Textures & Textiles In Context

I don't know about you, but social isolation has shifted my patterns of thinking.

We're stranded at home if we know what's good for us, so we're having to find new ways to live our lives and form new outlets for connection. Some of us Zoom Bingo with family once a week, others of us have created small pods of friends that share the same priorities of health and safety while navigating this pandemic, perhaps meeting up at an outdoor cafe once in a while or taking a walk in the fresh air.

As an artist, my mind wanders into territories where possible scenarios play themselves out. Some of those scenarios are downright frightening, but somehow, the uncertainty is liberating.

I've been on this planet for enough decades to be able to have some degree of certainty that there will be a tomorrow and some day, we will have muddled our way through this crazy time of divided politics and destructive pandemics. Those of us who make it through to the other side will become stronger, wiser and will be able to re-engage in more meaningful ways.

Meanwhile, I am inspired by my friend who bought a business at what could be described as the worst time to do so. But think about it, now is as good a time to try something new and exciting than ever.

That's why I started The Maskini. Starting in March, I made so many utilitarian masks for people who needed them, thinking we would have the fortitude to socially isolate long enough to slow the spread. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. So I travelled down the rabbit hole of interesting patterns for cotton masks and tried multiple ways to have fun with it.

When I met Loren Woodward, a kindred spirit who herself had made over 400 mask for donation, we put our minds together to create items that we love. Loren took on the task of brioche knitting cashmere accessories while I perfected the silk charmeuse mask and began jewelry making. Now, I can't get enough texture. I spend hours a week scouring the US market for vendors who sell unique fabrics and beads, We've worked our way from twill to charmeuse, cashmere and silk velvet. I can't wait to see what's arriving next in my mailbox and decide what we will do with it next.

I look at our venture as an adventure into creating the types of luxury items we might only buy on a trip to Paris, Berlin or Prague. Our journey is inward and onward. We make things that we love to touch. Textures are another way to fill the void of physical connection.

We hope you'll love what we make as much as we love making it.


brain child of

Catherine Conlin :: Concepts in Art & Design

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