Much of my interaction with my neighbors has been through an unusual system of exchange within our building, an anonymous bartering of sorts. On a ledge in our lobby, my neighbors and I offer up items we no longer want. These items appear and disappear daily, as people relinquish the unwanted while others put them to use again. Months ago I discovered a coat pattern, which I assume belonged to the neighbor whose seamstress business is advertised on a sign outside our building.
Many aspects of the coat pattern were of interest to me. The odd fabric gave reference to a particular time period, and I imagined that the project was started many years ago. I thought of the decades it had existed in this in-between state, no longer yards of fabric and not yet a coat. As an artist, under pressure to finish work, an unfinished project was something I could relate to. As a jeweler, I considered commonalities shared with my neighbor. Both craftspeople, we make labor-intensive objects which become part of the complex accumulation of the everyday environment.
I have chosen to document this coat pattern as an un-actualized project and to use the concept of “the unfinished” as a springboard for my own creative endeavor. In a gesture that emphasizes our similarities as makers I have applied sewing techniques to make jewelry. Keeping with the spirit of reuse and exchange, these rings I have made from the salvaged fabric will be given away to gallery visitors and placed on the ledge in my apartment, as tokens in commemoration of the unfinished endeavor. The end result, instead of an assembly of the pattern pieces into one, will be a dispersal of many across the Bay Area. In these choices I hope to pay tribute to “the unfinished” and to articulate a connection between my neighbor, myself, and my immediate surroundings.
MFA Thesis Installation
End of the Line
Five sets of cufflinks are etched with the monograms of the men on my father's side sharing the same surname. The last set is blank representing the uncertainty of the continuation of the family name. This will rest on my brother and his pending decision to have children as he ages into his 30's. The blank pair of cufflinks also represents a blank slate. The paternal organization of lineage, wealth and power is still the status quo in our society. But the definition of family is evolving. The women's rights and LGBT rights movements push forward. And awareness for topics surrounding gender is more prevalent. The future is open.