“I can weave with anything.” This is how Suzanne Tick introduced herself in May 2016 at her talk “Weaving Trash into Treasure” at TEDxNavesink, New Jersey. New York-based weaver, Tick is the founder of the eponymous design studio Suzanne Tick Inc., specializing in textile and wallpaper design, art direction, and brand strategy for commercial interiors. In addition, she has produced commissioned art pieces for private clients and public institutions such as the Bill Gates Foundation, and has developed her own creative practice as a textile artist since 2007. The designer enjoys reusing found and waste materials both in her personal and commercial work. This habit may have come from her father, a scrap metal dealer, whom she helped at the metal plant every summer during her teenage years.

Line Language is an upholstery fabric from Suzanne Tick’s Luum textile collection. This design features a textured weaving with a gradient of neutral tones from light to shadow in a minimalist palette of black, grey, and white. The textile has a painting-like quality mimicking irregular brushstrokes, which creates a graphic vertical and horizontal vibration. Its handmade ribbed aesthetic contrasts with its technical properties. Line Language is extremely durable, highly suitable for upholstery use, and made of 40% post consumer recycled fiber.
In her artistic practice, weaving trash materials and everyday remnants into new pieces is deeply intertwined with Suzanne Tick’s personal life. It becomes a transformative and cathartic process.[1] For instance with Pulp Fiction (2013), she created a series of woven panels made out of her shredded divorce papers. “People sometimes feel like trash and indisposed. And what we really want to feel is picked up and repurposed, and transformed into something beautiful and connect with some things.” In her compelling TED talk, Tick restores the value of discarded materials and uses weaving as a symbol of new beginnings, as a way to start over and reclaim her own existence.

[1] Belcove, Julie L., “Perfect Foil: Artist Suzanne Tick’s New Work Is a Tightly-Woven Wonder” in Wallpaper, May 19th, 2016, accessed on August 10, 2016.  http://www.wallpaper.com/art/perfect-foil-artist-suzanne-tick-tightly-woven-wonder

Video: Weaving Trash into Treasure

Suzanne Tick, TEDxNavesink, May 26, 2016

Scraps Stories

This post is part of the blog series Scraps Stories dedicated to exploring sustainable textiles and fashion, in relation to the exhibition Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse.

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