Making something out of existing materials – reclaiming them – is a satisfying challenge, which gives new purpose to things that may otherwise be discarded. I ascribe to the theory that inanimate things can have memory; objects can pick up emotions and record history, and that we can be attuned to it. The materials I select to refashion have to “feel good” to me, and I sense this even more as I work with them.
My clothing ... RAGGTOPS refashioned upcycled couture.
Using clothing and trims from resale shops and markets, everything is carefully examined, laundered in eco-friendly soap and dried in sunshine. I ponder how to honor the best features of the garments, and employ many fabric techniques such as dyes, screen print, manipulation, embroidery by hand and machine; then I stitch them together with creativity and craftsmanship. These garments await new adventures and make new history as you wear them.
I also make mosaics (gypsea's treasures) made from historical Salem seaglass pottery, porcelain dolls, sea marbles, beads and buttons, and framed with reclaimed wood (often old teak boards from boats). I’ve combed the shores for many years, hunting for the most beautiful broken pottery (based on patterns and registration marks, some quite old) that was discarded by households. I love finding porcelain dolls and parts, broken vases and statues, marbles, and bottles, and as I clean them up, I promise them a new life in my artwork. The name “gypsea” comes from the most fortunate way I was able to spend more than a decade of my life during the summers, meandering about the New England coast on a beautiful old sailboat.