Huckleberry Elling was born and raised in Los Angeles and learned to crochet watching her mom as a child. In her youth she hitchhiked through the US and abroad, using her crocheted hats and dolls as currency. She settled down in Western Massachusetts where she is raising her family and furthering her artistic pursuits.
In her 1969 Airstream trailer studio, Huck crochets new and vintage yarns into colorful, textural, playful and creepy masks and standing figures. She invites people to try on, interact, and bring to life these storybook-like characters.
"I am a feminist because I am the mother to three daughters and a son. I need to believe in a future that includes equality for them. Its my duty to instill in them their intrinsic value.
The question often comes up, is it possible to be a mother and an artist? For me, becoming a mother forced me to take my artistic practice more seriously. While learning how to give of myself so much everyday as a mother, I learned what my own nurturing needs were. These needs included being a maker.
I crafted my way through a niche market, becoming a custom mask maker. I crocheted all around my children. Picking up and setting down projects, picking up and caring for children. I juggle to meet all our needs. I'd have it no other way. The commissions wove a fantastical storyline through our daily living.
More recently I focused on building a collection of crocheted sculptures, giving life sized bodies to the wearable masks. I also began working in schools and museums with groups of children. I create a curriculum which includes small art projects that are taken home as well as a larger group sculptural projects. These classes have been incredibly rewarding and I hope to fill my calendar with more of these types of projects.
So yes, it is possible to be a mother and an artist. It just so happens that my story of motherhood and artistic identity have been symbiotic."