“Who we are arises directly from what our bodies can do,” writes Richard Sennett in his recent book, The Craftsman. In his spirited defense of how making material things can enlarge one’s life, Sennett reevaluates the place of the handmade in the digital age. Certainly in design we are familiar with the idea that touch is often a necessary antidote to high tech, and that the ether of the electronic world has honed our appetite for the tactile and material. Heather Bush agrees. A designer at Carnegie Fabrics, she considers ways in which to apply craft technique to hard-use textiles. She was also willing to rethink the notion that handwork is exclusively about limited production, high costs, and the imprint of individuality. Tuned in to the embroidery that was so ubiquitous in fashion a few years back, Bush decided it had a place in high-performance wall coverings and upholstery.
March 26, 2010