I buy used shirts to embellish and re-figure. I call them re-dos. There is a satisfaction in the recycling-reuse nature of this work. (Plus, I don’t have to make a shirt from scratch). I sent my friend Annie a couple of pictures from the black and white series I am working on and she replied by sending me the name of the master/designer extraordinaire:
Miguel Adrover, a Spaniard, taker apart-er, layer-er, of all manner of clothing.
He divides the used garments, and pairs them with similar or random tops, coats, or dresses. He takes mountains of the thick folded clothes piled one upon the other to create a structure to wear. It is hard to describe the nature of these clothes. They arrest the eye, are mysterious, and provoking.
He is an environmentalist, whose commitment defines the character of his work. He is an inspiration, not just because of this stance, but the free and passionate way he compiles and creates. Truly a designer for our time.
Between my cutting table and my sewing machine (the space of about 2 feet), threads and small snippets fall. Swept up in the gyre, they form random compositions ready to be pasted between Solvy sheets.
The task is to figure out how to preserve the spontaneity of that moment in thread time, anchoring without undoing the life of that arrangement, a delicate endeavor.
Usually I stitch over the entire piece to secure everything. But here I stitched following the threads movements so as not to deviate from the lines. I was mostly happy with the results, though there was still remained a denseness.
At my Ampersand critique group I was explaining this dilemma when an idea came to me: to float the threads. By stitching the layer of threads first and then using an element to create airspace between the denser background and laciness of the treads, I could preserve the lightness. I will keep doing these pieces – as I am always producing waste in the form of treasures!