Friday, February 6, 2009

Kate Cusack - Zipper Jewelry

Today I have the lovely Kate Cusack of Brooklyn, NY from Etsy. I am in love with this cuff and the simplicity and genius of her designs. She also has her own website- check her out!

What inspired you to make this product?
I made my first Zipper Pin in 2002. I had recently finished designing and creating costumes for a children’s dance theater company and I got my hands on bags and bags of zippers. At that point in fashion, pins and brooches seemed very in style. I was originally inspired by the idea of the Chanel flower, and thrifty/resourceful decoration of fashion from the 1940s. Because of wartime restrictions on materials, designers were forced to be more resourceful with extra pieces of fabric to decorate their garments. I always love these kinds of designs because there is a bit of a self-referential notion, and there is a simplicity when an entire garment from body to decoration is made from only one material.
I made a Zipper Pin for myself and wore it on my jacket. I was working in the visual merchandizing department at Tiffany & Company at the time and the woman who I worked for, admired my pin. I was working there to design and create five marie-antoinette-style wigs made entirely from plastic wrap (that you’d use to cover left overs with) for the store windows along 5th Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan. I made the second Zipper Pin as a gift for the woman who’d hired me when the project was complete, as a thank you.

What are your favorite materials to use?
Zippers are exciting to me right now because of their connection to fashion and to costume design by association, but they are appealing in form because of how the metal teeth sparkle and how the linear construction potential is endless. A line can be shaped into anything. A zipper is simply a line.

Who are some etsy artists that you admire?
I admire my good friend and art-jeweler Margaux Lange. ( Margaux has created a compelling body of work using the bodies of Barbie dolls as her inspiration and main material. She creates unusual, beautiful jewelry that is compelling and even a bit creepy at the same time. I admire Margaux for the reputation she has created for herself and her work based on an iconic doll that most girls disregard before they turn into teenagers. She is constantly balancing the creative side with the business side of her jewelry and achieving great success.

What are some of the websites you most frequently visit?

What is your process in creating your art?
I think it’s always important to explore and brainstorm whether in 3D or 2D. Sometimes an idea comes just from handling a material and pinning it on a dressform, but other times, an idea can come from drawings in a sketchbook. Being sensitive to your own creative timing is important also. Sometimes my brain is only able to follow through on an idea I started months ago, sometimes I dread the idea of just executing an idea and instead I want to create a new one.

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