First, could you introduce us to yourself, and to your work?
I’m 24 years old and a recent grad from Sheridan College’s Craft and Design textiles program. I was born and raised in Welland, Ontario, where I became really interested in art, textiles and fashion. In high school, I got really into silk screening after getting a kit for a Christmas present. I started making shirts for all my friends and doing merchandise for local bands. Around the same time I started learning to sew, with the help of my mom who is an avid sewer. Growing up in a low-income family, I was always taught how to be thrifty. Nowadays, I still practice thriftiness but use it to limit waste. I try to leave a minimal impact on the environment since your eco-footprint is an important issue as any kind of designer. Lately, I’ve been using discarded curtains, bed sheets and other unconventional fabrics to create garments. I try and find ones with unique and funky patterns and a variety of textures. I think the mix creates a unique aesthetic plus it’s fun to seek out cool new materials from unexpected places.
When creating a shirt, or an other textile, what is it that inspires that particular piece?
I’m always thrift store shopping, usually in the Niagara region and when I come across interesting fabrics I always envision what I think they could be used for. Basically when I did the shirts, I came across this insane, Zack Morris-esque curtain that I thought would be awful in a room setting but perfect as a piece in an outfit. Since the fabric was so loud I tried to compensate with an extra simple design. From there I just set out to hunt for crazy fabrics and got to it.
With other things, it’s abstract. I don’t go into it thinking about what I’m going to make, I just let my mind wander. Usually, the design process is kind of focused on the surface of the fabric, what its actually going on doesn’t matter much to me at first and then I decide that after.
Lastly, how would you like to see your work, or your approach to the medium, develop in the future?
I want to start using the found fabrics more as an accent and instead go back to dying and creating more of my own textiles. I want to continue my experiments with natural dyes, which I got the opportunity to do a ton of at Sheridan. Basically, I would make iron solutions out of rusty nails and vinegar and combine it with different organic material like turmeric, avocado’s, walnuts, cabbage, etc. This would create a dye and I’d use it to make my own fabric. The colours it creates I think would look really good with the patterns I’ve been using lately.
I also want to continue working on more women’s apparel and bags that I have done in the past. I used to create backpacks out of naturally dyed canvas and old leather belts so I want to produce more of those well combining them with some of the found fabrics I have been using. I want start producing all these pieces at a greater volume to start building my brand, Dweeb Apparel.