How a crochet hook took a Warwick woman to the top

ARTY SUCCESS: Dame Suzie Moncrief presents Jessica Thompson with the Children's Section runner-up prize for Pablo at the 2014 Awards Show at the TSB Arena, Wellington, New Zealand.
ARTY SUCCESS: Dame Suzie Moncrief presents Jessica Thompson with the Children's Section runner-up prize for Pablo at the 2014 Awards Show at the TSB Arena, Wellington, New Zealand. Jessica Thompson

IN TERMS of discovering talent, Jessica Thompson was a late bloomer.

The internationally renowned textile artist, who first picked up a crochet hook at the age of 30, has gone on to win awards at some of the world's largest textile events, including Jumpers and Jazz.

"It's a disease and an obsession," Miss Thompson said of crochet.

Jessica grew up in Toowoomba, moved to Warwick in 1998 and lived here for 10 years before moving to Brisbane.

She has entered Jumpers and Jazz every year since it began, with back-to-back wins in the knitting and crochet section and a string of highly commendeds.

"For my tree this year I saved plastic from a mattress wrap and had the idea to cut it up and crochet it," Miss Thompson said.

"I used three mattress covers and broke a crochet hook."



Jessica Thompson's award-winning Geometree in Palmerin St.
Jessica Thompson's award-winning Geometree in Palmerin St. Hugh Doolan and Sebastian Johnso

Miss Thompson's plastic-based, mirrored, geometric tree won this year's Excellence in Knitting and/or Crochet category.

"Because I'm a child of the 1980s, I incorporated some fluro yarn and I had this idea of having an abstract shape coming out around the tree," she said.

"I came to Warwick on the the 20th and it took me two and a half hours to put the tree up."

Two of the artist's most prized crocheted creations are also on display in AOK Clothing's shop window.

"I've got my garments, Gary and Hobart, in Warwick," she said.



Jessica Thompson's wearable artwork Gary, which is on display in AOK Clothing, Palmerin St.
Jessica Thompson's wearable artwork Gary, which is on display in AOK Clothing, Palmerin St. Hugh Doolan and Sebastrian Johns

Both featured at New Zealand's incredible World of Wearable Art, a leading international design competition that showcases the best in crocheted art.

Miss Thompson has attended the event twice as a spectator and four times as an entrant in the show.

"It was mind-blowingly awesome," she said.

"There are 16 performances and each category's performance goes for two and half hours; it's like this strange cirque de soleil, light, music and art performance.

"It's an extravaganza."

She said being chosen as an entrant in the show was a huge privilege, with only the best in the international art scene selected to showcase at the event.

"The high profile of getting in is such an honour," Miss Thompson said.

"There's hundreds and hundreds of entries and only a few get in: The bar gets raised every year."


See Miss Thompson's amazing geometric tree in Palmerin St, near the Warwick Credit Union.

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