Maker Monday: Carolina of Argenta Crochet Lab
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up in a beautiful little town in the north of the province. I went to school like a normal kid, and when I graduated I went to college to study psychology, which I did for two years. It was then that I realized that I enjoyed the way I dressed to go to study more than the studies themselves. That's when I officially started my career in fashion. I did many courses in the field, I started a couple of projects on my own, and finally, I decided to get more technical and I entered the University of Buenos Aires, to study fashion design. Before graduating I had an invitation to travel to the American continent and that was what I did for two and a half years. It was in this trip that I realized I'd be a crocheter for the rest
What do you make? I make crochet art, crochet wear, and patterns. I started crocheting 9 years ago, and about 6 months ago I started selling the patterns.
When did you first become inspired to start creating? About 9 years ago. I am a fashion enthusiastic (I studied fashion design), and always curious about learning new textile tools. I just got curious about it and started learning with this artist woman in my town. After learning the basic stitches I did my very first crop top design.
Why do you create? I create to express myself and get things out of my head (ideas, emotions)
Tell us about the progress you've made since you first started Well, I started basically learning through my own designs, but at first, I was a little more conservative and anxious about the whole design process. I think with time and experience I learned that it takes patience and determination to get to the final product
How have your life experiences influenced your art style? I've had intense life experiences and I think the need to express them brought me to get more in touch with art, so I think it is kind of key to have experiences and let them go through. I've also traveled a lot, and that's an inevitable motivation
If you had all the resources in the world (time, money, etc) would you still make the kind of art you make? If I had all the resources in the world I would definitely still make crochet, and I would even make more of it and/or bigger installations, probably even fund a school.
What does success mean to you? I think success it's about being able to live your life doing what you love (besides making money to live) and spending time with the people you love
Were you born an artist or made an artist? I've always been kind of artsy, but I think I started recognizing myself as an artist after school when I got more in touch with my art.
Which of the pieces you've created is your favorite? My favorite artwork is one I did in the pandemic, in quarantine. I love it because I felt I got where I wanted with it, that was to express desire in a pretty closed environment.
How would you describe your aesthetic? Colorful and alive
When did you realize you wanted to become a crocheter? I realized that I wanted to become a crocheter when I was traveling across America. I had the time to get introspective and get to know myself better, and that's when it hit me
What are your hobbies outside of crocheting? Outside of crochet (which is also my hobby), I like writing, taking photos, watching fashion editorials, drawing, and painting
If you were a canvas, what would be your color palette? Black, white, light purple, yellow
What is the hardest part of running your own business? I think the hardest part of running my own business is the marketing side of it and the frustration that could happen. Then of course you gotta learn from it and try to be better
Who is your dream collaborator? Martin churba, Rus the brand, Somenace was born
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? I live the moment because no matter what your plans are, life's gonna take you some random unexpected way! But hopefully still making crochet, and even making more and bigger projects, lots of collabs!
What advice would your current self give your beginner self? There's nothing wrong with getting technical
If you weren’t a crocheter, what would you be doing? If I wasn't a crocheter, I'd probably be a custom designer
You have 100$ to spend at the art supply store. What's in your basket? My basket is full of yarn!
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Gustav Klimt, Robbert Mapplethorpe, Vivienne Westwood, Ronan Bouroullec, Egon Scheiele
How did you come up with your business name? I thought about it in this trip I made (I traveled the whole American continent, from Argentina to Canada in a van). "Argenta" it's an Argentinian slang way to say "Argentinian", and being in different countries and cultures made me want to hold my own roots. I thought it was very precise for my life context.
Who are your favorite creators on social media? @rusthebrand
Describe your creative process Well, I don't know if I have a routine for my creative process. But first I have an idea (based on an experience, on something that I saw, sometimes it's just a mix of incoming information), then I elaborate it in my mind, and finally, I start crocheting it. Most of the time, as I progress in the project I modify the original idea
Have you taken classes or are you self-taught? Both of them. I took crochet lessons from a crocheter artist in Argentina, learned the basics, and then it was all self-taught. I also learned a lot about design in college and several courses that I took.
What is your favorite painting or sculpture? The virgin by Gustav Klimt. It's full of textures and enveloping feelings
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in movement. It's more than important to me to keep on moving, learning new things, getting new challenges, meeting new people, cultures, etc.
What is your favorite material to work with? Cotton yarn! I just like the way it feels in my fingers
What do you think about collaborations? I think they are key! I like designing on my own, but when you work as a team greater things happen
Where are you originally from? I'm from Argentina, and now I'm based in Montreal