LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
When I was twelve I decided to go into business for myself. I had come up with what I saw as a genius idea - to sew cat shaped pillows out of country print fabric. The older ladies would love them. Especially in the Midwest, it was common to have a wicker chair with a country print pillow on it, and who wouldn't want a cat shaped pillow for their chair? I had just recently learned how to use my mom's sewing machine and the simple cat shape seemed like a breeze. I sewed ten of them, in a dark blue paisley, auburn stripes, and tiny polka dots, and then promptly lost interest before ever attempting to sell one. (I think I took up mural painting all the filing cabinets in our basement).
Country Cats never made it, but I returned again and again to the act of making things by hand, from extravagant skirts of satin and tulle for my friends in high school to practical things for my home like shower curtains and bags. I sewed and altered my own clothes and immersed myself in DIY culture, yet until I came to graduate school creative success to me still meant selling a painting.
My thesis project at MICA developed from within a different, unrelated project. While at school I spent hours doing calculations of engineering and environmental conditions, and would come home and relax by sewing or drawing. I got more and more involved in those projects until I realized I was more involved with them than my actual thesis. And so it became everything. Turning my art and craft work into a real business, not just something on the side, became my new project.
Hammer & Fox has allowed me to take every creative desire and find a way for it to be a part of the project – illustration, design, textiles, photography, travel, food – and because I followed these desires with purpose, my project grew to more than I could have hoped for. It is real and bursting, it is just the beginning.
This site serves as a record of the project on an MFA level, however please check in on Hammer & Fox as it continues to develop and grow and burn bright into the night.