F.A.Q. About My Artworks
Because my work is a bit unusual, here are some quick answers to things you might be wondering…
Where do you get your materials?
Pack ratting, lucky finds on walks, anywhere I can find things other people have discarded. But I especially love it when people collect materials for me–I never know what new project will be inspired by the things I’m given.
How did you come up with this stuff?
My ideas come from the materials themselves. I very rarely plan out an entire project from start to finish. I sit down in front of a pile of materials that I’ve collected and just start playing with the objects until something starts to happen. At that point, I will start to envision what type of form the art will take, whether it’s an entire gown or just an accessory.
How do you put all these things together?
I mostly use a sewing machine, so I make a lot of “plastic fabric” by melting layers of plastic together with a household clothes iron. I also use a wood burner for etching and cutting plastic. I do a lot of melting things. I love using plastic, and it is very easy to cut, melt, bolt together, burn holes in. And it’s very durable and lightweight. And it’s everywhere you look! What I can’t fit into a sewing machine, I use different types of grommets and rivets to attach one piece to another. Wire and duct tape are also staple ingredients my art.
What does your art mean?
Obviously, I support reducing-reusing-recycling, but I’m not quick to get on a soap box about how terrible our pollution problem is. I recycle not only because it’s a good thing to do for the planet, but because I enjoy it and because it’s a challenge. I think about gender roles a lot, and sometimes I end up making a statement about feminism or what it might feel like to be in a different “skin” by wearing something that is normally not accepted in our culture. I have a strong belief in cultural relevance–that is, a person from one background can’t truly understand the workings of another culture. So I suppose that I’m simply tinkering with the associations we make between objects and what they symbolize. And tinkering with gender stereotypes along the way wherever I can.
Will you make something for me?
I’d love to! I often do commissioned works. Jewelry and bags are the easiest because they are more “onesize-fits-all.” Most of the clothes that I make are tailored to fit the measurements of a specific person. And since I collect so many materials, I can often readily make another article of clothing from the same or similar ingredients. Just ask, I love a good challenge!