It’s sometimes challenging to make a really great piece of art that is realistically functional without having to “dumb it down” a bit. If you’ve ever tried to make a teapot out of fabric, then you know what I mean. You’ve never tried that? Well, if you say so. That being said, it’s often a complicated process to create something absolutely original without being sucked into using typical, tried-and-true materials. As far as fine art goes, that’s what I’m working on conquering right now.
I find it difficult to explain the way I work; the process isn’t always the same. But mainly, I start with a collection of one specific material (otherwise known as “a pile of junk”). Usually by the time I have accumulated a great heaping mass of this said material, I have figured out an interesting way to attach all of them together, united with a new and different purpose.
I also can’t give up my love of painting, even though I’m very excited about making sculpture, especially with textiles or any non-traditional media.
Candy wrappers, fabric softener sheets, buttons, pistachio shells, scraps of foil and copper, clothing tags, and pressed leaves are all excellent things for me to collect and work with. By re-using discarded materials, I don’t mean to explicitly make a political statement about recycling–but I am interested in questioning humanity’s social expectations and transforming the mundane into something interesting and useful.
Since I have recently re-discovered my passion for sewing, anything that can be sewn together is definitely of interest to me (no matter how silly or disgusting). Also, I’ve recently been working on creating a unique line of clothing that makes underwear something you’ll want to wear on the outside.
To me, the clothes that we wear are a type of sculpture, but they have become necessarily “dumbed down” in order for us to be able to perform our daily activities. I read in a book recently, (and I’m paraphrasing this…) “The type of shoes we wear is a declaration of what it is that we don’t have to do.”
Quilting, at its essence, represents family and community. Quilts were created with purpose for using, storytelling, and leaving a legacy. Quilts are also beautiful, as well as functional; they are often made as a gift to share: a labor of love. I dabble in quilt-making and plan to share some of those techniques here.