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Artist of the Day: Carol Hummel

An overt sign that the growing crochet trend has been taken to new heights, literally, is artist Carol Hummel's Tree Cozy. As part of a two-year exhibition of eight works by sculptors in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Hummel crocheted a cozy with brightly colored nylon and synthetic material for a tree in front of Cleveland Heights City Hall, which wouldn't impede "the growth of the tree or [harm] wildlife."
In her artist statement, Hummel refers to the tree cozy as "an emphatically handmade blanket representing femininity and comfort" which covers "a natural object representing masculinity and strength," a piece that personifies the tree "keeping it cozy and colorful throughout the year, enhancing the beauty of nature," and evokes "memories of bygone times and places when life was good," as well as "softens the strong tree form while also emphasizing it." She says, "The cozy covering the tree fluctuates between comforting blanket and suffocating cover-up; it conceals as much as it protects; it hides as much as it reveals." Tree Cozy was on display from 2005 through 2008, and landed Hummel an award as the winner of the Heights Public Art Competition. There's more to learn and see about this project, so read more.

Hummel has also "cozied" a companion tree in India to the one in Ohio, bound another tree in India with rope, was commissioned to crochet a tree in Orlando, Florida, macraméd a mountain in Utah, and has also been known to dress trees in underwear. Hummel's Cleveland Heights Tree Cozy, which took her 500 hours and the use of a hydraulic lift, recently spawned a tree crochet movement in Yellow Springs, Ohio, which has become a community art project and conversation piece, "made up of panels of yarn knitted individually by residents and visitors alike."

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