Digital Fabrication Residency Part 2

Learning new software is HARD. Good thing I have top notch teachers who are very patient (not to mention entertaining). We started off in SketchUp, which is free, and then transitioned to Modo, which is way more complicated and entrancing. Learning hot keys and how to navigate through the virtual space has become second nature. I’m still getting my bearings with how to purposefully manipulate the three dimensional objects, but happy accidents are pretty cool too.

My hands-on brain has been struggling with virtual thinking, so I made an intermediary design as a stepping stone. I knew I wanted something that could interlock and was thinking about vertebrae. I realized the vertebrae looked kind of like a hexagon with three arms jutting out so I ran with that. For the interlocking mechanism, I was feeling nostalgic and thinking about barrel of monkeys:

So I started out with a hexagon shape and added candy cane crooks to each corner:

Then I modified each of the straight lines to come up with a more organic looking shape:

This bad boy has now been printed and I’m planning on making a mold to mass produce it and turn it into a 3D textile print of sorts. Hooray for baby steps!

In other news…

I’ve been researching exciting textile work through and other online forums. Seeing the Quilt (R)evolution show at the Dairy Barn in Athens, OH was insanely inspiring. It’s amazing to see the skills artists acquire through decades of practice in such tiny, precise stitching. I was repeatedly berated in art school for my interest in textiles because of all its art history baggage, but I just really love working large and am hopelessly drawn to the process of quilting. One of the new ideas I had for a quilt was inspired by the Dairy Barn show and this work by Zoe Sargent:

I still have laser cut circles left over from Calavera and it would be sad to let them waste away in a drawer. The novel idea of holes in a quilt inspired me to play with the notion of relocating missing circular pieces. I’ve been interested in inversion for a while.

50″x40″ 2009

Plus, my hands are itching to play with material! The endless cycle of textile –> print –> textile creates a plethora of lost-in-translation-moments-of-beauty.


About mitchcollective

MITCH Collective is a community-driven catalyst promoting creativity in the Ohio Valley. MITCH Collective enriches Martins Ferry, Ohio and nearby towns by: -inviting artists, writers, and musicians to experience the beauty and creative potential of the area while creating new work and interacting with local residents through the residency program. -inspiring a historically economically depressed area by teaching new skills and ideas that will help foster new problem solving approaches for challenges that face the community. -collaborating with nonprofit and municipal organizations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to bring innovative, interdisciplinary projects to life. Facilities include printmaking, screen printing, sewing, quilting, and bookbinding. Visit for more information.
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