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#BadassCreatives: Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show Winner, Kate Mayne

Culture Candy’s Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show

If you read my recent interview with textile artist Wylie Sofia Garcia, you already know that this year’s Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show is just around the corner and it promises to be as amazing as ever.

If you didn’t read that post, go read it. But here’s the lowdown: Uncommon Thread is an epic fashion show of wearable art, unlike any other. This year’s event will take place on December 5, 2015 at 8 p.m. at the Main Library in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The show features incredible wearable works of art created by textile artists, fashion designers, skilled costumers and sculptors from across the country. (Yep, so you don’t have to live in Louisiana or be present the night of the event to submit your work! Check out the full Prospectus here for details.)

Did I mention there’s a $1000 cash prize on the line for the best in show??

The call for entries for the 2015 Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show is now open. The deadline to apply is midnight on November 16, 2015. This year’s theme is Epilogue, with artists asked to “meditate on notable books, authors, or literary characters and use wearable art as means of opening up a conversation about these influences.”

I recently chatted with one of the past winners of Uncommon Thread, Kate Mayne, to learn more about what goes into creating a winning work of wearable art:

Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show: Kate Mayne

How did you first hear about Uncommon Thread? Do you normally work with textiles or was wearable art a new experience for you?

I heard about Uncommon Thread in an introduction to sculpture class at LSU, but didn’t apply until after I graduated. As an art form, I have rarely worked with textiles, but have a strong sewing background. Both of my grandmothers sew, one taught me the basics and to quilt, while the other helped me make clothes for my dolls.

Can you talk a little about the winning piece you made for Uncommon Thread? What inspired it and what was involved in creating it?

When I was going through the brain storming process I only knew one thing: that I wanted to use clay. I thought of clay as an original material used for armory, and fur as an original material used for clothing. The piece represents our primal need for clothes as protection with the modern aspect of design and beauty.

The dress took planning; first I made a cloth dress that could be easy removed once the clay tiles were added, along with a hoop skirt secured with braided wire. Then I made the tiles using slabs of clay and cookie cutters, having to drill holes in each one before they were fired. Once over 2,000 were made, I got to sewing. For three months I fought through carpal tunnel to sew each individual tile on.

Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show: Kate Mayne

What was the experience of participating in Uncommon Thread like overall? How has it differed from other art shows you’ve been involved with?

Overall it was a good experience. There was a lot of planning that went into this show, and things went very smoothly for the scale that it was. Uncommon Thread is building a strong reputation and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

What advice would you give to other artists who are interested in submitting their work for this year’s Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show?

This is a show that you have to have both impeccable craft and concept. On show day I looked around and knew my work was in the top three, but what I think truly set me apart was that the judge asked questions about my concept and choice of material. It was about more than the actual dress.

Where can people find your work?

Currently I am living in Austin, TX and work for Whole Foods Market. I do not have any work up for viewing because I have been focused on applying to graduate schools. I want to study mental health counseling, while focusing on art as a tool for therapy.

Uncommon Thread Culture Candy

Think you’ve got what it takes to create an epic wearable work of art?

Learn more about this year’s theme Epilogue and download the prospectus and guidelines at uncommonthread.culturecandy.org. Remember, all entries are due by November 16, 2015 by midnight, so get to work!

A big thanks to Uncommon Thread for sponsoring Miss Malaprop!

About the Author Mallory Whitfield

Mallory Whitfield has been making things and performing for as long as she can remember. She started blogging at MissMalaprop.com in 2006, and currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast. Throughout her journey as a creative entrepreneur, Mallory has worn many hats, including blogger, visual artist, upcycled clothing creator, performance artist, jewelry designer, craft show vendor, creative strategist, speaker, teacher and consultant to other small business owners.
She worked as Content Analyst at FSC Interactive, a leading digital marketing agency, prior to taking on her current role as Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based startup studio which builds digital products and visionary companies.

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