Accidental beauty, utilitarian collage, tatters telling complex stories, the humble cloth of the Japanese people. These are ways Boro textiles (literally ‘rags’) have been described.  Magnetically drawn to indigo dyed cloth and motivated by a commitment to use antiquated materials, I have become very attached to and inspired by these fabrics. Who knew that Boro would become the sensation that it is today? Actually, my friend, Linda Mitchell, told me when I showed her my first pieces in 2011: ‘Indigo is going to be big, you’ll see.’  A prophetess.

Now, I’ve introduced my other fascination, rust, to these assemblages. Improvisation, imperfection, deconstruction/slow construction, memory, preservation of historical objects while making something new are concepts I’ve been exploring for a long time, but never as satisfyingly as I do at this moment.     


Halloween didn’t start out as an opportunity for sugar-bingeing and mischief.  Most of us over the age of twelve know this. All Hallows’ Eve, an occasion to remember dead saints and other virtuous folks, has long been associated with skulls.  I have always loved them as both symbolic device and appealingly symmetrical form.  Here are some skulls on vellum using paper and fabric remnants and Swarovski crystals. These are about 10” x 14” but I also make greeting cards with similar images. Each one is handmade and unique.  You can find them exclusively at Betsey Bunky Nini, that uptown hub of elegant womenswear.  


Rust (corrosion of metal from exposure to air and moisture) is simply astonishing. Its presence suggests neglect or stagnation, but I’ve been using it to dye fabric for over a year now, and my fascination with the process continues to deepen. With each new type of fiber I test, different colors and textures emerge depending on a lot of elements: weather conditions, type of metal, strength and type of tannic acid (did I mention the alchemical reaction when introducing a mordant to the rust?), and, of course, type of fiber (cellulose or protein). I’m really captivated by it. It’s not so easy to work with, either. Let a piece cure too long and the fabric will weaken and begin to disintegrate. Each type of material has its own cure time and since the duration varies based on aforementioned factors, it can be a bit nerve-racking. Even so, I see a lot of rust in my future.