MADE BY LEA
This larger-than-life clothes tag honors the many people and places involved in the production of clothing today. We wear most of our clothes without any knowledge or experience of the person who raised the sheep, grew the cotton, or stitched the hem. Most clothes tags offer few details. How can we know if a garment was produced in a way that honors the health of workers and local ecologies? How can we make sound buying decisions if the information just isn’t available?
Care Symbol has been exhibited at:
- Reinvention, Cesar Chavez Art Gallery, SFSU (San Francisco, CA)
- Behind the Seams, at Highways (Los Angeles, CA)
- American Textile History Museum (Lowell, MA)
- TERRIOR a sense of place, Art at the Cheese Factory (Petaluma, CA)
- Harmony Reverberates Optimism, McNish Gallery, Oxnard College (Oxnard, CA)
I handmade the Care Symbol clothes tag with great attention to place and materials on a little wooden loom made by my weaving teacher’s husband forty years ago. The text is stitched by hand. The wool is from Meridian Jacobs, a small sheep farm near Vacaville, CA run by Robin Lynde – shepherd, weaver, and teacher. Jacob sheep are a special, spotted breed. The brown wool in the giant tag is from the brown spots on the sheep and the white is from the white spots.
Visit Meridian Jacobs to purchase their wool, attend open farm days, or simply learn more about their wonderful farm. Remarkably there are only two remaining large-scale mills still producing woolen fabric in the United States: Pendleton Woolen Mills and Woolrich. Smaller craft producers like Meridian Jacobs need our support if this important domestic industry is to survive.
Know of any other small wool producers worthy of our support? Let us know in the comments section below…
Changing Clothes is an ongoing project that investigates the politics and ecology of clothes through a series of sculptures, collaborations, and public participations that explore the everday world of producing, wearing, and discarding clothes.
Lea Redmond is always looking for the poem hiding inside things: a salt shaker, a clothes tag, a hand gesture, a cloud. She is infinitely intrigued by the way experiences can slip from the ordinary to the extraordinary and she endeavors to design things that hold this possibility. Leafcutter Designs, her creative studio in Berkeley, CA, makes the world more playful and peaceful one little experience at a time.