Starting in September of this year, I began my MFA studies in the Fiber Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. With the end of the first semester in sight, I have come to a time of reflection on the first few months of earning my MFA.
Over the last three months, I’ve been able to devote myself fully to my studio practice. I found Cranbrook’s program to be most pleasing for this aspect, as there are no scheduled classes. While attending various seminars, reading groups, and working in my studio, I was able to finish a handful of works and formulate the foundations for future works in progress. My studies have been on a similar path of the exploration of comfort; however, the approach to research has changed slightly upon entering the Fiber Department. While working in a sculpture department, the focus was more upon the concept rather than the material. Being part of the CAA Fiber Department has challenged my ideas of what a woobie is, how it functions, and most of all, the materials in which woobies can be fabricated.
The first work created during my studies at Cranbrook challenged my woodworking abilities, along with the materials used to create the woobies, and their process of activation. As seen in the image above, the woobies took the form of what looks to be a sort of botanical sprout, or skin and hair follicles. The sprouts push through the barrier to reach the surface and greet the viewer, all while the multitudes of networks weave in and out of one another to create the foundation. In making this work, I began to contemplate the system beneath our skin and how it reacts in moments of stress. I was curious how that particular activation could be portrayed through a woobified network, while also staying close to the core interests.
After this exploration, I began to be curious of the materials that could be used to make woobies. While previous woobies have relied heavily on white acrylic, I began to form a desire for more material options and how their physical properties would alter the comfort of the woobie. This sparked the next work, “Woobie Bible”. This work serves as an ongoing collection of samples that have been deemed to have “woobie potential”. From strands of fiber, to fabric and knit samples, these bits have been given the approval of delivering the utmost comfort when interacted with in a tactile manner. This work has yet to be photographed, but will be documented shortly.
It was after making the “Woobie Bible” that I began to desire to document my personal woobies in a large, interactive way. I began working on the next work entitled, “Woobie Diary”, at this moment. Through collecting materials of woobie potential in the form of blanket, I created a sculpture that is large enough for the viewer to crawl into and begin to activate the comforting experience. While I consider this to be a piece, I also cannot deny its performative qualities. Within the next month, a performative video and film stills will be finished to complete this work.
The last few months have been very lucrative in making. I am very much looking forward to the next month of documentation and performative works to add to the body of work I have created thus far. For more information, and in process studio images, please keep an eye on my posts over the next couple weeks, along with Instagram: Artistinspired0217