Reclaimed, Reworked, Reborn: a Retrospective of Works by Catherine Mick
Meet-the-Artist Reception: Saturday, July 20, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
This exhibition will showcase the upcycled textile garments of Catherine Mick, who has spent a lifetime experimenting on how to repurpose fabrics to give garments a new life. Catherine is a spinner and a weaver, so she breaks old garments with worn out sections down to their most basic components and then spins and weaves beautiful new fabrics from them.
Catherine would like to invite other textile artists to share her exhibition in order to showcase the ways in which they have creatively repurposed textiles and breathed new life into old rags. More details about the call to artists coming soon.
Catherine does what she calls “experiments”- what happens if I do this or that? She will make small swatches to test her ideas- only one of her many binders is on display here- to see how the yarn behaves alone or in relation to other commercial yarns worked into the design. When asked where her samples are she will tell you she is wearing one. When we catalogued her collection of clothing, she has 29 garments that she continues to wear regularly, all part of her one-of-a-kind classic wardrobe. There is only one outfit that she considers “retro”, a pink suede suit with big sleeves that she made from a commercial pattern in the 1980’s. Everything else is timeless. She has occasionally remade an outfit to update it. Generally she focuses on fashion, not fad. She may include a special collar, a waist, an offset closure currently in fashion, but the basic design is simple.
In her workshops she quotes advice she received from a potter many years ago: Design must meet Function. Function and Design must marry well.
Catherine will tell you she “drools over great discards”- a man’s plaid wool pants, a 25 year-old gold cashmere lady’s coat (original price $1000- now a different color and part of her new yardage), an $18,000 lynx fur coat worn out in the front (not yet cut up). When it is high quality/ great fabric it catches her imagination and she will find a way to save it by redesigning it. She respects the history of the garment, the original design, cut and drape as she plans her remake, which often includes dyeing the fabric to suit her personal color style. In her green leather coat, now 30 years old, she saved the zipper and the original two collars, one fox fur and one in leather. The leather itself was faded and discoloured, but the new version uses the suede side of the leather. The leather collar was used as the pattern for a new crocheted collar.
Catherine shares her work openly. She wants to show the world what rags can become by making things that look socially acceptable. She does this work for the joy of creating things and says “I do like my magic”. Her advice is to use excellent fabrics, and colors you love to work with. You will spend a lot of time with the fabric, the yarn, designing an item you will wear for many years.
Gallery hours: 11:00 to 5:00 Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday). No admission fee.