Primary Tools & Materials:
HAIR, SEWING MACHINE
Additional Tools & Materials: inkjet printer, tracing paper, xacto blade, light table, washi tape
This furry letter is made from clippings of my own hair. My hairstylist suggested I keep the trimmings from my last haircut when I told her about my type study, and after weeks of wondering how I could incorporate it, I realized it would be the perfect medium to demonstrate the craft of Stefan Sagmeister. Sagmeister can - and does - make type out of anything; leaves, pennies, duct tape, bananas, even cuts into his own skin. I didn't want to go quite that far, but a fistful of my hair seemed like an innocent enough foray into his methodology.
To combine the "carving/shaping" category with "textile machinery," I decided to enclose strands of my hair between two sheets of vellum, shape them into the letter A, sew the outline by machine, and then tear the package open to reveal the mess inside. I made this up as I went - and at each step I was sure the sewing machine would get clogged with hair, or the tracing paper would snag on the needle, but it went pretty smoothly. Even cutting the vellum open with an xacto blade worked just the way I'd hoped it would. This is not typical for how these studies have gone in the past, and considering how unconventional this letter is, I was very surprised that it went off without a hitch.
This expressive letter feels like a statement - though I'm not sure what statement it's trying to make. It's defiant, messy, and a little gross. It's not typical of my own style, but it was an excellent experiment in stepping far, far outside my comfort zone.