I don`t think there is a woman who doesn’t like at least one piece of jewelry. All women love them and wear them. These accessories give us that glamour touch we need, in order to feel and look good every day.
I also love jewelry and that`s why I started this search for ingenious designers, who love to create something beautiful and out of the ordinary, who enchant us with their accessories. We have seen many types of jewelry through my articles, but for now we will wear…zippers! This should be very interesting, the designs are very nice and trendy, and they are made to fit many occasions and outfits.
Today we will meet Kate, a young jewelry designer, that turns zippers into wearable art since 2003.
Kate Cusack is a Brooklyn-born artist who makes glamorous jewelry entirely from zippers. Her innovative Zipper Jewelry designs are unique sculptural creations. Kate’s elegant Zipper Jewelry reminds us about the power of imagination and the joy of discovering the beauty in something that we encounter every day.
“There is an exciting “a-ha” moment when someone realizes that there is more to my creation than they initially expected”, says the artist.
Kate earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in costume design from the Yale School of Drama. Kate’s artistic experiences culminate in the Zipper Jewelry. All of her work relates to the body, combining theatrical influences and her love for the transformation of ordinary materials into pieces of exceptional art.
Kate’s Zipper Jewelry has been featured in numerous fashion and design magazines in America and internationally. Her Zipper Jewelry is exhibited in galleries and boutiques across America and is included in many private collections.
How did you discover that you love crafting?
I actually do not refer to myself as a crafter or someone who crafts. I am an artist who works with textile elements to create wearable art. (There are different interpretations of the word “craft”—from the DIY trend to the notion that if an object is both functional and artful then it is a craft item.)
The zipper is a special material because it is a common item that we come in contact with on a daily basis, but my fascination is, more specifically, because it is fabric and metal at the same time. The flexible fabric allows me to create fluid shapes and designs in contrast to the hard metal teeth. Because it is not a precious material like gold or diamonds, I can be free with my designs, experiments and ideas.
How do you create the design? Is it a mix between an inspiration source and many trials with the zipper? What tools do you use?
I like to create with repeating units in my designs. For example, I will use one shape—like a circle or an X—and connect it together to create a pattern. For a necklace, I typically pin the zippers directly onto a dress-form which helps me pay attention to how the necklace will relate to the body and transition from the back of the neck, down the shoulders to the front of the body. Depending on the design, the zippers are either hand-stitched, machine-stitched or a combination of the two. In the past few years, I have created designs where the fabric is removed from the zipper, leaving only the metal teeth. For this approach, called Zipper Lace, the elements are wired together.
Can you describe us in a few words your technique?
The techniques I use are hand-sewing, machine-sewing and wiring.
Thank you, Kate !
Zipper Lace necklaces
If you want to find out more about my activity, here is my website.