A craftswoman and fabrics expert, but possessed with a futuristic and comprehensive vision of this sector, the American Jessica Smarsch has been living in Holland since 2012. That was when she moved from New York in order to study for a Masters in Design in Eindhoven. Since then, she has applied traditional production methods to her textile projects and enriched them with new technologies in order to create unique prints and warp knit fabrics.
Her research method is aimed at using graphics and sophisticated mixes of cotton and wool thread to display the human body’s movements, especially those created by electric impulses, which is what is really recorded. For that purpose, she has developed software that uses electrodes placed on the body in order to transform the movements captured into a series of graphic patterns. The artist also hopes that this mechanical production method can recover traditional production systems, without losing the slightest hint of handmade fabric techniques.
Following an initial approximation to this technology that she called Constructing Connectivity (during which she availed of the dancer Ron Duijer in order to capture the movements), that she presented in a jean collection during the last edition of Dutch fashion week, she is now presenting Body Scapes, a second part that she applies to home fabrics such as blankets, quilts and plaids.
No two prints are similar. It is difficult for movements captured in a certain situation to be repeated the same way, even when you try to copy the same movements. Therein lies the exclusivity of these graphics, it is what differentiates them from one another
Right now it is a very small-scale craft production, but looking to find a producer daring enough to invest in a process that, according to the artists, will gradually replace the traditional print making system. “Also, the work is quite quick, as once you’ve created the software, the next step is to apply it to textiles. That is where technology and tradition combine to create new forms”, says Jessica.
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