My process as a sculptor is based on the alteration of found, familiar objects through handwork and craft. I work in series, beginning with collections of personal, but commonplace possessions. My recent projects are based on leather pants, coats and gloves, salvaged from thrift stores. I’m fascinated with clothing materials for the ways they embody relationships of body and mind, as expressions of social identity. Second-hand leather clothing has another level of interest, in that it exists as both the discarded representation of self-image, and the memory of prior animal life.
After taking apart the garments, I often boil the pieces and stake them to dry, to shrink or stiffen them. I preserve the pattern parts as found shapes, and use tailoring techniques to layer and embed these into sections of canvas. As images, from a distance, the stretched canvas panels suggest the dimension and visual language of paintings. At close range, they can be read as elaborately constructed objects that relate directly to the body. The skins are inherently tactile, and reflect the scale and curves of the human form. I try to allow the materials themselves to reveal stories within stories about impermanence and loss, transformation and renewal.
The object is both present and absent in another ongoing series, of child-sized chairs covered with tightly fitted black leather. I follow their precise contours, often by first drafting and altering a series of paper patterns for their various parts. In the awkward angles and junctures, the stitching is often more like suturing than fine sewing, and its repetition is like a measurement of time. The leather, being pliable, conforms to the chair and is easily embossed to accentuate its details. At the same time, it causes the chair to disappear.