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Human beings are creatures of habit. We often go through the same motions and activities day-to-day without even noticing the time spent on them. This behavior is frequently solidified through widely accepted practices as mundane as a daily reward on a mobile app or a discount at a restaurant after multiple purchases. Unfortunately, reoccurrence of this type can be unhealthy, leading to an excess of time spent on trivial things or maybe more spending than a budget might allow all for the sake of routine.
The same can be said of making. Craft is something that requires practice and repetition in order to become skilled. These actions can be done so many times that they become automatic, meditative, and even therapeutic. The hundreds of stitches put into a blanket or the carefully shaped jump rings making up a chain reflect the knowledge and enjoyment gained from the familiarity that comes with practice. However, if one should spend too much time wrapping wire to create those rings or attempt to make a queen sized blanket in one sitting, there would be a significant amount of discomfort at the least, or permanent damage at worst. The calming nature of automatic movement could become a painful compulsion, rather than the pleasant pastime it once was.
In my studio work I focus on the repetitive nature of craft and the careful balance that must be maintained between enjoyment and discomfort. The typically soft nature of handmade fabric is replicated with metal that appears as such, but with nearly none of the flexible properties it once had. The close-fitting, personal nature of these objects creates a metaphor for self-discovery, in the realization that what was once seen as comfortable and familiar has become something surprisingly restrictive.
Jeanne Beaver; Sarah Martin; Chris Lavery; T. Michael Martin
The show took place in the Curris Center gallery and exhibited 7 pieces of varying sizes.
The Spark, sterling silver, 2016, ring size 7
Hidden Restrictions, merino blend sock yarn, bronze, 2017, approx. 6.25"x 5"
Surprising Flexibility, copper sheet, dyed yarn, copper wire, 2017-18, approx. 7.25"x 5"
The Impressions of Making, aluminum, bronze, steel cable, cherry wood, crochet hooks, butterfly chair, 2018, approx. 4' x 4' x 7'
Unnoticed Limitations, sterling silver, fishing line, 2018, dimensions variable
Held in Discomfort, buckram, brass wire, screen print, 2017-18, dimensions variable
The Weight of Repeated Words, sterling silver, copper, sand, BBs, 2018, dimensions variable
Some photos used were taken by family members at the opening, Caitlin Cronin, and T. Michael Martin.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Goodlett, Alaina, "Compulsions" (2018). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 34.