Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sewing My Childhood Together

During the second semester of college, I took a sculpture class.  Many people have said that architecture and sculpture went hand in hand and I hadn't taken an art class since 8th grade so I thought, "why not?" It turns out this class was a "found object sculpture" class.  I still made the most I could out of it and had a lot of fun. (If any readers out there, by any sliver of chance, can take a class by Andrew Thompson - he teaches at three different schools now - do take it.  He's an awesome guy)

Many people seem to miss their early childhoods and usually refer to them as the good ol' days.  I've said to many friends, when asked, that I don't miss my childhood at all.  Life has just kept getting better and better for me.  I have usually thought of it to be mostly boring, somewhat deprived, and aside from some nice moments or events, I felt that there just wasn't really anything special about it.  Yes, my childhood as a whole  was pleasant and has helped me become the person that I am today but that period of time, I'd say, from when I was born to about 5th grade, wasn't very extraordinary in itself.

Our first project involved disassembling and sewing up a stuffed animal into a different configuration and I found a strange enjoyment in sewing.  The final project for this class could be anything we wanted. I'm not sure how I actually came across this idea, but I did have a ton of old, special t-shirts from various stages of my childhood in a box in the basement.  I'd recently been trying to cut down on the amount of things I hoard because they're "cool" or "special." I had accumulated too much stuff in this fashion.  I figured that fabric was just fabric and it was the printing that made the t-shirts so special.  So, long story short, I came home and scanned all of the shirts onto my computer, photoshopped them together into some sort of quilt as a plan, brought all of my old t-shirts to school, and Andy T taught me how to use a sewing machine.  It was a lot of fun.  I first started out with a serger but that malfunctioned after the first day so I'd say 80% of this quilt was done with a regular sewing machine.  I am still surprised that this quilt ended up more rectangular than I originally thought it would be (not like a trapezoid or something).  It's about 4 x 6 feet.

This t-shirt quilt mostly follows chronological order, starting at the top left and ending at the bottom right and it goes until the end of 8th grade.  When I started this project, I was actually able to find some symbolism in it, as was preferred for the class.  I took what seemed like my boring childhood and turned it into a colorful masterpiece.  For all these years, I had these wonderful pieces of cloth tucked away in a box and I was only now able to fully appreciate them, just as I started to appreciate my childhood for forming me as a person.  I enjoyed making this and I'm aware it might not qualify as a "sculpture," but I think this was the piece that I was most proud of out of all of the ones during the semester.