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LTD. J-Flo’s: 2010 / sz 9 / Found denim & nike air max, spandex, cotton batting
These are a pair of Japanese “Boro” inspired patchwork sneakers made from found denim scraps & spandex, fused with an old pair of Nike Air Max sneakers. I made the body & tongue of the sneakers myself, basing the pattern off a pair of my own Nike Dunks.
I originally tried to make the base out of denim & batting, but they looked too much like slippers. So I sought out a shoemaker who could add some rubber sneaker soles to the bottom. Turns out this isn’t an easy thing to find - and as far as I know, it’s not possible to add a new pair of rubber soles unless you cut them from a new pair of sneakers. I ended up finding a guy in Saint Marks Place who agreed to fuse my patchwork tops with rubber bottoms. If you live in NYC you may be familiar with his shoe repair shop. It’s small and literally overflowing with a mountain of old shoes. The only catch was, he refused to make them into classic Nike Dunks. He hated Dunks. He wanted to make them into giant platforms, but I wasn’t onboard with this idea. Yeah, yeah, supposedly it’s really cool in Japan or something - I don’t care. If there is the prospect that someone could possibly wear these, I wanted that person to be able to dance in them too. So we dug through the pile of shoes looking for something in the right size and finally decided on Air Max bottoms.
Process shots…Maja is beading in the face, I’m prepping the patchwork to stretch over the stretcher bars.
Oh Land: 2010 / 70” x 70” / Found materials, sequins
This piece was a collaboration with my studio mate, Maj Anya DeBear. It’s a patchwork and sequin portrait of Pop Singer “Oh Land” stretched like a canvas over stretcher bars. We photographed her in our studio, and then used our favorite image to base the drawing for the patchwork on. We worked on it for eight months - this is the result of several attempts at a patchwork portrait. I think we re-did the face four times? Even at a scale of six feet, it’s difficult to sew in eyes and lips in a way that maintains all the intricacies without making her face look like an Aztec statue. In the end, we decided to sequin in a lot of the facial features.
Chromatics Series: 2010 / 52” x 52” / Found Materials
Denim, Independence: 2009 / 72” x 96” / Found Denim
Patchwork Tipi (Madewell Commission): 2009 / 9” tall / Vintage materials
A Little Piece of Mind Quilt: 2009 / 75” x 75” / Mixed Media
This piece was commissioned by branding company Marque Creative as a charity project to combat homelessness. Leading designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Liberty of London, Swarovski and Boudicca donated scraps of fabric or custom made 6” x 6” squares.These materials were then passed on to me to make one, large scale cohesive quilt. I spent two months designing, sewing, and hand quilting the pieces together. I even donated my old handmade “chambray shower curtain” to use as the backing for the quilt. Upon its completion, A Little Piece of Mind was shown at LondonNewCastle Project Space in London and auctioned off to a prominent modern art collector for 10,000 USD. The proceeds were split between Bowery Mission in NY and Shelter in the UK.
A Little Piece of Mind: 2009 / Diagrammatic Drawing
Indigo Curtains: 2008 / 60” x 96” / Madewell Commission
In Loving Mammary: 2009 / 32 B / Grammy’s Handkerchiefs
I was invited to create a piece for my hometown’s “Bras for the Cause” event, where artists make “art bras” that are auctioned off for breast cancer research. In the process of mulling around about what I would make, two significant events took place. My mom and I simultaneously watched a beautiful contemporary routine on “So You Think You Can Dance” about battling breast cancer which spawned a phone conversation directly afterward about how my Grandmother had fought breast cancer and survived, and my Great Grandmother (a quilter) had died from it (both on my mother’s side).
My Grandmother was an Italian Immigrant, and I had saved a collection of her handkerchiefs after she passed away. These handkerchiefs are the main materials in the bra, with the exception of a small portion of denim detailing. The cups are a “postage stamp” patchwork to commemorate my great grandmother, who hand sewed a phenomenal postage stamp quilt while she was battling breast cancer. This quilt now hangs in my parents living room. The bra is entirely hand sewn. There are no metal components or underwire - all the structure is created from batting and quilting layers together to create a soft and comforting effect.
Indigo Curtains: 2008 / 60” x 96” / Madewell Commission
Digital photographs / 2008
Pattern pieces for “Denim, Interwoven”… organized neatly.
Denim, Interwoven: 2006-08 / 62” x 72”
This was the first quilt I ever made. It’s a 5,000+ piece quilt of insanity that I decided to entirely hand sew and hand quilt together. I thought it would only take me a few months to make from start to finish, but the pattern alone took me a month. I ended up taking it with me almost everywhere I went. It traveled with me on a West Coast road trip, on a plane for my first vacation overseas (turns out sewing needles & snippers aren’t a problem to get through security even in a post 9/11 world…), to the park, the beach (bad idea) and through three different apartments. I even made a little map of all the different places certain blocks were sewn. In case you were wondering, I loved every minute of making this quilt.