Chili Philly's Wacky Weaves
It’s no secret that contemporary culture is obsessed with food; we don’t just eat it, we praise it, idolizing it on clothing, as clothing, on trinkets…the sky is the limit. Look through the hashtag #foodporn on Instagram and you will find over 41 million (yeah million) photos of people sharing the most graphic images of all the delightful things you can eat. Even though we’ve put food everywhere there’s still somewhere we haven’t put it yet…our heads. Well, Aussie native Phil Ferguson is here to make sure that area is covered. Under the name Chili Philly Ferguson has shared his amazing creations: crochet hats of all the most delightful foods from sushi, to fruit loops. Milk Made’s Ana Velasco talked to Ferguson about his incredible creations, what the future of his work looks like, and more importantly answers the question ‘why food?’
How did you get the idea for your crochet project?
I moved from Perth to Melbourne at the beginning of the year and after a few months I wasn’t sure on how to meet other art people. I figured I would start uploading photos of what I’ve been doing and see where that took me. I’ve always done crochet in my free time but I guess I decided to one day make a wearable hat that looked like a pot plant and it just kept going from there!
Where did you learn to crochet?
I taught myself about five or so years ago from YouTube tutorials. I’ve never learnt how to read patterns or any specific stitches, so everything that I’ve done is self taught.
I guess once I finished my Burger Hat and working at Tuck Shop Take Away, it was natural for my mind to keep looking at food for inspiration, especially living in Melbourne where the food culture is so prominent! I think it’s mainly the colors and shapes that inspire me and how everyone can relate to food.
Which one is your favorite and why?
It always changes! Currently it has to be either the Bacon and Eggs or the Pizza, mainly because they were fully realized ideas that I pictured, worked towards and was satisfied with once I finished. Though the Burger Hat will always be special in my heart.
What are your goals with this project? Are you thinking of expanding into a full crochet line or will you stick to hats?
Right now I have no true long term goals, I’m taking every opportunity as it comes. Though since I’ve started making the hats, I’ve been interested in making more wearable knitwear pieces for the body. Everyone asks if I’m selling them, and I’m pretty content with making them for my own enjoyment, but if the opportunity arises for something worth while then I’m more than happy to work on something.
Who would you most love to see wearing your creations?
No one specific, but I’ve grown to love the idea of seeing them used on shoots on models and potentially used by celebrities for whatever reason. I guess myself taking photos with them is myself presenting them the way I would, so I would love to see how other people would present them and use them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What did you do at school and what has influenced you into making these creations?
I studied Fine Art at university for the last three years and have studied art all throughout school. I’ve always been interested in crochet but I never really did it for any full projects. So once I had the creative freedom and the time after moving, I had all the time in the world to think about what I wanted to do! It’s all just been this organic process that is hard to map because there are so many small steps I can’t even remember. Though most importantly, I guess in making these objects, it has been a way for myself to channel my energy into something that I would have previously been channeling into studying.
How long does it usually take you to finish one of your hats?
Depending on which one, several days at most. Smaller ones could just be a solid day, but between working five days a week, time gets a bit scarce when working on something larger.