In my current project, Wearing, I unravel the braided rugs common in old houses, and make them into what they may have been. These rugs, made from moth-eaten coats, worn blankets and clothing, reveal the tread of humanity going about their daily lives. I unbraid each rug, then press and sew the strips into cloth. The unbraiding reveals a myriad hidden patterns and exuberant hues. Lines of dotted holes indicate the years of tread marks eroding the fabric. Leopard-like spots of dirt pressed into the exposed parts of the rugs reveal human movement through time. The process of making these is something like an excavation, uncovering what the rugs hide in between the braids, while admiring the craft and labor of each anonymous maker. I keep part of the original rug attached to the object, to allude to the cyclical nature of materials and shifting boundaries of the objects.

Wearing Installation at the Ucross Foundation
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
15 x 15"

All the garments were made from the rug in the center.

Wearing Ucross Installation Performance
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
15 x 15 x 6'

with thanks to the fellows at Ucross

Wearing: Detail of Skirt and top
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a skirt and top
Wearing: Skirt and Shirt made from unbraided rug
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Detail of Wearing: Skirt
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing: pants and vest
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing: Coat
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing: Coat
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a coat
40 x 52"

The garment was created from the attached rug.

Wearing, Detail of Coat
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing Coat modeled by Sharon!
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing: Cape
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape
48 x 38"

The garment was created from the rug.

Wearing: Cape with Skirt
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape and skirt
40 x 52"

unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape and skirt

Wearing: Cape, detail
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape
40 x 52"
Wearing, Cape and Skirt, reverse
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape and Skirt
48 x 38 x 17"

The garments were created from the rug below.

Wearing, Cape detail
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a cape, rug remnant
48 x 38"
Wearing, Pants
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Blanket with rug remnant
2020
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
88 x 82"
Wearing, Shirt
2020
Shirt made from unbraided rug, rug remnant
45 x 50"
Wearing Installation
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a suit, curtains, ottoman and hat, rug remnant
8' x8' x4'

All the elements in this installation were created from the rug within.

Wearing: Ottoman
2020
unbraided worn rug upholstered onto an ottoman, rug remnant
3' x 5' x4'

The holes in the fabric are from foot traffic through time.

Wearing: Curtains
2020
unbraided worn rug, rug remnant
72 x 18 inches, each panel

The holes in the fabric are from foot traffic through time.

Wearing: Suit
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a suit, rug remnant
medium

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing, Suit
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a suit, rug remnant
Wearing: Suit, detail
2020
unbraided worn rug sewn into a suit, rug remnant
medium

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Coat
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a coat, rug remnant
36 x 47 x 3"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

detail of Wearing: Coat
2019
unbraided worn rug, pressed, pieced and sewn into fabric

The dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid, while the holes reveal the passage of footprints over time.

Wearing Installation at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts
2019
clothing and blanket made from worn braided rugs
variable
Wearing, detail of pants
2019
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Wearing, detail of pants
2019
unbraided, pressed and sewn worn braided rug, rug remnant
Installation view of Wearing, at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts
2019

I was an artist in residence at VCCA from November to December, 2019

Wearing: Blanket and Slippers
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a blanket and slippers, rug remnant
80 x 90 x 36"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: detail of Slippers
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a blanket and slippers, rug remnant
80 x 90 x 36"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Blanket Detail
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a blanket, rug remnant
80 x 90 x 36"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Blanket Detail
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a blanket, rug remnant
80 x 90 x 36"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing, Night Shirt
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a night shirt, rug remnant, ironing board
40 x 42 x 38"

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Jacket
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a coat, rug remnant
30 x 34 plus rug remnant

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Jacket detail
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a coat, rug remnant

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: detail of Curtains for VCCA
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into curtains, rug remnant
78 x 48 x 22 inches

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: detail of Curtains for VCCA
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into curtains, rug remnant
78 x 48 x 22 inches

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing: Shirt
2019
unbraided worn rug sewn into a shirt, rug remnant
30 x 36 x 2 inches

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Detail of fabric made from unbraided rug, pieced together
2019
unbraided worn rug, pressed, pieced and sewn into fabric

An worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric & then made into an article of clothing that may have been cut up for the rug. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid.

Wearing, unbraided braided rug
2019
unbraided worn rug, pressed, pieced and sewn into fabric

A worn braided rug was unbraided, pressed, pieced together into fabric. The holes are from the passage of footprints over time, the dirt spots reveal the unhidden surface of the braid. Much of the fabric was never stepped on, due to the braiding process, so some really surprising patterns and vivid colors emerge!

Wearing: Stockings
2019
unbraided worn rug, pressed, pieced and sewn into fabric
40 x 27 x 1 inches

This rug was mostly synthetic fabrics, so I felt stockings could have been shredded to make it.