In 2015 I went to Chicago, and spent a day at SOFA: Sculptural Objects Functional Art and design (www.sofaexpo.com). This is a top of the line gathering of galleries from around the world, showcasing their artists. It spans the entire gamut of materials and techniques and imagination.
Since I’m in love with patchwork, I was drawn to this wonderful piece that, as it turns out, is NOT wood! It is created by Jim Rose, who uses STEEL, which he scavenges and colors and cuts and turns into these wonderful pieces of furniture.
I love the concept of a quilt in steel. I even saw one, where the artist had used jump rings to connect all the little squares. Not something I’d want to spend time doing, but it’s a great twist on a traditional art.
When we think of quilts, we think of pliable, soft, squishy, flexible. When these artists create with as unyielding a material as steel, they are removing the art piece from the tradition of warmth, bedding, household goods, and elevating it into something entirely other.
I like that concept. To take our image of a quilt, recreate it with hardness and color, yet still retain the perception of warmth and beauty. Perverse and yet still retaining its place in my mind as a quilt.