Primary Tools & Materials:
CUTTING TOOLS, SEWING MACHINE
Additional Tools & Materials: card stock, inkjet printer, ruler, LED lights, washi tape, camera, tripod
This letter is a cheeky take on Dominique Falla's style of "tactile typography." Made from the combination of cutting tools and my sewing machine, it certainly started life as a letter you'd want to touch. In the end, however - not so much. I wanted to create a letter under the umbrella of tactile typography - letters meant to be touched and felt. In this case, my tactile letter is made of a material (and a "cutting tool,") that most people probably wouldn't want to touch - broken glass.
The idea for this letter came a few days ago when a beloved pint glass from a trip out west to see friends met its end on my tiled kitchen floor. I couldn't bear to throw it away, because it represented such incredible memories, but I wasn't sure what to do with it, either. It occurred to me that I might be able to crush it into smaller bits and then construct a sort of stained glass window from the broken shards. So I triple-bagged the larger pieces, took them to my garage, and repeatedly dropped a gallon-sized tin of paint onto it, which crushed it into even smaller pieces.
Then I created a machine-sewn "window" in the shape of the letter T by sewing over a printed outline on card stock, then trimming out the letter T inside the stitches with an xacto blade. Then I had the idea to make this stained glass letter backlit by taping a strand of LED lights to the back of the letter with washi tape. I then placed my backlit letter T over a white sheet of paper, with a stack of books on either side to suspend the letter about an inch off the white paper. Then it was just a matter of picking up the shards of glass with tweezers and carefully placing them into the "window."
This letter challenged me to reconsider what "tactile" means in the context of creating letterforms, and allowed me a way to preserve the memories held in this broken glass through photography and collage.