt very lucky she was able to travel with me. It made the trip much less scary!
When I was first asked to participate, I kept thinking that I had to work BIG, on a large scale. However, since I live in California and the show is in Dallas, the idea of shipping something very large also seemed daunting. I sketched a few different proposals for the gallery, and ultimately I realized that my creative wheelhouse is in scarves and amigurumi, and then the idea for Sucre Fleuf! was born. “Sucre” means sugar and “Fleuf” is a a word I sort of made-up that sounds French-ish and refers to the fluff of the stuffing I use and the fluff of a delicious cake. It’s also a bit of a riff on “Sacre Bleu!”
It was quite an experience to sketch something out in Photoshop and to see it come to life in reality. Everyone at Sweet Tooth was so helpful. It was their team that actually built out the whole space and painted everything. I just had to come in and arrange all the crocheted pieces. I watched someone put together the pegs on the donut wall and that already seemed like complete magic to me!
This is the patisserie side of the bakery, filled with super cute sweets. Bags of pastel marshmallow bunnies, assorted ice cream cone friends, big heart cakes and birthday cakes, cream puff rosters, star-shaped cakes, and little pastries like tiny bear cakes, swan cream puffs, and raspberry St. Honores. Oh yeah, and two donut walls!
Inside the cabinets you’ll find fancy jellies and baking supplies. I love these squishy bags of flour and sugar! And I need to make more little pats of butter!
The other side of the bakery is the boulangerie, where you’ll find bunny baguettes, sourdough turtles, cat loaves, and teddy bear bread rolls. In the cabinet are sleepy pup croissants, cinnamon snails, and panda popovers.
On the back wall are the big cakes! There is a big wedding-style tiered cake covered in whipped cream blobs, juicy cherries, and topped with a mini version of the bakery itself. I’m not sure how many people will look inside the tiny cake-topper bakery, but I also printed out an image of the patisserie wall inside of it for people who love detail.
The big sheet cakes on the wall are meant to remind everyone that every day can be a day to celebrate.
Sucre Fleuf! represents all of my favorite things. I imagined Wes Anderson opening a cute bakery in Japan. This was also 100% a team effort. Jencey, the owner of Sweet Tooth Hotel was awesome to work with and extremely collaborative. In places I wanted to play conservatively, she encouraged me to go all-out. It was also her idea to put tv screens in the bakery windows and shoot footage of me walking across – so creative!
I spent most of my time designing samples, writing all new patterns, sending yarn to my helpers, and then finishing pieces as they came back to me. For 95% of the projects, I still wanted to work final touches myself. I wanted to sew the ears, or roll the snails, or assemble the ice cream friends or swan cream puffs, and I glued on a gazillion eyeballs with the help of my mom. Manda also helped sew decorations onto the heart cakes and helped me find a way to strengthen the structure of the ice cream cones. My turnaround times were always very tight, and I could NOT have done any of this without my old crochet friends and making some new ones.
Rita – ritabakez – sourdough turtles
Gretchen Wu – kitty loaves, swan cream puffs, parts of the raspberry St. Honore
Lizi Bronzon – lizilovescake – bunny baguettes, teddy bear bread rolls, garden bunnies
Amanda M. – strawberries and leaves
Thread.Winners – marshmallow bunnies
Trisha Vicari– marshmallow bunnies
Sara Tibbs – rands crafts – heart cakes and birthday cakes
Kat “PK” Delurgio – Namaste Stitches – cream puff towers, tiny bear cakes, star cakes, jelly fish, cinnamon snails
Wendy Chavalia – Crochet in the Falls by Wendy – cream puff towers, mice
Erin Manke – EMankeCrochet – ice cream cone friends
Emy Kind – Rosemary’s Baby MEK – candles for bday cakes, pup croissants, donuts, decorations for sheet cakes
Me – all designs (except for the waffle cones, pattern purchased and used with permission from Copacetic Crochet), wedding cake, sheet cake, garden caterpillars
Also thanks so much to the Craft Yarn Council for including me in this amazing project. And to everyone who has visited the show so far and posted photos. I wish everyone could experience it!! I will try to make time to write another blog post about the other amazing installations in this show. Mine was just the beginning hallway!