Alejandra Zermeño: Tool kit

Alejandra Zermeño: Tool kit

Welcome to another edition of Tool kit, a series of articles where we take a look at some of the favourite tools used by professional textile artists.

Alejandra Zermeño was born in Mexico City and has been working as an artist since graduating from the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts where she gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master’s Degree, specialising in sculpture.

Since the beginning of her career, Zermeño´s interest has been the exploration of the human body and her work has been exhibited in Mexico City, Tokyo, Germany, Spain, Canada and the USA. She will have a solo exhibition at the Mexican Museum in 2018.

In this article, Alejandra discusses the tools she can’t live without; how they enhance her art and improve her abilities and why an unusual birthday present changed her life and work process forever.

Plasticine

Plasticine

Item 1 – Plasticine

Brand: Isemarf
Model: Professional Plasticine for modeling
Year: 2016

How do you use this item in your practice?

My work is divided into two processes: the first one consists of modeling the human, animal or details over the figures. When this part is complete, the next step is to make a silicon mold and casting the resin inside the mold. Then I start to make the clean part: knitting, crocheting or gluing the fabric or threads over the resin piece.

Why do you use this specific item?

I think one of my most important talents is modeling with plasticine and clay, I really enjoy it a lot. I have an academic formation and when I was a student we had to work with a human life model and with pencil or clay for months. Nowadays this formation helps me a lot to create part of my work.

And where did you buy it from?

I buy boxes that contain 100 pieces of professional sculpture plasticine in a store where you can buy silicones and resins; in Mexico City, it is called Poliformas.


Knitting and modeling tools

Knitting and modeling tools

Item 2 – Knitting and modeling tools

Brand: Crochet hooks:  Lion Brand. Modeling tools: Vazquez
Model: Different size and shapes
Year: 2009

How do you use this item in your practice?

Like I mentioned before my work is made by two techniques: modeling with clay or plasticine and knitting and crocheting wools that allows me to cover the resin sculpture with handmade fabrics.

In both processes, it is very important to have the correct size and form of the tool. It depends on the forms will be the tool I will use for the specific artwork.

Why do you use this specific item?

I’ve knitted since I was 11 years old, half of my life I have been crocheting and knitting. When I started my professional career I decided to include this activity in my artistic proposal, modeling and knitting are two activities that I always do and I love to make it. That’s why it is very important to have the specific tool for a specific technique.

I have been buying tools since I was 16 years old and I try to buy and increase my equipment once a year.

And where did you buy it from?

I purchased tools in NYC in a very nice store called Complete Sculpture and in Purl Soho. In Mexico City I buy my materials in a knitting store called Crochet.


Paper, wool and microscope

Paper, wool and microscope

Item 3 – Paper, wool and microscope

Brand:  Zeigen Microscope.
Year: 2011

How do you use this item in your practice?

I´m a sensitive person, I love nature and life and I´m easy to move.

At my 33rd birthday celebration, I received from an important person in my life a beautiful microscope to see more than my eyes could see. This present change my life and since then I’m inspired by the component of the things, that’s why I’m now using elements which represent cells and molecules and with the summary of each item I can create a complete form or human figure.

Papers, yarns, fabrics, and threads are the most important component in my artwork.

Why do you use this specific item?

I use the microscope only for inspiration and the papers, yarns, fabric and threads I use them to cover (like a second skin), the body of my sculptures. I knit over the resin layer and I glue the threads one by one.

And where did you buy it from?

I bought the papers in a beautiful store in NYC called Paper Source and yarns and threads in Purl Soho NYC. Some of my yarns I used to buy them in Crochet store in Mexico City or Omega store near from my studio in Downtown.


Sewing machine

Sewing machine

Item 4 – Sewing machine

Brand: Singer
Model: Tica
Year: 2011

How do you use this item in your practice?

Sometimes when I knit and crochet outside the sculpture and I need to close and to make a union between the knitting fabrics or to hide some endings and to sew some fabrics in order to fit them well on the sculpture.

Why do you use this specific item?

Sometimes it is better to use the sew machine instead to make it by hand. It could help to make some stitches with the machine because it is cleaner than make it by hand.

And where did you buy it from?

Since I was a child I always wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine, and one of my dreams was to have one. Many years ago my dreams come true.

When I´m sewing I have the same beautiful feeling when I´m welding metal parts between them. I think the sewing machine was the greatest invention ever. It seems like you are doing magic but no, it is the perfect design for your necessities.


Threads and pearls

Threads and pearls

Item 5 – Threads and pearls

Brand: DMC
Model: Cotton Perle
Year: 2016

How do you use this item in your practice?

I like to use these materials for making an ending. Some of the times threads are used for gluing one by one over my resin sculpture. Each thread contains one plastic pearl that allows the piece to shine and to have more textures.

Why do you use this specific item?

In my work threads represents the line time in our life: one point communicates to another point, all these lines represent the process what we lived and passed through to get to the future. Pearls are important too because they symbolized the cell in our body both human and emotional cells.

And where did you buy it from?

I buy these items in Omega thread store and Fantasias Miguel in Mexico City and in Michaels in the USA.

For more information visit: www.alejandrazermeno.net

What’s in your Tool kit? Tell us by leaving a comment below.

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Saturday 21st, October 2017 / 19:37
Daniel

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