People crochet and knit garments to be worn, but here’s a visual artist, who creates sculptures out of knitting and crocheting! Meet Liisa Hietanen, a Finnish visual artist, whose creative genius is making waves on the internet. So realistic are her fabric sculptures that one needs to look at them twice to confirm they’re indeed sculptures of the yarn-based kind.
Born in Lohja, Finland, Liisa was passionate about art from her very childhood. It didn’t come as a surprise when she earned a degree in Bachelor of Design from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Lahti, Finland. She went on to secure a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Pirkanmaa, Finland.
What immediately strikes the viewer, viewing Liisa’s work, is her eye for detail. Each sculpture is meticulously knitted and crocheted, be it man or animal. She’s particularly incredible at creating lifelike doubles. She states on her website, “When I made my first crocheted artwork, I didn’t have any earlier background in yarn-based handcrafts. It was a realization I had in art studies that made me turn these techniques into my sculpting methods.”
Currently living and working in Hämeenkyrö, Finland, Liisa loves the slow handcraft techniques that enable her to focus on other areas of life. However, while sculpting, it becomes important for her to get to know her subjects intimately before she even starts sculpting. She chooses her models intuitively from people she meets during the course of the day in everyday situations. She doesn’t know them beforehand.
Liisa’s most recent work is the ‘Villagers’ series, where she sculpts her fellow villagers from Hämeenkyrö, using crocheting and knitting. She chose this because she wanted her work to be meaningful to both herself and to other village residents. Once she completes a sculpture, she displays it at prominent sites in her village for all to see, such as the local library, flower shops, and other outlets.
Liisa’s sterling sculpting effort is supported by Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Finnish Art Society, Finnish Cultural Foundations, Pirkanmaa Regional Fund, and Arts Promotion Center Finland.