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Kate Cusack

My background in costume design and window-display informs my current explorations in unusual materials and adornment. When I see one object repeated in large quantity or in an extreme size, I start to see it in its very basic visual form separate from its original purpose. I make associations based on shape, color and texture and I free myself from traditional restraints about what that item or material is normally used for.

Through my transformation of everyday materials into fanciful wearable creations, I remind viewers about the p power of imagination and the joy of discovering a new view of something that would have otherwise been overlooked. There is an exciting moment when someone realizes that there is more to my design than they initially expected; from sponges to saran-wrap to zippers. I create polished, elegant artwork that viewers can appreciate in a serious way, but then when they notice what the object is, it surprises them and brings a smile to their face.

My specific fascination with zippers comes from my general love of transforming ordinary materials into wearable objects of art. Because the metal teeth are attached to a fabric edge, the zipper is a material that is both rigid and flexible. I enjoy the contrast between the zipper's harsh metal teeth and the fluid, whimsical shapes that I can create with it.

To most designers, the zipper is a device intended simply to function. In fashion and costume design, the zipper is often looked down upon as a mundane fastener and not a feature.
Since 2003 when I designed my original Zipper Pin design, I have continued to develop my ever-expanding collection that now includes Zipper Necklaces, Zipper Bracelets and Zipper Brooches.

Images of my Zipper Jewelry have been featured on fashion and design blogs, which has sparked interest from fashion designers and photographers. My Zipper Jewelry has also caught the attention of the editors and stylists for magazines from New Zealand to New York, from Italy to Brazil. All of my experiences from costume design and window-display to wearable-art culminate in the Zipper Jewelry. They all relate to the body, and combine theatrical influences and my love for the transformation of unusual materials.

The body is my canvas: I am fascinated by adornment, and excess. I am inspired by the repetition of ordinary objects. My Zipper Jewelry and Sculptural Wearable creations are made from seemingly mundane materials and come to life when they are worn.

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Kate Cusack, Asterisk, 9.5"x 7"x 2.25", Zippers, 2013

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