Kiki Smith: The Fabric Workshop | Art21 “Extended Play”

Kiki Smith: The Fabric Workshop | Art21 “Extended Play”


[Kiki Smith: The Fabric Workshop] I made this blanket… I guess about two years ago now, at The Fabric Workshop. This one’s backwards, also, but… It’s just the way it goes. But, it was a big… They’re on a Jacquard– made on a Jacquard loom. And then fulled, which means they rip the surface like that, so it’s fuzzy like a Canadian blanket, kind of. I’m making a show at The Fabric Workshop of housewares, or, rather than make art with it in a certain sense, make objects– make daily life things. I have lots of ideas of things to make, but I’m not good at… I realize I’m good at doing what I can do in my own power, out of my own physicality. And then, like, a little extension out from that. But, I’m not good at, um… you know, to manufacture things. [SMITH, OFF-SCREEN] Yeah. No, here’s my list. [The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA] [SMITH] Okay… [WOMAN, SUE PATTERSON, LAUGHS OFF-SCREEN] [SMITH] These are the things that are done. [PATTERSON OFF-SCREEN CONTINUES LAUGHING] Nothing like a mega-sized list! [PATTERSON] This is not the ‘tuck in your shirt pocket’ thing… [SMITH] I have twenty years of these. Okay, I have this big silver finger bowls. [PATTERSON] Mmm hmm. [SMITH] I have the packing blankets I made at The Mattress Factory. [PATTERSON] Yup, with the birds on them… [SMITH] “Tailbone A.D.” Skull…the skull sculpture which is a doorstop. [PATTERSON] Yup. [PATTERSON] I’ve worked with Kiki probably over the last two-and-a-half years. I’ve worked at The Fabric Workshop for thirteen. So, to put that in context, I’ve worked with a lot of different people, So, it’s sort of… You get a new experience each time. And she’s primarily doing, with us, textile-related things. [Sue Patterson, Project Manager] Anything fabric-related, we can whip it up faster, and knock a screen of something off. So, she loves that facility. She appreciates working with people that have other skills that aren’t available at her house. [MAN] Kiki? On the fabric, do you want them, like, straight up and down? [SMITH] Oh, I thought they were sort of going on an angle, aren’t they? [MAN] Is that what you want? [SMITH] Yeah. [MAN] Okay. [SMITH] Yeah. [MAN] So assume, like, this… [SMITH] Let’s see if you straighten it, what it looks like. No. It should go at an angle [MAN] Like that. [SMITH] Yeah. [MAN] Okay. [PATTERSON] Kiki will be making a mixed bag of things. And some of those she’s working on today. The wallpaper is one. The coverlet… Another blanket is one. The little flip doll– the owl-cat doll–is one. She’s doing a bunch of cast-silver jewelry objects. A colander that has a constellation. And the wonderful thing about Kiki that I love is that she’s making art twenty-four hours a day. It’s like you go to her house, and there’s everything all over the place. People are, you know, calling on the phone, and there’s a pot of glue under the table, and… It’s this really seamless experience for her– That there’s no border between going to the studio and making artwork. And that’s really great, because it’s just natural. [SMITH] It’ll be a queen-sized bed blanket, so, it has the hands with the flowers there, and then the hands with the candles and the bird. And then the bottom part are the heads. The back side will be the weeping willows there. [SMITH] Perfect! It looks alright… I mean, it looks like wallpaper in… the kitchen. [LAUGHS] 1960-something. [MAN] In the drawing room. In the drawing room. [SMITH] A la 1960s. It’s just what I wanted… [MAN] Just what you need! [SMITH] Just what I wanted it to look like.

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