Knitting and crocheting have become all the rage, with happy knitters meeting in pubs or creating monster coral reefs. Crocheting, like knitting, is an old skill which used to be the domain of ladies making doilies. Now with the revival of interest in traditional and artisanal handicrafts, artists are taking this old skill in new directions.
Kate Jenkins learned to crochet at her mother's knee and she is crocheting culinary masterpieces. In her fantasy cafe she is serving full english breakfast, complete with tomatoes, sausages and eggs, or fish and chips, little sugar cupcakes and cups of tea with saucers. Works like sequin-adorned sardines on toast, knitted tomato ketchup bottles and a box of PG Tips teabags are pleasingly real-looking but still have enough quirkiness and wit to keep you interested.
Other delights include crocheted (and hand beaded) caviar, a bottle of champagne and a jar of strawberry jam, complete with bees flying around it. All of the pieces are framed and behind glass.
Alongside the art work, she is also serving real tea and light lunches, all organic and locally sourced, in the art gallery space which has been turned into a real cafe cum gallery.
She studied fashion and textiles at university, worked as a designer in the fashion industry and then opened her own shop in Brighton. Jenkins has been crocheting since she was 15; each piece takes her about two and a half weeks to create. She calls it "drawing with yarn" because she does it direct, without any sketches.
She will also do commissions of your favourite dishes. One dish that she will not do is that old English favourite, toad in the hole. She says that it "won't look nice as a piece of art." What about a grilled cheese sandwich.... Kate Jenkins
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