sash cord studies | 2010 - present
cotton or poly sash cord and polyester thread / dimensions variable
The pieces in this series utilize an old crafting technique in which rope or cord is coiled and stitched into a variety of forms and functions. The technique is itself based on the ancient method of making ceramic coiled pots as well as coiled basketry. For me the collection explores ways of transforming a linear material into three-dimensional objects, an interest I have also studied in other materials such as yarn or plastic tubing. I also see the process as a form of analog 3D printing/prototyping performed by a sewing machine and with much less precision. In this way the "3D file" is in my head as I begin each piece and its formation happens by making certain adjustments to the work while sewing. The process has its own limitations, largely determined by the sewing machine, and each piece takes on deformations and glitches that give it unique personality.
The pieces primarily use 100% cotton braided cord, often called sash cord, and colored sewing thread. They are individually sewn on industrial zig-zag sewing machines without the use of forms or molds. The forms explore the spatial possibilities of the coiling method and are influenced by masonry construction, folk basketry, and forms found in nature. Many shapes and functions have been explored including bags, baskets, trays, sculptural vessels, masks, and other wearable objects.
Most pieces are determined by a set of parameters that help to define their overall shape or composition but allow for a certain amount of variation from one to the other. With the obvious exception of the bags, most of the pieces are not produced with a specific function in mind yet the shapes may reference common utilitarian items or hint at possibles uses. My interest lies in the relationships between form/space, material, process, surface and structure, as well as the unique events and characteristics that arise from the contrasts of hand work vs machine work, planning vs improvisation, familiarity vs strangeness, utility vs. uselessness, etc.