The globalized production of fashion objects has disconnected many consumers from the traditional crafts that used to be highly visible in the production process. During her Residency Michelle Quick will use the ‘on-view’ aspect of this residency as an opportunity to demystify the process of shoemaking and educate viewers about how an object that they interact with every day– shoes - are made.
She will transform the studio space into a development lab and shoe production facility. Visitors will be able to see all the components that go into producing footwear and leather goods as the products are built. The goal of showing these processes is to engage the public in conversations around the value of craft, materials, and labor in relation to the fashion products we interact with daily.
This project will bring together all of Quick's skills as a designer, craftsperson, and educator into one thematic body of work exploring the relationship between design, production, and consumption of fashion objects. So often, emphasis is just placed on the final product, but the artist wants to place equal focus on the materials, making process, and final product by physically showing each phase in the final presentation.
7/14 2-4pm, Shoemaking Process Demonstrations
Formal studio visit with demonstrations walking the visitors through different stages of the shoemaking process, utilizing my project progress for reference.
7/19 6-7pm, Slow Fashion Discussion Panel
Discussion with other local designers and craftspeople to highlighting topics related to my project including the rise of the slow fashion movement, the value of handcrafted objects, and the importance of educating the consumer on the production process.
7/28 1-3pm, Leather Workshop / Make Your Own Leather Key Fob
Hands-on workshop of leather working skills that are utilized in shoemaking, where visitors can actually use tools and create a small leather good for themselves. The process of developing an understanding of materials, learning a new skill, and physically making a product that you can use is incredibly empowering and exciting. Connecting to the products we make can help build curiosity and empathy about how the other products we use regularly are made.
8/3 6-9pm, Final Residency Reception as part of First Fridays in Starland
Michelle Quick is a footwear and accessory designer, maker, and educator.
She hails from Detroit, Michigan and attributes her early interest in the construction of products to the city’s extensive manufacturing history. Quick first started to design and produce fashion accessories in the early 2000’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her interdisciplinary BFA degree with a focus on fibers, fashion, and sculpture.
After working in production for a small shoe manufacturer in Chicago, she pursued a Master’s degree in Fashion Footwear at the prestigious Cordwainers at London College of Fashion. Upon completing her degree, Michelle continued to work in footwear production, specializing in bespoke shoemaking techniques, patterning, and sample making.
She joined the Accessory Design department at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. Michelle believes it’s important for young designers to understand the power and responsibility of the decisions they make during the design process. She has led study trips to Europe and Asia, exposing students to all levels of material sourcing and manufacturing.
In addition to teaching, Michelle also runs her own bespoke leather goods company, MBQ Handmade, creating one-of-a-kind products for a diverse clientele.