Textile Talk With Jo Hamilton

Scottish artist Jo Hamilton moved to Portland, Oregon in the early 1990s, after earning her BFA from the Glasgow School of Art. Her technique combines years of fine art practice with the craft of crochet which she learned as a child from her Gran, rendering traditional categories, which include portraiture, landscape and nudes in a contemporary light. Her work has been widely shown in the U.S. and Europe as well as in Beijing, Australia and South Korea, and belongs to museums and private collections in the US and worldwide.

Listen now and view her work below. 

Textile Talk with Jo Hamilton

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Textile art is a realm where creativity threads through every stitch, and no one exemplifies this better than Jo Hamilton, a visionary crochet artist based in Portland, Oregon. In this episode of Textile Talk, Jo shares her journey from the colourful landscapes of her childhood in Glasgow to the intricate cityscapes and evocative portraits that define her art today. Together we explore the vibrant tapestry of her artistic evolution and the unique insights she offers into the world of crochet.

Cherry Steel Above and Below crochet artwork by Jo Hamilton
Western Tattooed Man Moth by Jo Hamilton

The Informative Years

Jo’s narrative is woven with the threads of her upbringing, where homemade clothes and knitting were integral parts of her family fabric. Drawing and painting studies at the Glasgow School of Art laid the groundwork for her artistic exploration. However, it was during her time in Portland that she rediscovered crochet, transforming it from a hobby into a medium of boundless creative expression.

Subject Matters

The conversation with Jo unfolds like a masterful tapestry, revealing the intricate layers of her artistic process. Her pieces, ranging from sprawling cityscapes to intimate portraits, are meticulously crafted entirely in crochet. Each stitch tells a story, blending formal visual concerns with social and environmental themes that resonate deeply with the viewer.

Jo Hamilton’s Process

What sets Jo’s work apart is not just the medium but the audacity to challenge traditional perceptions of textile art. She confronts the notion of textiles as a lesser art form, embracing the tactile quality of crochet to create pieces that blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture. In her world, the hook becomes a brush, and yarn transforms into a palette of infinite hues.

Central to Jo’s practice is her commitment to sustainability, reflected in her use of post-consumer yarn sourced from thrift shops and donations. Her studio, brimming with a kaleidoscope of colours, is a testament to her dedication to environmental consciousness without compromising on creative freedom.

As she delves into her process, Jo’s passion for experimentation shines through. From mixing colours to exploring unconventional techniques, she constantly pushes the boundaries of her craft. Whether portraying the human form or capturing the essence of a city, each piece is a testament to her bold vision and unwavering commitment to authenticity.



Listening to Jo’s journey is not just an invitation to explore the world of textile art but a celebration of resilience and creativity in the face of adversity. Her reflections on navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolving art landscape offer valuable insights for artists and enthusiasts alike.

In conclusion, Jo Hamilton’s podcast interview offers a captivating glimpse into the world of textile artistry. Through her words, listeners embark on a journey of discovery, where threads of tradition intertwine with the boundless possibilities of crochet. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a curious enthusiast, her story is a testament to the transformative power of creativity. So, grab your hook and yarn, and join Jo Hamilton on a mesmerizing journey through the colourful tapestry of textile art.

Listening to the full podcast is highly recommended to delve deeper into Jo’s artistic process and glean inspiration from her remarkable journey.

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Follow Jo Hamilton

For more information you can visit her website, or find her on Facebook of Instagram.

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