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Meet the Artist
About This Artist
I am a hyper-creative human. My studio craft practice provides an outlet through which I am able to channel excess creative energy into work that is meaningful for me, and fun to collect and wear for others. I am a self-taught practitioner of traditional metal-craft and Japanese micro-textile fabrication. My fascination with micro-textiles grew out of my love for ancient European chain weaving. My work is a playful hybrid of the two, with the metalwork serving as a compliment to the textiles.
Q&A With This Artist
A: I use two types of materials in my work—recycled precious metals and silk thread. I use multiple types of silver—.999 fine, Argentium and .925-sterling, along with 18K and 22K gold. I also work with mokume gane and a couple of other Japanese alloys. In ninety percent of my braid-work I use two types of fine silk thread from Japan. In the other ten percent, I use vintage silk thread from an American thread manufacturing company out of Pennsylvania that, sadly, no longer exists. I fabricate all of the metalwork, and I make all of the braids that I use in my work myself. My micro-textiles begin as either spools or skeins of silk thread. I warp the threads to get them into workable form, then I section, tension, and braid them.
A: I am fascinated by the amazing array of colors available, as well as the vibrance and luster of the threads themselves. The thing that makes me giddiest is observing the actual structures of the braids as they come together. There are enthusiasts, researchers and practitioners (myself included) dedicated to deconstructing, reconstructing, and analyzing these intricate braid structures. I love my metalwork and I love working with colored gemstones but, to me, nothing compares with the number of ways that you can use crazy-colorful braids to bring a design to life. There are so many base structures and their variations—it always feels good to look at a completed piece and know that I choose the right braid that ties the entire design together.
A: The thing that drives me most is my love of my craft. Japanese braiding has a long and fascinating cultural history, and then there are so many braids to study and make that I don’t think I have enough lifetimes to work through everything. One of the god-mothers and scholars of the craft just released a new, comprehensive, deep-study book on the technical reconstruction of the traditional braids used with Samurai armor, and I’ve only just begun going through it. I’m still chewing on the Table of Contents. And then there’s an entire area of study in mathematics devoted to braid theory--which I plan to explore as I have time.
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