It's crazy to think making quilts would be my ticket to a train tour. Back in September I was invited to travel with the Makers yurt, a Levi's artistic contribution to Station to Station, Doug Aitken's latest art project. The Levi's Makers was curated by Jay Carroll and became a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods at speciality Levi's stores. We were on-the-road for a month, the train started in New York with stops in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City, Santa Fe, Winslow, Barstow, and Los Angeles, and came to a stop in Oakland on September 28, 2013.
Each stop/station was a show or “nomadic happening” with multiple performances across diverse mediums. The list of "participants" in Station to Station was an impressive array of creative personalities, too many to list here. Some of my favorite musicians included Patti Smith, Beck, Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples, Cat Power and White Mystery among many others.
At each station Chap and I set-up in the Makers yurt alongside Forestbound, Cobra Rock Boots, Levi's Tailor Shop, Junkyard Jeans, Tangleblue Weavers, and Centinela Traditional Arts. I mostly worked on hand quilting, patchwork appliqué on denim shirts, and collecting dyes throughout the landscape. The yurt really gave us a platform to create and collaborate while allowing the public to observe our process and ask us questions. There was a special energy between the Makers. The trip quickly broke down all barriers and we bonded like family. We connected through the common thread of loving to create one-of-a-kind work with our hands. The practice of sharing my process and being inspired by others taught me how to be collaborative again. It was an emotional and spiritual experience, spending each day around committed and generous people who want nothing more than to help make remarkable things happen. It was a dream.
(A collection of images by me, Jay Carroll, Alice Saunders, Jack Rigollet, Jeff Frank, and Erin Keane Scott)