Knitting may not be the most exciting art from, but Liisa Hietanen’s knitted creations are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The Finnish artist makes crocheted life-size versions of people in her village, and the similarities are eerily uncanny.
Hietanen began crocheting and knitting when she was 10 years old and got so good at it that while attending art school she started making knitted sculptures. It all began with a life-size sculpture of her first-grade teacher which turned out so good that the artist felt inspired to create an entire series based entirely on the people in her village, Hämeenkyrö. She meets up with them to decide on the pose, takes photographs of them from all directions, takes some measurements and pays attention to their mannerisms so she can better capture their personalities in her artworks. A few months later, she introduces them to their knitted doppelgangers.
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Liisa Hietanen works mostly off the photographs she takes, but when it comes to the faces and hands of her crocheted mannequins, she meets up with her models again to better study their unique characteristics. She puts a great deal of time and effort into reproducing the tiniest details as best as possible, and it shows in her work. Just take a look at her latest creation, an almost perfect replica of a local lady walking her dog. The similarities to the real thing are simply amazing.
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To make sure that her knitted sculptures stand up right, Liisa creates a structure out of rebar, and uses cement for added weight. After finishing the knitted shell, she fills the sculpture with soft materials to give it a life-like look and feel.
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“I study the essence of familiarity and shared experiences. I meet the same familiar strangers every day on the street and our common world is the size of a small village,” Hietanen writes on her website. “I am depicting the present moment by portraying my own surroundings, but at the same time I am bringing out something common to us all.”
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Every single piece of Liisa Hietanen’s sculptures is knitted or crocheted, so it’s no wonder that they each take at least three months to complete.