Rachel Sherman makes impeccably crafted clothing and accessories under the name Malagueta. Her surface manipulation on each garment is pretty amazing. Learn more about her techniques & what inspires her. And be sure to check her out at the bazaar at Booth 48 – all of her items are always neatly displayed by color!
Art Star: Did you go to art school? If so, where did you study?
RS: I went to Moore College of Art and got my BFA in Textile Design.
AS: What types of items will you be selling at the bazaar?
RS: Skirts, tops, dresses, and wristlets….all of which will display some type of surface manipulation.
AS: What materials do you work with?
RS: Lots of jersey and woven fabrics all of which are plain on the surface, nothing printed, and textures are kept to a minimum. Whenever there is any leftover, which there usually is, I save it and use it for appliques, piecing, etc.
AS: How are your items made? Describe your process.
RS: I buy limited amounts of yardage that I first cut into the pattern pieces. Some styles I assemble COMPLETELY before I add any surface detail to them, while others can only be assembled AFTER the pattern pieces are cut then covered with surface work. The techniques I use are found in traditional folk textiles such as Kuna Molas, Rahasthani dresses, and Korean Bojagi cloth. Those techniques are reverse applique (layering fabrics then removing one layer at a time to reveal specific colors underneath), couching (sewing yarn onto fabric with thread, either by hand or sewing machine), piecing (gathering fabric pieces of different shapes and colors and sewing them together to emphasize bold color compostions or using the opaque seams to emphasize line compostions).
AS: Are you able to make your work full-time? If not, what do you do for your day job?
RS: Malagueta is almost full-time work, however I do squeeze in block-printing one day a week, the occasional sewing project for someone, then top it off with a samba performance or a gig teaching design to high school students.
AS: Who are some of your favorite artists?
RS: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY ARTIST FRIENDS of course and Lee Bontecou, Friedrich Hundertwasser, Francoise Gilot, Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine…
AS: What are you reading/listening to right now?
RS: Chet Atkins, The Might Sparrow, Jorge Ben and other Brasilian Artists. I will be reading Bossy Pants as soon as my sister is done with it.