While some people dread having to clean up falling leaves, for Susanna Bauer it’s an opportunity to create intricate crochet artworks. The England-based artist combines the found elements with fine cotton thread to produce unique objects steeped in the history of craft. The delicate crochet artworks also pay tribute to the enduring beauty of nature.
“As you can imagine, working with fragile leaves requires a lot of patience and a steady hand, but the focus of my work for me lies on the effect it has on the viewer, on the ideas that flow into the compositions and the thoughts the pieces can evoke. To create a piece that not only is intriguing as to how it is made but also touches the viewer on a deeper level.”
Crochet is a traditional craft, which can be both functional and decorative, although in Susanna’s work she seeks to transcend these attributes. As a small child, she was taught how to crochet in Germany and continued to study landscape architecture in university. She then built a career in model making for almost 15 years. Eventually, with the combination of her childhood hobby and the role of nature that she was exposed to in university, it was only natural for her to use dry leaves as a canvas for her delicate crochet artworks.
Creating art from delicate aspects of nature
Susanna’s work begins by collecting, choosing and sorting leaves. Careful not to crunch the dry leaves in the process, she purposefully cuts out some parts, rearranges them, and crochets them back together creating masterpieces that fit in the palm of your hand. The final arranged delicate crochet artworks are then finished with mounting and framing.
“The technical part of my work and the use of natural leaves highlights this balance of fragility and strength. Working with tension is an integral part of crochet work, but it can also be seen metaphorically, as managing tension plays a big part in our lives and our surroundings.”
This is also the time Susanna makes samples and tries out new ideas. She always has several pieces in various stages of completion at her studio, depending on the complexity and the size of the work. The delicate artworks include a variety of techniques to arrange and alter the leaves with the fine thread. Some of her pieces are more geometric such as perfect cubes with crochet seams, while others are more organically rolled leaves that are sewn at the edge. Others even join multiple leaves into single pieces all connected by a threaded cylinder cutting through them
Susanna’s imaginative application of crochet creates mesmerizing objects giving each leaf its own unique character. The delicate crochet artworks are as fragile as an Autumn leaf you find on the ground. The artist doesn’t coat or treat her leaves with anything to make them more rigid. Only the frame protects the final pieces which are protected by conservation-grade glass, which filters out over 99% of UV rays.
Take a look at more of Susanna’s delicate works below or follow her work on Instagram: